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Belgian parliament approves child euthanasia

Belgian politicians debate the bill on child euthanasia at the Belgian federal parliament in Brussels yesterday (PA)

Belgium has voted in favour of legalising euthanasia for children.

Following approval in the Belgian senate, the House of Representatives has also voted to extend their current euthanasia law to people under the age of 18.

The law was approved by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

Fifty of the 71 members of the Belgian Senate voted in favour of the legislation in November last year.

The new legislation will allow euthanasia for children who are terminally ill or in unbearable pain.

The law stipulates that patients must be conscious and understand what euthanasia means and must have made multiple requests for death.

The request must be supported by the child’s parents and the illness must be terminal without adequate pain relief to treat it.

In 2012, Belgium recorded 1,432 cases of euthanasia, up by 25% from 2011.