Doctors in Belgium have euthanized three children in the four years the practice has been legal. The children were ages 9, 11, and 17 and experiencing a terminal illness.
Alex Carlile, co-chairman of Living and Dying Well, expressed his shock at the numbers: “No parent and no public authority has the power to take away the life of anyone who is a child, whoever they are,” he said. “Belgium is perhaps the state that is causing the greatest concern in Europe about the way it administers euthanasia.”
The total number of people who die by euthanasia continues to climb as well. In 2017, the number of people euthanized in Belgium rose 13 percent. —S.G.
A medical complaints board in the Netherlands officially reprimanded a doctor who euthanized an elderly woman even after she resisted the procedure.
The woman suffered from dementia when her family transferred her to a nursing home in 2016. Her living will stated she did not want to go to a nursing home, and that she wanted to be euthanized. But when offered a cup of coffee containing the sedative, she refused to drink it. The doctor then asked her husband and daughter to hold her down so he could inject her with the life-ending drugs.
The Dutch board found that the doctor should not have killed her against her will, even though her end-of-life document requested euthanasia. —S.G.