Three children are among thousands of people to have died under Belgium’s radical euthanasia regime, figures reveal.

They were euthanised under the world’s only law that allows children of any age to choose to be put to death – a move opponents warn trivialises the value of life.


Children were euthanised under the world’s only law that allows children of any age to choose to be put to death.


An official report has revealed the annual number of euthanasia cases across all age groups has multiplied almost fivefold in ten years. The practice was legalised in Belgium in 2003 – a year after the Netherlands. In 2007, 495 Belgians chose to die this way. Children were euthanised under the world’s only law that allows children of any age to choose to be put to death.

But latest figures reveal there were 2,028 such deaths in the country in 2016 and 2,309 in 2017 – a 14 per cent year-on-year rise. Two of the children died in 2016 and one in 2017. Their names and ages were not given, but all were understood to have had cancer (Mail on Line, July 23, 2018).

We have to reflect on the “medical act” of providing the child who “wishes to die” with drugs or other substances to induce his or her death. Also, it is frequently silenced by media the different effects that the lethal drugs produce in each “patient”. The usual process involves the administration of three successive drugs and lasts between one and three hours. Hours of misery for the child, his parents and the hospital staff (see our report Medical aspects of euthanasia).

Read our recent special report on euthanasia and assisted suicide

Photo ALEX SCHADENBERG, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition