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Belgium legalised the right to euthanasia for adults in 2002

He does not accept the argument that his mother had a "right to die".
"From my perspective this is not a law for patients, it's a law for doctors so they won't be prosecuted,"

Child Euthanasia

"We are not playing God - these are lives that will end anyway," argues Van Berlaer. "Their natural end might be miserable or very painful or horrifying, and they might have seen a lot of friends in institutions or hospitals die of the same disease. And if they say, 'I don't want to die this way, I want to do it my way,' and that is the only thing we can do for them as doctors, I think we should be able to do it."

Children must understand what euthanasia is, and their parents and medical teams have to approve the child's request to die.

In the Netherlands, Belgium's northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12,

"The scandal is that children will die from disease," he says. "The scandal is not to try and avoid the pain of the children in that situation."

"During the debate, supporters of euthanasia talked about children with anorexia, children who are tired of life - so how far does it go?"

Euthanasia Book

The Peaceful Pill handbook on Exit International's website.
Voluntary Euthanasia Society also has information.


Any "competent" person may decide to die under the law as it is at the moment. 

If you have cancer, you can decide to stop treatment at any point. 
If you are on life support, you can demand that it be removed. 

The fact such choices inevitably will cause your death is irrelevant to your right to decide.
You can even choose to starve yourself to death if you want to, and the law actively forbids anyone from intervening to stop you. 
All of these decisions then rest upon a determination that a person is competent to make them. If you meet that test, your choice is sacrosanct and no-one may second guess it. But if you aren't competent, then your decision does not have to be respected.
Yet NZ law says concern about such possible manipulation is not enough to override the right of competent patients to choose all of these outcomes. That's because the NZ legal system actually tries to balance two competing values; protection of the weak and disadvantaged, and promoting individual autonomy.