A minor has been euthanized in Belgium for the first time, the Het Nieuwsblad reported on Saturday. It has been a legal possibility since the start of 2014, but there have been no cases until now. The Doctor that performed this first euthanasia of a minor sent a case file to the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia this week.
The case was confirmed by the President of the Commission, Professor Wim Distelmans. It is a Dutch-language case, but the patient’s age has not been released. The patient was in the terminal stage of an illness.
Mr Distelmans said this course of action was exceptional, and only used in very specific cases. The fact that it took two and a half years for a case like this to turn up proves that. “Luckily, very few children are considered, but that doesn’t mean we should refuse them a dignified death”.
Belgium is the only country where Euthanasia is legally possible for minors.