Euthansia for the depressed

Euthansia for the depressed July 2, 2015

Belgium, having legalized euthanasia, keeps extending it to more and more people:  to terminally ill children too young to request it; and now to physically healthy folks who suffer from depression.  Doctors have recently approved euthanasia for a healthy 24-year-old woman who has been struggling with “suicidal thoughts.”

From Healthy 24-Year-Old Granted Right to Die in Belgium, Newsweek:

Doctors in Belgium are granting a healthy 24-year-old woman who is suffering from depression the right to die, as she qualifies for euthanasia, even though she does not have a terminal or life-threatening illness.

The 24-year-old female, known simply as Laura, has been given the go ahead by health professionals in Belgium to receive a lethal injection after spending both her childhood and adult life suffering from “suicidal thoughts,” she told local Belgian media. . . .

Belgium passed a law to legalise euthanasia in 2002, the second country in the world to do so after the Netherlands. The law states that Belgian doctors can “help patients” to end their lives if they freely express a wish to die because they are suffering from intractable and unbearable pain. . . .

Over the past few years there has been a sharp increase in the number of euthanasia cases in Belgium. In 2013, there were 1,807 deaths recorded compared with 1,432 in 2012. More than half of last year’s cases were patients aged 70 and over but there are increasing numbers of young people requesting to die legally, with the majority citing depression as their “intractable and unbearable pain.” . . .

Earlier this year in February, the parliament in Belgium passed a bill also allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44. The vote makes it the first country in the world to have legalised euthanasia without an age limit.

In the Netherlands, the first country to legalize euthanasia, sick children are allowed to request it, but only if they are 12 years or older.

HT:  Frank Sonnek

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