November 25, 2013

The president of the Belgian bishops’ conference joined other faith leaders who criticized proposed legislation to extend euthanasia to children and dementia sufferers, warning the measure risks “destroying the functioning of society.

We are also opposed to suffering, whether physical or moral, and especially the suffering of children,” Archbishop Andre Leonard, conference president, said in a joint statement with Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders.

“But to suggest minors can decide on their own euthanasia is to falsify their power of judgment and their freedom.

To suggest persons with dementia can also be euthanized is to deny their dignity and hand them over to the arbitrary judgment of decision-makers.”

Some Belgian legislators have proposed extending a 2002 euthanasia law to include children and dementia sufferers.