Four-year-old appeals to Belgian King over child euthanasia law

Jessica Saba

A four-year-old girl has personally urged King Philippe of Belgium not to sign the law that would extend euthanasia to under-18s, reports The Tablet.

Belgium’s lower house of Parliament's justice commission approved the draft law last week, despite consistent opposition from the Church. The legislation is due to be approved by MPs by the summer, after which it would be sent to King Philippe to be officially signed into law.

Jessica Saba features in a four-minute video along with her siblings and parents. 'Please do not sign the euthanasia law, for the sake of the children,' she says.

Jessica was born in Montreal in May 2009 with a severe cardiac malformation but after life-saving surgery, left hospital when she was five weeks old.

Jessica’s father, Dr Paul Saba, also makes an appeal, arguing that any legalisation of paediatric euthanasia in Belgium could set a precedent for other countries. He said millions of children are born each year with conditions as severe as that of his daughter.

The Quebec government is attempting to pass a euthanasia law, and Quebec’s Human Rights Commission has recommended that children and other vulnerable people have access to euthanasia.

Jessica's mother Marisa also appears in the video, warning that legalising euthanasia for children might encourage parents of sick or handicapped children 'to give up too early.'

Watch the video here.

FULL STORY

Four-year-old heart surgery survivor appeals to King Philippe of Belgium not to sign euthanasia for children into law (The Tablet)