Belgium faced fresh protests as its parliament debated whether to extend a ground-breaking euthanasia law to terminally-ill children, making it only the second nation to allow minors the right to die, reports AFP/Yahoo7.
'To see a sick child die is revolting, it is not just,' said Socialist parliamentarian Karine Lalieux, as MPs crossed swords on the ethically tough question that will be put to the vote on Thursday.
'But euthanasia doesn't consist in killing a person but in freeing them from suffering,' she said. 'Every child, every family must be allowed the choice to deliver a child from pain.'
After months of public debate, surveys show Belgians broadly in support of draft legislation widening the country's 2002 euthanasia law to children faced with 'unbearable physical suffering.'
But days after the Catholic Church staged 'a day of fasting and prayer' in protest, some 160 pediatricians Wednesday petitioned lawmakers to postpone the vote on the grounds it was both ill-prepared and unnecessary.
'Pain can be eased nowadays, there's been huge progress in palliative care,' said Nadine Francotte, a cancer specialist in the city of Liege who signed the petition.
FULL STORY Protests as Belgium set to legalise euthanasia for children (Yahoo)