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Paediatric Palliative Medicine Community deeply concerned about Belgian legislation permitting Euthanasia of Children

Here is the official Declaration from the ICPCN (International Children’s Palliative Care Network). It outlines the Network’s opposition to the Euthanasia of Children. Legislation to this effect was passed by the Belgian Parliament on 12th Feb 2014.


We believe that all children (neonates, children and young people) have the right to the best quality of life.

When they have life-limiting conditions they have the right to high quality palliative care to meet their needs.

We believe that euthanasia is not part of children’s palliative care and is not an alternative to palliative care.

It is imperative that we work together to improve access to children’s palliative care around the world, including ensuring access to appropriate pain and symptom control.

We call on all governments to transform children’s lives through the development of children’s palliative care, and in particular we urge the Belgian government to reconsider their recent decision to allow euthanasia of children.

This includes:

1. Access to children’s palliative care within the children’s health care system

2. Access to appropriate pain and symptom management (including medications) for all children

3. Supporting children and their families to be able to live their lives to the best of their ability for as long as possible.


Editorial comment: The Mumbai Declaration is excellent and The New Zealand Health Professionals Alliance endorses it fully. The Paediatric Palliative Medicine Community and NZHPA is opposed to the Euthanasia of children. Should such legislation ever be proposed for New Zealand we would oppose it as being reprehensible and dangerous. NZHPA would oppose any participation in euthanasia on the grounds of it offending the conscience of every member.