"Should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?
In Belgium, where euthanasia is now legal for people over the age of 18, the government is considering extending it to children — something that no other country has done. The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.
Advocates argue that euthanasia for children, with the consent of their parents, is necessary to give families an option in a desperately painful situation. But opponents have questioned whether children can reasonably decide to end their own lives.
Belgium is already a euthanasia pioneer; it legalized the practice for adults in 2002. In the last decade, the number of reported cases per year has risen from 235 deaths in 2003 to 1,432 in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. Doctors typically give patients a powerful sedative before injecting another drug to stop their heart.
Only a few countries have legalized euthanasia or anything approaching it.
In the Netherlands, euthanasia is legal under specific circumstances and for children over the age of 12 with parental consent. (There is an understanding that infants, too, can be euthanized, and that doctors will not be prosecuted if they act appropriately.) Elsewhere in Europe, euthanasia is only legal in Luxembourg. Assisted suicide, where doctors help patients to die but do not actively kill them, is allowed in Switzerland."
John Harris, a professor of bioethics at the University of Manchester. “It’s unfair to provide euthanasia differentially to some citizens and not to others (children) if the need is equal.”