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Written declaration No. 567 | Doc. 13414 | 30 January 2014

Legalisation of euthanasia for children in Belgium

Signatories: Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Stella AMBLER, Canada ; Mr Werner AMON, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr David BAKRADZE, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Mr José María BENEYTO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Joe BENTON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Tinatin BOKUCHAVA, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Ms Olga BORZOVA, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Márton BRAUN, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Lorenzo CESA, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Corneliu CHISU, Canada ; Mr James CLAPPISON, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Deirdre CLUNE, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Agustín CONDE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Paolo CORSINI, Italy, SOC ; Mr David CRAUSBY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Jonny CROSIO, Italy, EDG ; Mr David DAVIES, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Ismeta DERVOZ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD ; Ms Aleksandra DJUROVIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Bernd FABRITIUS, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Cătălin Daniel FENECHIU, Romania, ALDE ; Mr Axel FISCHER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Giuseppe GALATI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Ms Nadezda GERASIMOVA, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Jarosław GÓRCZYŃSKI, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Alina Ștefania GORGHIU, Romania, ALDE ; Mr Sabir HAJIYEV, Azerbaijan, SOC ; Mr Alfred HEER, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Ms Arpine HOVHANNISYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Ms Deniza KARADJOVA, Bulgaria, SOC ; Ms Naira KARAPETYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Sir Edward LEIGH, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Guguli MAGRADZE, Georgia, SOC ; Ms Vesna MARJANOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Mr Frano MATUŠIĆ, Croatia, EPP/CD ; Mr Edgar MAYER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Rubén MORENO PALANQUES, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Aleksandar NIKOLOSKI, ''The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'', EPP/CD ; Mr Mikael OSCARSSON, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Carmen QUINTANILLA, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Kathryn REILLY, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Michel RIVARD, Canada ; Mr Armen RUSTAMYAN, Armenia, SOC ; Mr Rovshan RZAYEV, Azerbaijan, EPP/CD ; Mr Robert SHLEGEL, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Alexander SIDYAKIN, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Lorella STEFANELLI, San Marino, EPP/CD ; Ms Karin STRENZ, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Vyacheslav TIMCHENKO, Russian Federation, EDG

Considering the December 2013 vote in the Belgian Senate to approve by 50 votes to 17 a proposal to legalise euthanasia for children (without any age limit);

Bearing in mind that:

  • the Committee of Ministers welcomed in this respect paragraph 9 (c) of the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1418 (1999), toencourage the member States of the Council of Europe to respect and protect the dignity of terminally ill or dying persons in all respects by upholding the prohibition against intentionally taking the life of terminally ill or dying persons”;
  • the Assembly, in its Resolution 1859 (2012) stated that “Euthanasia, in the sense of the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit, must always be prohibited”,
the undersigned members of the Parliamentary Assembly are of the opinion that this vote in the Belgian Senate:
  • betrays some of the most vulnerable children in Belgium by accepting that their lives may no longer have any inherent value or worth and that they should die;
  • mistakenly assumes that children are able to give appropriate informed consent to euthanasia and that they can understand the grave meaning and complex consequences associated with such a decision;
  • promotes the unacceptable belief that a life can be unworthy of life which challenges the very basis of civilised society.