Next week, Belgian House of Representatives (lower house) will vote on the euthanasia of young children. The bill which has already been supported in the Senate, allows to extend mercy-killing to children found to be terminally-ill. “This ‘symbolic dossier’ which has not been negotiated by the ruling coalition seems to be pushed through at a tremendous pace.
A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of the governmental Christian Democrat parties, which were surpassed by their governing partners in this issue of life and death”, Kris Vleugels, the chair of C'axent, the Belgian movement for more Christian values in politics and former vice-President of the ECPM, was quoted as saying. According to him, long term social commitment is rooted in deep moral convictions, while the contemporary culture is self-centred and indifferent to the principles of human dignity.' Kris Vleugels is also worried that the Belgian case might create a precedent that will be pushed in several other EU member states.
His concerns were shared by a written declaration by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) which stated that this vote in the Belgian Senate concerning euthanasia for children "betrays some of the most vulnerable children in Belgium by accepting that their lives may not 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 and that it promotes the unacceptable belief that a life can be unworthy of life which challenges the very basis of civilised society."
The key question is: What will the Govermental Christian Democratic Party do? How will they value the protection of life? How will they value the concerns expressed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe? With the upcoming elections in Belgium I believe it is of utmost importance for them to focus on the basic Christian Democratic values instead of betraying them during the last months within this Government. Therefore they should do their utmost to block this dangerous legislative proposal and eventually ask more research by experts on this issue. This issue even had never been part of the Governmental Coalition agreement!