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Belgium May Break Ethical Barrier for Euthanasia

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BRUSSELS — Belgium may abolish age limits on who can choose to be legally put to death. This stems from the European nation's highly permissive social attitudes. It's one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal. And Belgium is expected to take the unprecedented step this week of abolishing age restrictions on euthanasia. If this abolition happens, the "right" to choose to die could be extended to children for the first time. The legislation appears to have broad support. But it has also sparked strong opposition from some pediatricians. Some protestors fear that vulnerable children will be talked into taking their own lives during seemingly incurable illnesses that might be overcome in time. Backers claim the law would only apply to the handful of teenage boys and girls who are in advanced stages of terminal illnesses. Under current law, people must turn 18 before than can ask to be euthanized, depending on their circumstances.

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