Let’s give intellectually disabled the right to euthanasia, say Belgian humanists

Michael Cook
BioEdge

People with intellectual disabilities, all children and people with dementia should be able to request euthanasia, the Belgian Liberal Humanist Association (HVV) has declared. Its president, Jacinta De Roeck, a former senator who helped to draft the current law, says: “We can not accept that a certain group of people should be completely excluded from self-determination over life and death.”

This is an especially touchy topic in Belgium because of  the euthanasia of mentally handicapped people in neighbouring Germany under the Nazis. However, Ms De Roeck insists that the issue has to be considered. “Even someone with mental retardation, who is found to be mature enough by the team should be able to ask for euthanasia.”

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