Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, February 12, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
Belgium passes law to allow euthanasia for small children
Catholic News Service

BRUSSELS — Belgian legislators voted to make their country the world's first to allow euthanasia for small children, despite vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and all main religious groups.

"We are saddened and fearful for the future after this vote to extend euthanasia to children without any age limit," said the Catholic bishops' conference.

"We totally uphold the rights of the child, of which love and respect are the most important. But the right of the child to demand its own death is a step too far. It transgresses the prohibition of killing, which is the foundation of our human society," the bishops said in a statement Feb. 13.

The same day, Belgium's lower house of Parliament passed the legislation, which permits the doctor-assisted killing of terminally ill children facing "unbearable physical suffering." The legislation passed  the Senate late last year and must now go to the king for approval.

The bishops said they had frequently "expressed fears" about the proposed law, which had been unanimously deplored "with a single voice" by heads of all faiths in November.

They added that they shared the views of all those opposed to the law "as a function of their experience or expertise," including medical experts who believed it was "useless and defective."

"We fear this new law opens the door wide to the further extension of euthanasia to handicapped persons, people with dementia, the mentally ill and those merely tired of life," the bishops said. "We insist everything is done to combat pain and suffering to the maximum, and that all professionals and volunteers accompanying the sick and suffering gain optimal support."

Representatives voted 86-44 with 12 abstentions for the law, which requires children to be "conscious of their decision" after "repeated requests to die," and to have approval from their parents and medical team.

However, Belgium's Le Soir daily said the debate, which was marked by a pro-life vigil outside the Brussels Parliament, had been heated, adding that a public gallery spectator had shouted "Murderers!" as the result was announced.

The church's Cathobel news agency said several members of Parliament had highlighted contradictions in the bill's wording, including its provision that children as young as 3 could be allowed to die "if capable of discernment," whereas a 17-year-old could be refused if psychiatrists disagreed.

The agency added that Health Minister Laurette Onckelinckx, a champion of the law, had "shocked colleagues" by failing to attend the debate.

"This merely underlines the emptiness of Belgium's legislative process -- why bother listening to the minister's opinion if no expert has been consulted and all amendments have been swept aside?" the Catholic agency commented Feb. 13.

"Neither the truth nor the common good have been in evidence in this debate. Does this signal that Belgian society itself is 'incapable of discernment'?"

Catholics nominally make up three-quarters of Belgium's population of 11 million, although only one in 10 attends church.

Euthanasia was legalized in Belgium in 2002, a year after the neighboring Netherlands. Politicians and pediatricians said children should have the same right to die as adults.

Belgian Health Ministry data registered more than 1,400 deaths in 2012, an increase of 25 percent over 2011.

Although officially restricted to terminal patients, researchers say reasons for euthanasia have included blindness, anorexia and botched operations, while many are carried out illegally by nurses and at least a third are involuntary.

In a November open letter, 16 pediatricians backed the proposed bill, claiming children facing illness and death "develop a great maturity very rapidly."

However, the claim was rejected by professors from the Catholic University of Leuven, as well as in an early February open letter by 160 pediatricians, who said modern medicine was "capable of alleviating pain."

Several Belgian churches staged vigils against the law, including Brussels' National Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where Archbishop Andre Leonard, the bishops' conference president, led an ecumenical day of prayer and fasting Feb. 6.

Besides Belgium and the Netherlands, euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legalized in Luxembourg and declared "nonpunishable" in Switzerland and are under parliamentary consideration in Britain and France.

Most countries have resisted calls for euthanasia of sick children, which was conducted in Nazi Germany under a program known as Kinder-Euthanasie.

The Dutch law allows newborn babies with conditions such as spina bifida to be euthanized, under the 2004 Groningen Protocol, but restricts euthanasia requests to children over age 12.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved