BRUSSELS, Belgium — The Belgian Constitutional Court’s Feb. 17 ruling on expansion of the country’s euthanasia law threatens religious objection and the right to life, according to an international legal advocacy group.
Alliance Defending Freedom International said the amendments mandate that health care institutions offer euthanasia and prevent “religious ethos” or “general policy” from being used as reasons for not providing euthanasia.
Medical professionals who object to euthanasia are required to direct patients to a euthanasia provider, ADF International reported.
Jean-Paul Van De Walle, counsel for ADF International in Brussels, said the amendments “threaten the right to freedom of conscience for those in the medical profession” and take away the patients’ right to be in “an environment where they can be sure no euthanasia will be practiced.”
ADF International said Belgium’s euthanasia law was enacted in 2002 and has expanded repeatedly.
More than six people a day are euthanized in Belgium, the only country in the world that allows children of any age to be euthanized.
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