Search form

menu menu

200,000 sign petition asking king to block euthanasia bill

10:21 28/02/2014

Opposition to Belgium’s controversial child euthanasia bill, which passed through parliament earlier this month, is now targeting the country’s king to stop it from becoming law. More than 200,000 European citizens from 20 different countries have signed a petition asking King Philippe not to sign the bill into law that will see children receive the right to die.

According to reports, a Vienna couple began the petition two weeks ago, and it quickly spread across the continent. They are calling on the king to follow his “ethical principles” and refrain from signing the bill.

The bill, which passed through both Belgium’s upper and lower houses, extends the right to die to those under the age of 18. Children will be permitted to exercise the right if they are suffering unbearable pain and are terminally ill. 

King Philippe’s signature is needed to allow the law to take effect, and he is likely to sign. This isn’t the first time that royal approval has entered into an ethical debate in Belgium. The late King Baudouin refused to sign an abortion bill in the 1990’s, but the government eventually found a technical way to bring it into law. 

Written by Andrew King