Belgium approves child euthanasia.


Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.

It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent.

Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision.

It is 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults.

In the Netherlands, Belgium’s northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.

Continue reading the main story

Conditions for child euthanasia

  • Patient must be conscious of their decision
  • Request must be approved by parents and medical team
  • Illness must be terminal
  • Patient must be in great pain with no treatment available to alleviate their distress

Under the Dutch conditions, a patient’s request for euthanasia can be fulfilled by a doctor if the request is “voluntary and well-considered” and the patient is suffering unbearably, with no prospect of improvement.

‘Immoral’ law

One man in the public gallery of Belgium’s parliament shouted “murderers” in French when the vote was passed, Reuters news agency reports.

Supporters of the legislation argue that in practice the law will affect an extremely small number of children, who would probably be in their teens, the BBC’s Duncan Crawford reports from Brussels.

The law states a child would have to be terminally ill, face “unbearable physical suffering” and make repeated requests to die – before euthanasia is considered.

Parents, doctors and psychiatrists would have to agree before a decision is made.

Protesters have lobbied politicians against the changes.

Church leaders argued the law is immoral.

“The law says adolescents cannot make important decisions on economic or emotional issues, but suddenly they’ve become able to decide that someone should make them die,” Brussels Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, said at a prayer vigil last week.

Some paediatricians have warned vulnerable children could be put at risk and have questioned whether a child can really be expected to make such a difficult choice.

Last week 160 Belgian paediatricians signed an open letter against the law, claiming that there was no urgent need for it and that modern medicine is capable of alleviating pain.

But opinion polls have suggested broad support for the changes in Belgium, which is mostly Catholic.

Belgium approves child euthanasia.


Opinion polls suggest broad support for the law, as Duncan Crawford reports

Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.

It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent.

Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision.

It is 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults.

In the Netherlands, Belgium’s northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.

Conditions for child euthanasia

  • Patient must be conscious of their decision
  • Request must be approved by parents and medical team
  • Illness must be terminal
  • Patient must be in great pain with no treatment available to alleviate their distress

Under the Dutch conditions, a patient’s request for euthanasia can be fulfilled by a doctor if the request is “voluntary and well-considered” and the patient is suffering unbearably, with no prospect of improvement.

‘Immoral’ law

One man in the public gallery of Belgium’s parliament shouted “murderers” in French when the vote was passed, Reuters news agency reports.

Supporters of the legislation argue that in practice the law will affect an extremely small number of children, who would probably be in their teens, the BBC’s Duncan Crawford reports from Brussels.

The law states a child would have to be terminally ill, face “unbearable physical suffering” and make repeated requests to die – before euthanasia is considered.

Parents, doctors and psychiatrists would have to agree before a decision is made.

Protesters have lobbied politicians against the changes.

Church leaders argued the law is immoral.

“The law says adolescents cannot make important decisions on economic or emotional issues, but suddenly they’ve become able to decide that someone should make them die,” Brussels Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, said at a prayer vigil last week.

Some paediatricians have warned vulnerable children could be put at risk and have questioned whether a child can really be expected to make such a difficult choice.

Last week 160 Belgian paediatricians signed an open letter against the law, claiming that there was no urgent need for it and that modern medicine is capable of alleviating pain.

But opinion polls have suggested broad support for the changes in Belgium, which is mostly Catholic.

‘Let me keep my dead husband’s sperm’


Beth and her husband Warren

Beth and her husband Warren

  • A woman has begun a legal bid to prevent her dead husband’s frozen sperm from being destroyed.

Beth Warren, 28, has been told by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that the sperm cannot be stored beyond April 2015.

Her husband, Warren Brewer, a ski instructor, died of a brain tumour at the age of 32 in February 2012.

His sperm was stored before treatment, and he made it clear his wife should be allowed to use it posthumously.

“Start Quote

I do not know what will happen in the future and I would like to have the choice left open to be able to have my husband’s child as I know he would have wanted.”

Beth Warren

The couple, who were together for eight years, married in a hospice six weeks before his death. She subsequently changed her surname to Warren.

“I understand that it’s a huge decision to have a child who will never meet their father, ” said Mrs Warren, who lives in Birmingham.

“I cannot make that choice now and need more time to build my life back. I may never go ahead with treatment but I want to have the freedom to decide once I am no longer grieving.

“My brother died in a car accident just weeks before my husband’s death, so there has been a huge amount to cope with.”

Mrs Warren was initially told that her husband’s last consent form lapsed in April 2013, but has subsequently been granted two brief extensions amounting to two years. The frozen sperm is stored at the CARE fertility clinic in Northampton.

Her lawyer, James Lawford Davies said the 2009 regulations created injustice.

“Common-sense dictates that she should be allowed time to recover from the loss of her husband and brother and not be forced into making such an important reproductive choice at this point in her life.”

Mr Lawford Davies, whose firm is not charging Mrs Warren to represent her, said there were a number of inconsistencies about the regulations.

The sperm has to be used by April 2015, but if it was thawed and used to create embryos, these could be stored for a further seven years.

The time limit also means that Mrs Warren could use the sperm to create one child but not a second.

There is also no restriction on the sperm being exported, which would mean Mrs Warren could be treated abroad in the future, but not in the UK.

The case will be heard next year by a judge from the Family Division of the High Court.

Beth Warren: “I really just need more time to make a decision”

Options open

In her legal submission Mrs Warren said: “I am aware that I may decide not to use the stored samples in the event that I meet someone in the future and choose to have a family with him.

Regulations for storage of sperm and eggs in the UK

Patients about to undergo radiotherapy often have sperm or eggs (gametes) removed as the treatment can cause infertility.

Regulations which came into force in 2009 allow for gametes to be stored for up to 55 years provided that the person who provided the sperm or eggs renews their consent every ten years.

But patients who die are unable to renew their consent, setting a shorter time limit on storage.

“I do not know what will happen in the future, and I would like to have the choice left open to be able to have my husband’s child – as I know he would have wanted.”

In a statement the fertility regulator said: “The HFEA has every sympathy with Mrs Warren and the tragic circumstance in which she finds herself.

“We have been in discussions with Mrs Warren’s solicitors for some time and each time new information has been presented to us, we have reconsidered the legal situation in as responsive a way as possible.

“However, the law on the storage of gametes is clear and the HFEA has no discretion to extend the storage period beyond that to which her husband gave written consent.”

The case will renew the debate over the ethics of posthumous conception.

In 1997 Diane Blood won the right to conceive a child using sperm from her dead husband.

The Court of Appeal ruled against the HFEA and said that Mrs Blood should be allowed to seek treatment abroad.

But in that case the sperm had been removed when he was in a coma and without his written consent. Mrs Blood went on to have two sons after treatment in Belgium.

In this case Mr Brewer had his sperm stored prior to radiotherapy treatment in 2005, and in subsequent years signed several forms stating that his wife could use the samples.

Smoking ban ‘cuts premature births’.


The theory that public smoking bans cut the number of children born prematurely has been strengthened by new research.

Baby exposed to cigarette smoke

The study of 600,000 births found three successive drops in babies born before 37 weeks – each occurring after a phase of a public smoking ban was introduced.

There was no such trend in the period before the bans were put in place, the British Medical Journal reported.

The study, by Hasselt University in Belgium, comes after Scottish research in 2012 found a similar pattern.

But experts could not fully state the smoking ban was the cause of the change because pre-term births had started to drop before the ban.

It is already well established that smoking leads to reduced birth weight and an increased risk of premature birth.

Successive drops

In the latest study researchers were able to look at the rate of premature births after each phase of a smoking ban came into force in Belgium.

Public places and most workplaces were first to introduce smoke-free rules in 2006, followed by restaurants in 2007 and bars serving food in 2010.

The rate of premature births was found to fall after each phase of the ban with the biggest impact seen after the second two bans with restaurants and bars introducing no smoking rules.

After the bans in 2007 and 2010, the premature birth rate dropped by around 3% each time.

Overall it corresponds to a fall of six premature babies in every 1,000 births.

The changes could not be explained by other factors – such as mother’s age and socioeconomic status or population effects such as changes in air pollution and influenza epidemics.

There was no link found with birth weight.

Study leader Dr Tim Nawrot from Hasselt University said that even a mild reduction in gestational age has been linked in other studies to adverse health outcomes in early and later life.

“Because the ban happened at three different moments, we could show there was a consistent pattern of reduction in the risk of preterm delivery.”

He added: “It supports the notion that smoking bans have public health benefits even from early life.”

Patrick O’Brien, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: “It is very gratifying to see further strong evidence that smoking bans have had a beneficial impact on pregnant women and their babies.”

Belgian transsexual helped to die


Belgian helped to die after three sex change operations.

Generic undated photograph of hospital syringes.
Cases of recorded deaths from euthanasia on psychological grounds have risen in Belgium.

A transsexual has been helped to die by doctors in Belgium, after a series of failed sex-change operations.

Nathan Verhelst, born a girl, asked for help to end his life on grounds of psychological suffering. He died in a Brussels hospital on Monday.

Two doctors concluded the 44-year-old did not have temporary depression. His case received scant media coverage.

Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002. There were 52 cases of euthanasia on psychological grounds last year.

‘Rigorous procedure’

“He died in all serenity,” doctor Wim Distlemans told the Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws.

Nathan Verhelst was born Nancy into a family of three boys. The newspaper, which said it had spoken to him on the eve of his death, reported that he had been rejected by his parents who had wanted another son.

He had three operations to change sex between 2009 and 2012.

“The first time I saw myself in the mirror I felt an aversion for my new body,” he was quoted as saying.

The hospital said there was an “extremely rigorous procedure” in place before any patient was put to death. “When we have a case which is… complicated, we ask ourselves more questions in order to be certain about the diagnosis,” Dr Jean-Michel Thomas said.

Uncontroversial

The BBC’s Matthew Price in Brussels says the number of people opting for euthanasia in Belgium has risen steadily since legalisation. Most candidates are over 60 years old and have cancer.

Voluntary euthanasia for those over 18 is relatively uncontroversial in Belgium. Parliament is now considering expanding the law to under 18s as well.

Patients must be capable of deciding for themselves. They must be conscious and have to give a “voluntary, considered and repeated” request to die.

There were 1,432 recorded cases of euthanasia in Belgium in 2012; a 25% increase on the previous year’s figure. They represented 2% of all deaths, the AFP news agency reported.

The Greatest “Disclosure” Event Ever to be Released to the World ~ Today in Belgium ~ by the Keshe Foundation.


The World Peace Invitation and Release of Technology

Following the meeting of the Keshe Foundation with the world ambassadors invited to Brussels on 21 April 2012, our invitation now goes to the nations of the world through their ambassadors and their leaders To attend a gathering on 6 September 2012 at the Keshe Foundation Center in Ninove, Belgium (or in any other place the nations may choose).

As your Excellencies have been aware, we invited representatives of every country to the first presentation of our technology on 21 April 2012.

The ambassadors of some nations attended this meeting and others chose to ignore the call, due to pressure from other nations, and decided not to attend or withdrew at the last moment.

With this second invitation (to take place on 6 Sept, 2012) we directly and unequivocally invite the leaders of your nation to appoint qualified individuals who can take part in the upcoming meeting at the Foundation on 6 September on behalf of their governments.

The reasons for this invitation and the meeting are as follows:

On 21 September 2012 the Keshe Foundation will release the first phase of its space technology and the gravitational and magnetic (Magravs) systems it has developed, to all scientists around the world simultaneously, for production and duplication.

From that point on, international borders will cease to have any real significance.

This is because, once the first flight system has been built and put into operation for the public, the time of travel for example from Tehran to New York will be about 10 minutes maximum.

The new airborne systems will enable every individual to make the same length of journey in the same time and at hardly any cost from any point on this planet.

The craft will not be detectable with present radar technology.

The energy crisis will be resolved at a stroke, and once the technology is put into practice the powers that control energy supplies and through them the present financial structures will find their hands empty.

The world water shortage will be addressed and resolved by presenting this technology to the public soon after the release of our energy and space technology.

How we have done this?

For the past six years we have used the international patent system to make sure that every nation and major scientists around the world have a copy of our patents in their possession.

(Please check the European patent and international servers downloads for number of downloads.)

Thus we have prevented any possible blocking of this technology by any individual or group and now most nations are in possession of our patents for energy generation, medical systems and space travel.

In this way the methods used in the past to prevent international development have been circumvented and now all nations have the same opportunity to work together to see that this technology is developed safely.

The principal point is that our technology is intended to be freely available to every government for the benefit of all its citizens.

Through the systems we have developed every nation can have access to as much energy, water and food as they need, as well as to new methods of health care and of transport, all at very little cost.

According to its charter the Keshe Foundation and all its technologies are owned by the peoples of the world.

The patents are the assets of every individual on this planet and cannot be claimed by any one person or organization or nation.

This means that all income generated by the technology belongs to the nation that makes use of it.

We will release the list of countries invited to the meeting on 6 September 2012 and the full e-mail addresses of those who receive invitations, so it will be up to you as a government to make it known who from your nation will be attending this meeting.

By the time this email arrives at your embassies a copy will be posted on the Foundation forum and website so your citizens will be aware of the offer that has been made to you.

Then it will be for you to make your response known to them, as well as to the Foundation, and we will gather the names of the delegates appointed and let your officials know where and how to meet.

Following this meeting, the presentation on 21 September 2012 will be the first step in the Keshe Foundation’s teaching program to share its knowledge and put it into the hands of the people worldwide.

Once these new technologies and their benefits are known to the general public, the leaders of every nation will need to decide how they are going to implement them for the betterment of everyone.

At that point there will be two choices:

Either we all work together to change the life of everybody on earth for the better through the correct patterns of conduct, or

The advanced nations of the world will see in the near future a flood of immigrants in tens of thousands flocking to the major cities.

We are prepared to present the technology to your representatives in any setting, so that they can understand its implications and the changes it will bring about.

From now on, we can make sure that no child or adult will die of thirst or hunger and that no nation will be attacked by another,

Because the potential military applications of the new technology are so horrendously destructive that we will have no choice but to accept that fighting over the resources of the planet is a thing of the past.

There has been nothing wrong with protecting national assets, but now, as the leaders of small regions of the Earth, it is

Your responsibility to see that its resources are available to be shared, and that with the help of our technology, everyone’s basic needs for energy, water, food and health care are met.

The Keshe Foundation takes no account of color, nationality, religion or political affiliation, thus our call is going out to every government to appoint a team of scientists to come and see our technologies at first hand.

Then they can decide whether or not to make use of them.

If you ignore this invitation, your nation will soon have no choice but to follow the lead of the nations who have decided to develop them.

We call on your nation, to start the process of world cooperation as soon as possible because once these systems are in operation, the frontiers that separate one country from another will have no meaning.

We have set the scene for a change of course for humanity and in the coming months we will see it through.

In the near future people will come to realize that we are here to serve each other, and not to be served, as all resources will be available to everyone, at the same time, and in the same measure.

M T Keshe

The founder and caretaker director of Stichting the Keshe Foundation (The Netherlands).

_________________________________________________

Further reading:

To view an ‘intro video’: http://youtu.be/UrN99RELqwo

Please, take the time to check out this statement from the Keshe Foundation concerning war with Iran: http://www.keshefoundation.org/en/media-a-papers/keshe-news/330-the-world-peace-invitation-and-release-of-technology-the-2nd-international-presentation-how-to-become-axes-of-evil

 

Source: http://soundofheart.org/galacticfreepress