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‘Capacity for discernment’ and euthanasia on minors in Belgium

(2019) MEDICAL LAW REVIEW. 27(2). p.242-266
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Abstract
In 2014, the Belgian Euthanasia Law was amended so as to extend the possibility of obtaining euthanasia to minors who have the capacity for discernment. The amendment led to considerable debate among Belgian legal experts, health care professionals and ethicists, in large part due to concerns about the scope and assessment of the minor's capacity for discernment', a concept first introduced in Belgian medical law by the amendment. This article offers a critical legal analysis of the concept of capacity for discernment' and its implications for euthanasia practice in Belgium. We do so by focusing on a ruling of the Belgian Constitutional Court of 29 October 2015, where the concept figured prominently in the examination of the constitutionality of the amendment. This approach also allows us to shed light on the interpretation of several core aspects of the original 2002 Euthanasia Law and its 2014 amendment.
Keywords
Euthanasia, Minors, Belgium, Legal competence, BELGIUM, CHILDREN, SUICIDE

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Van Assche, Kristof, et al. “‘Capacity for Discernment’ and Euthanasia on Minors in Belgium.” MEDICAL LAW REVIEW, vol. 27, no. 2, 2019, pp. 242–66.
APA
Van Assche, K., Raus, K., Vanderhaegen, B., & Sterckx, S. (2019). “Capacity for discernment” and euthanasia on minors in Belgium. MEDICAL LAW REVIEW, 27(2), 242–266.
Chicago author-date
Van Assche, Kristof, Kasper Raus, Bert Vanderhaegen, and Sigrid Sterckx. 2019. “‘Capacity for Discernment’ and Euthanasia on Minors in Belgium.” MEDICAL LAW REVIEW 27 (2): 242–66.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Assche, Kristof, Kasper Raus, Bert Vanderhaegen, and Sigrid Sterckx. 2019. “‘Capacity for Discernment’ and Euthanasia on Minors in Belgium.” MEDICAL LAW REVIEW 27 (2): 242–266.
Vancouver
1.
Van Assche K, Raus K, Vanderhaegen B, Sterckx S. “Capacity for discernment” and euthanasia on minors in Belgium. MEDICAL LAW REVIEW. 2019;27(2):242–66.
IEEE
[1]
K. Van Assche, K. Raus, B. Vanderhaegen, and S. Sterckx, “‘Capacity for discernment’ and euthanasia on minors in Belgium,” MEDICAL LAW REVIEW, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 242–266, 2019.
@article{8569237,
  abstract     = {In 2014, the Belgian Euthanasia Law was amended so as to extend the possibility of obtaining euthanasia to minors who have the capacity for discernment. The amendment led to considerable debate among Belgian legal experts, health care professionals and ethicists, in large part due to concerns about the scope and assessment of the minor's capacity for discernment', a concept first introduced in Belgian medical law by the amendment. This article offers a critical legal analysis of the concept of capacity for discernment' and its implications for euthanasia practice in Belgium. We do so by focusing on a ruling of the Belgian Constitutional Court of 29 October 2015, where the concept figured prominently in the examination of the constitutionality of the amendment. This approach also allows us to shed light on the interpretation of several core aspects of the original 2002 Euthanasia Law and its 2014 amendment.},
  author       = {Van Assche, Kristof and Raus, Kasper and Vanderhaegen, Bert and Sterckx, Sigrid},
  issn         = {0967-0742},
  journal      = {MEDICAL LAW REVIEW},
  keywords     = {Euthanasia,Minors,Belgium,Legal competence,BELGIUM,CHILDREN,SUICIDE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {242--266},
  title        = {‘Capacity for discernment’ and euthanasia on minors in Belgium},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwy027},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2019},
}

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