Petition against Child Euthanasia Sent to Belgian King
More than 200 000 European citizens have signed a petition to Belgium's King Philippe, asking him not to approve a newly-adopted bill that allows euthanasia for children.
Supporters of the initiative insist that the King should listen to his conscience and "act as a monarch with ethical principles", bTV News website has reported, citing Belgian media sources.
They have expressed their concern at the risks of an impact "not only in Europe, but also around the world" that the new Belgian legislation on euthanasia could have.
Earlier in February, Belgium was the first country in the world to allow child euthanasia, regardless of age and on the condition of chronic and incurable pain.
This requirement differs from the existing legislation in the Netherlands, which allows euthanasia only for children over the age of 12.
In both countries, however, consent of the parents is mandatory.
Most Belgians have backed the law, but it has been widely criticized by religious communities throughout the country.