Inside Story

Should minors have euthanasia rights?

A 17-year-old in Belgium has become the first minor to be granted the right to die.

It has been called the ultimate gesture of humanity. For some it is a show of compassion, but others say it is unethical, and a form murder.

Several countries allow euthanasia, but Belgium is the only one in the world that has no age restrictions.

And now for the first time, the country has allowed a 17-year-old to commit suicide with the help of a doctor.

Belgium’s child euthanasia law was passed two years ago, and sets out specific criteria for minors. But how young is too young to choose between life and death?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Dr Jutte Van Der Werff Ten Bosch – Paediatric Oncologist at the Flemish Free University of Brussels 
Peter Williams – Executive Officer of Right To Life UK.
Philip Nitschke – Founder and Director of Exit International