Requesting euthanasia

In the vast majority of EU Member States, euthanasia is illegal for both adults and children.

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Only three Member States provide for legal euthanasia for adults and only two accord the right to euthanasia to children as of a certain age and under certain conditions1.

Key aspects

  • In Belgium, the right to euthanasia was extended to children in 2014. There is no minimum age requirement, but the law requires the child to have the ability to understand and written consent by the parents. Very strict medical criteria must also be fulfilled.
  • In the Netherlands, children younger than 12 years cannot ask for euthanasia. From the age of 12 to 15 years, children can request euthanasia with parental consent. In case of disagreement between children and their parents, the request for euthanasia will not be granted. From 16 years onwards there is no need for parental consent, but parents must be involved in the decision-making process. From the age of 18 years, young people have the right to request euthanasia without parental involvement.
  • In Luxembourg, euthanasia can only be requested from the age of 18 years.

1. This section does not cover removal of life support or refusal to consent to life saving treatment.