"Why would we in any context set as a desired outcome? With such an irreversible action, where there's no woulda/coulda/shoulda, it is just both common sense and good public policy that that ought to be the last resort."
Belgium became the second country in the world to legalize physician-assisted suicide in 2002, and is considering additional legislation that would be "extended to minors if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate."
"What started in the Netherlands, a policy about an informed decision by dying patients, has now devolved into an option being considered therein the case of severely disabled children --- who cannot themselves make informed decisions, and for whom the decision might be made by the physician, and in Belgium, an act carried out on people who are not even terminally ill?" Sullivan said.
In Belgium, 1,133 assisted suicides were reported in 2011. That compares to 141 cases in Washington and Oregon combined; the population of Belgium at the time was 11,008,000, similar to the combined 2011 populations of Oregon and Washington (10,701,897).