While the debate on euthanasia rages on, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) has used the declaration, drawn up by organisers and delegates from the recent ICPCN conference in Mumbai, to take a very clear stand against any form of euthanasia for children with life limiting conditions. The declaration calls for governments around the world, and particularly in Belgium, to prioritise the development of children’s palliative care services, thereby increasing accessibility for those who need it most.
The declaration states unequivocally that euthanasia is not a part of palliative care.
The ICPCN believes that children experiencing unbearable suffering, and their families, should rather be provided with appropriate and holistic high quality palliative care to address their pain, their unpleasant symptoms as well as any psychological, spiritual and social issues that the child and their families are experiencing. This specialised care should be provided by a multidisciplinary team of trained and qualified healthcare providers and therapists.
The ICPCN Mumbai Declaration has already been translated into French, Spanish and Norwegian, with more translations to follow. These can be downloaded from the ICPCN website, as well as a press release suitable to be used for further dissemination of the declaration.
Supporting the declaration
Anyone who wishes to add their support to the declaration can do so on the ICPCN website at http://www.icpcn.org/icpcn-mumbai-declaration-2014/