Countries where euthanasia is legal

Euthanasia involves a process in which a physician takes part in ending a patient's life. Portugal's lawmakers on Thursday approved a set of bills aimed at decriminalisation it amid large scale protests.

Let's take a look at the countries where this process is legal:

Netherlands

In April 2002, Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide.

It imposed a strict set of conditions, according to it the patient must be suffering unbearable pain, their illness must be incurable, and the demand must be made in “full consciousness” by the patient. 

Children as young as 12 can request assisted dying, but parental consent is needed for those under 16.

(Photograph:AFP)

Belgium

Belgium became the second country in the world to pass a law in 2002 to legalize euthanasia.

It allows euthanasia and assisted suicide for those with unbearable suffering and no prospect of improvement. If a patient is not terminally ill, there is a one-month waiting period before euthanasia can be performed.

Interestingly, Belgium became the first country to legalize euthanasia for children in 2014.

Belgium has no age restriction for children, but they must have a terminal illness to meet the criteria for approval.

(Photograph:AFP)

Luxembourg

Assisted suicide and euthanasia are both legal in Luxembourg for adults.

Patients must have an incurable condition with constant, intolerable suffering and no prospect of improvement.

(Photograph:AFP)

Canada

Canada allows euthanasia and assisted suicide for adults suffering from “grievous and irremediable conditions” whose death is “reasonably foreseeable”.

In Quebec, only euthanasia is allowed.

(Photograph:AFP)

Colombia

Terminally ill patients can request voluntary euthanasia in Colombia, and the first such death happened in 2015.

An independent committee must approve the request for assisted dying.

(Photograph:AFP)

Australia

The Australian state of Victoria passed voluntary euthanasia laws in November 2017 after 20 years and 50 failed attempts.

To qualify for legal approval, a person must have an adult with decision-making capacity, and must be a resident of Victoria, and have intolerable suffering due to an illness with life expectancy of less than six months, or 12 months of suffering from a neuro-degenerative illness.

(Photograph:AFP)