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Euthanasia for children

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
Belgium, one of only a few countries to allow euthanasia, on Wednesday moved a step closer to extending mercy-killing to terminally-ill children.

Belgium close to agreeing euthanasia for children | The Raw Story
When I first read this I was taken aback. Its one thing to allow an adult to do this if they are ill, in pain and medicine not doing much if anything for them, maybe not even doing much for the pain. Kids I thought was too much but don't they suffer as much as an adult would or also capable of wishing for it to be over.

I'm really struggling to see this as okay but I would have a different view between a 15/16 year old than I would a 8 year old wanting this done. I'm not sure about a preteen being able to make such a decision. Which their parents would have to approve this.

Should someone under 18 have the right to be euthanized?
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
I'm struggling with this one too, and the reason I do is because children (and even teenagers for that matter) don't have the same concept of death that adults do... so how aware are they REALLY of the enormity of that decision?

I personally would not like to see them go down this road for that reason alone, but of course there are other reasons... one of which is that like the grown up version, there is potential - no matter how small - for this to be abused. If the right to euthanasia is going to be looked into, then so should better forms of palliative care and things like that. Rather than only fighting for the right to die, then how about we also fight as hard for the right to live?

My two cents anyway...
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I also struggle with this but we aren't talking about kids with any hope to live. These kids are in pain, maybe pain that can't be managed making dieing their greatest wish but still yet it bothers me. There's just something about a kid being euthanized that seems wrong. I guess its because they are young we feel they should be full of hope and dreams for the future but these kids don't have a future.

Like you I'm afraid it will be abused as so many things are. I also question a kid making a decision like this but if they know they are dieing I'm wondering if they don't develop more of a insight as what death really means than a kid that is healthy.
 
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Taliesin

Registered Member
Like you I'm afraid it will be abused as so many things are. I also question a kid making a decision like this but if they know they are dieing I'm wondering if they don't develop more of a insight as what death really means than a kid that is healthy.
This is a very good point, and yet - like you - I still flinch when I think about the idea of a child actually being euthanised. My brain just doesn't want to come to grips with that.

There's a song lyric that keeps coming to mind here:

All is lost but hope
I can't get away from that thought, but then I've never suffered from a terminal illness either, so what do I ultimately know, right? This is a thorny one.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
"She died on Tuesday; on Monday, we saw on her face that she was still in pain. And then you start to get angry, because you know that there is no medication left to give her to take away that pain."

Parents plead to be able to help terminally ill children die - CNN.com
This was really sad, as much as euthanasia being perform on children bothers me maybe it would of been better than this baby suffering, basically starving to death in pain.

I have found out that in the Netherlands they already allow children 12 and over to chose euthanasia and there has only been 5 cases of it since 2002. Didn't realize anyone allowed children to do this.
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
I have found out that in the Netherlands they already allow children 12 and over to chose euthanasia and there has only been 5 cases of it since 2002. Didn't realize anyone allowed children to do this.
Perhaps, culturally speaking, they're more used to dealing with stuff like this in the Netherlands. Perhaps they have a different mindset to the average American or Australian when it comes to making such a momentous decision to end one's life. And more of a certain kind of maturity about it too? I don't know. It is interesting though.
 
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