Author Topic: Belgium considering unprecedented law to grant euthanasia for children, dementia patients  (Read 326 times)

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Offline happyg

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Should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?

In Belgium, where euthanasia is now legal for people over the age of 18, the government is considering extending it to children — something that no other country has done. The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.
Advocates argue that euthanasia for children, with the consent of their parents, is necessary to give families an option in a desperately painful situation. But opponents have questioned whether children can reasonably decide to end their own lives.

Belgium is already a euthanasia pioneer; it legalized the practice for adults in 2002. In the last decade, the number of reported cases per year has risen from 235 deaths in 2003 to 1,432 in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. Doctors typically give patients a powerful sedative before injecting another drug to stop their heart.

Only a few countries have legalized euthanasia or anything approaching it. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is legal under specific circumstances and for children over the age of 12 with parental consent (there is an understanding that infants, too, can be euthanized, and that doctors will not be prosecuted if they act appropriately). Elsewhere in Europe, euthanasia is only legal in Luxembourg. Assisted suicide, where doctors help a patient to die but do not actively kill them, is allowed in Switzerland.

In the U.S., the state of Oregon also grants assisted suicide requests for residents aged 18 or over with a terminal illness.

In Belgium, the ruling Socialist party has proposed the bill expanding the right of euthanasia. The Christian Democratic Flemish party vowed to oppose the legislation and to challenge it in the European Court of Human Rights if it passes. A final decision must be approved by Parliament and could take months.

In the meantime, the Senate has heard testimony on both sides of the issue.

“It is strange that minors are considered legally incompetent in key areas, such as getting married, but might (be able) to decide to die,” Catholic Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard testified.

Leonard said alternatives like palliative sedation make euthanasia unnecessary — and relieves doctors of the burden of having to kill patients. In palliative sedation, patients are sedated and life-sustaining support is withdrawn so they starve to death; the process can take days.

But the debate has extended to medical ethicists and professionals far from Belgium. Charles Foster, who teaches medical law and ethics at Oxford University, believes children couldn’t possibly have the capacity to make an informed decision about euthanasia since even adults struggle with the concept.

“It often happens that when people get into the circumstances they had so feared earlier, they manage to cling on all the more,” he said. “Children, like everyone else, may not be able to anticipate how much they will value their lives if they were not killed.”

There are others, though, who argue that because Belgium has already approved euthanasia for adults, it is unjust to deny it to children.

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Online mountaineer

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Only a few countries have legalized euthanasia or anything approaching it.
Including, of course, those compassionate folk of the Third Reich:
Action T4 was the name used after World War II[1] for Nazi Germany's "euthanasia programme" during which physicians murdered thousands of people who were "judged incurably sick, by critical medical examination". The programme officially ran from September 1939 to August 1941, and it continued unofficially until the end of the Nazi regime in 1945.

During the official stage of Action T4, 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centres located at psychiatric hospitals. Evidence revealed at the Nuremberg Trials found evidence that German and Austrian physicians continued the euthanization of patients after October 1941, and that a total of about 275,000 people were murdered under T4. Based on files recovered after 1990, 21st century research provides evidence that at least 200,000 physically or mentally handicapped people were killed in gas chambers, by medication, or deliberate starvation between 1939 and 1945. ...
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but rather he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams, April 16, 1781.

Offline happyg

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Euthanasia is one part of the utopian world liberals are seeking. They seek a perfect world, while endorsing imperfect people. Christians strive to be Godlike, and fall short. Liberals think they can find it through man. There is only one place they can go to find utopia, and you have to die to get it.

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