Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The formerly civilized country of Belgium is considering a law that would allow children to decide to receive euthanasia. According to Reuters:
Belgian lawmakers will on Wednesday vote on whether to support a proposed new bill to give extremely sick children the right to euthanasia, a move certain to fan the divisive debate on the practice worldwide.
The new bill would make Belgium the first country to remove the age limit for the procedure - though it would insist parents have a role in their child’s decision to die.
“We want to provide the freedom of choice, also to minors who are able to make up their own mind,” said one of the bill’s backers, Jean-Jacques De Gucht, from the Flemish liberals, who form part of the ruling coalition.
De Gucht is apparently one of those Belgian legislators who, disdaining his “breeder” constituents, has never actually met any children. I do think it’s quaint that parents would “have a role” in their kid’s decision. Consider it a vestige of patriarchalism, or something.
Backers say the law would give a merciful way out for youngsters suffering from debilitating conditions, and legalize a practice that they say is already going on in secret.
“Imagine a cancer or leukemia patient, a child whom we have already treated for eight years and in which we reach a stage where we know there is nothing more that we can do to cure him,” said Marc Cosyns, lecturer of medical ethics at Ghent University.
Yes, imagine it. Imagine giving that child adequate palliative care, so that they may enjoy the days left to them. Imagine the possibility of unforeseen treatments. Imagine the possibility that doctors may have overlooked something, or that something might happen that they can’t explain. Imagine, as John Lennon might have put it, a world in which death is not exalted as the answer to so many of life’s problems.

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