Euthanasia for kids. Is this a sick joke?
Belgium, a euthanasia pioneer, now wants to extend euthanasia to children and people with dementia. Are you kidding me?
Euthanasia is already a legal right for people over the age of 18 in Belgium. But that country's government is now thinking about extending that right to children which no other country has done. The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.
Can we take a moment to take a deep breath? This is nuts. This makes no sense.
Those in favor say euthanasia for children, with the consent of their parents, is necessary to give families an option in a desperately painful situation.
But can a child make this kind of decision? Adults have been wrestling with this issue for years.
Others argue that because Belgium has already approved euthanasia for adults, it's unjust to deny it to children. That's a lousy argument. Adults also have the right to drive. So should you give the keys to your car to your 10 year old?
As far as changing the law regarding people with dementia, I'll give the last word to Dr. Patrick Cras, a neurologist at the University of Antwerp who says people with dementia often change their minds about wanting to die.
"They may turn into different people and may not have the same feelings about wanting to die as when they were fully competent. I don't see myself killing another person if he or she isn't really aware of exactly what's happening simply on the basis of a previous written request to have euthanasia. I haven't fully made up my mind but I think this is going too far."
It absolutely is going too far.