Should Children Have the Right to Request Euthanasia?

by c.papadopoulos on February 3, 2015 - 11:01pm

In the article “Belgian lawmakers extend euthanasia to children,” posted on Global News on February 13th, 2014, it discusses how the euthanasia law in Belgium has been approved for children under the age of 18. The Belgian euthanasia law was first approved and established to legal Belgian adults only in 2002 before a vote of 86-44 in favor of legalizing euthanasia for minors took place in 2014, which was opposed by certain pediatricians nation-wide as well as opposed from the high priest of the Roman Catholic Church. With this updated euthanasia law, terminally-ill children suffering unbearable pain are allowed to ask to be put to rest as long as parents consent to it and as long as a psychologist and/or psychiatrist believe that the children are making a conscious decision and know what it ultimately means (they believe that the children are in their right minds when making the ultimate decision).

Many individuals already believe that euthanasia for legal adults is ethically immoral, because it takes away and ruins their shred of human dignity. So for these individuals, allowing young children under the age of 18 to choose to die is even more absurd and immoral, as they can argue that these children are too young to make such big, “adult-like” decisions and do not know what’s in their best interest (only the parents and/or doctors know what’s the best case scenario). On the other hand, those in favor of legalizing euthanasia for minors may argue that it’s a human choice, no matter the age. They can argue that it’s the decision of the one that’s suffering that matters the most, because it’s his/her own body and life, so they should be given the freedom to choose what’s best for them, since they understand their bodies and minds more than anyone else (only they themselves know what’s the best case scenario). Although both sides argue valid points, this question must still be answered: should children ultimately have the right to request euthanasia?

 

 

Works Cited

“Belgian lawmakers extend euthanasia to children.” Global News. Shaw Media Inc., 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://globalnews.ca/news/1147927/belgian-lawmakers-extend-euthanasia-to-children/>

Comments

Very good article, very precise, clear and informative. This situation illustrate an ethical dilemma because on one hand, individuals under 18 are too young to make such a big decision, and on the other hand, the one who suffer should take his own decision. This is one of the major dilemma in our modern society because we now have the power to end someone's life with dignity and without pain. Is it ethical, the question remains.

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