Euthanasia for Children | Forum

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AnnaCzereda
AnnaCzereda Nov 28 '13
Should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?


In Belgium, where the euthanasia is legal for adults, the government wants to extend it to children and also adults with early dementia. This right will be granted only to terminally ill children and only with their parents' consent.


The supporters of the bill claim that it is unfair to grant the right to euthanasia only to some group of citizens (adults) and deny it to others (children). They also say that children already undergo euthanasia illegally and the bill will only legalize the procedure that is already going on. The opponents claim that children can be easily influenced so they are not able to make such a serious decision to end their own lives. Moreover, making such a decision would be too much of a burden for a child.


There is one country where the euthanasia is legal for children over 12 and it is the Netherlands.


Here is a short article:

Belgium: Lawmakers back allowing minors to request euthanasia.


So what do you think about this proposal? Is it a privilege or abuse? Should children be allowed to decide about their own death?


And moreover, I would like you to look into your glass ball and try to predict the future. Will Belgium roll down the slope breaking the social taboos gradually one by one? I mean...first euthanasia was only for terminally ill adult patients. Later, it was extended to patients with less severe illnesses, then patients suffering from depression. Finally, it will be for terminally ill children.


What will be the government's next move? Euthanasia for disabled children? Any children not wanted by their parents? Social outcasts? Anyone else? Or maybe you think it is not going to be that creepy.


Discuss.

SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Nov 28 '13
I say, leaving it up to a government is slave morality.  If parents want to assist their kids in dying, they already have that right.  The fear is of consequences handed down by the Master.
LeDeluge
LeDeluge Nov 28 '13
I definitely wouldn't leave it up to the state. I don't believe a 6 year old has the capacity to form a living will. Ridiculous.
AnnaCzereda
AnnaCzereda Nov 28 '13
Well...it is said if you don't know what it's all about, it must be about money. Treating terminally ill patients costs money, caring for people with dementia in nursing homes costs money too. Giving a lethal injection is easier and much cheaper. But you can't go out to people and tell them something like this. You must sugar-coat the shit to make it more palatable.


So you tell them about dying with dignity, having a choice, easing their suffering, equal rights and so on and the monkeys will buy that crap. The majority of Belgian citizens support the new idea without even giving it a second thought. Even now some euthanasia procedures are carried out illegally, without the patients' consent, at least this is what I read.

Hatepeach
Hatepeach Nov 28 '13

Quote from AnnaCzereda This right will be granted only to terminally ill children and only with their parents' consent.

Euthanasia upon request for the terminally ill shouldn't be controversial to begin with, and if granted this extension appears motivated by concern for children and their rights, so it doesn't follow that the "next" step is coercive euthanasia for disabled children or anything like that.  Parental consent is a huge qualifier, meaning that the decision would still rest ultimately with the guardians and not the child.
praxi
praxi Nov 28 '13

Quote from AnnaCzereda So you tell them about dying with dignity, having a choice, easing their suffering, equal rights and so on and the monkeys will buy that crap.

Please elaborate. Is it your contention that those who support euthanasia for said reasons (choice/autonomy, easing suffering, etc.) are not sincere in their convictions, and that it's little more than a palpable party line?

Quote from AnnaCzereda Even now some euthanasia procedures are carried out illegally, without the patients' consent, at least this is what I read.

Where'd you read that?
CanisMachina
CanisMachina Nov 29 '13

Unfortunately children under a certain age do not have the faculties to understand the decision they're making.  For example: In most US children under 10 are not recognized as having the ability to "commit" a crime, presumably because they haven't the reason to discern the implications.

 

Apply that to a child seeking euthanasia, for whatever reason. Legally they are not considered capable (under a certain age), and after that it would ultimately be up to a legal guardian to decide. Severely retarded children will never be capable of understanding the concept so any decision rests solely with their caretaker. Unfortunately, many do end up as a 'ward of the state' where such an action is so ethically reprehensible that the only option is a lifetime of assisted living facilities, further draining society. 

 

Personally I think 12 is a sufficient age to decide provided they have the mental capacity. I could see value to many 'make-a-wish cancer kids' that want an abatement to suffering.

 

For the guardians of severely retarded children (stuck in a life of constant care, and drained financial resources) after they're born the only way out is giving them to the state, or killing their children themselves. In these cases perhaps this is further incentive for a wider range of prenatal testing (like that for Downs) where the option to abort is given. Designer children of tomorrow, today!

 

The Forum post is edited by CanisMachina Nov 29 '13
JK
JK Nov 29 '13

Quote from AnnaCzereda Discuss.


Quote from ClaudeRains Unfortunately children under a certain age do not have the faculties to understand the decision they're making.

If you need to kill your seed, do it when and where it's legal.

I highly recommend abortion. After that, it gets difficult. Legally.

JK
thedeadidea
thedeadidea Nov 29 '13
Anyone under any circumstances should have a right to take their own life. Even more so with dignity... Why people are made to suffer and linger to their last in many cases is beyond me. I'm all for extending lifespan and all but there is a difference between existing and living and such a thing as living to long. 


I'm in no hurry to kill myself or my life to end but I can think of things worst than death. Visit the palliative care ward in a hospital and you will see many of them. The Hippocratic oath should be changed and doctors should be acknowledged for the good work many of them do against solemn vows. 


I remember my Grandfather dying of cancer, eventually to confused to know what was going on and slipping into a coma. I wasn't sad that he died or had to go he had a good and long life. What irked me was I had to look at him a shell of himself, realizing that he was already all but gone in a pulse and pity him. I won't die like that and nor will I let any of my family get to that point. Legally or Not... 



SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Nov 29 '13

Extending this mercy killing to children with severe retardation just opens up the Normative Morality can-o-worms.  People bleed for other people's kids, even if their quality of life is shitty.  If a mother makes an error in judgment decides later that the best thing for the child is to kill it, I think society is a long way off from accepting it.  The legal ramifications are often why people don't kill off broken children.  Later, they bitch and complain about the costs of supporting them (social programs), people want their cake and to eat it too.

 

Ancient cultures that culled are considered barbaric and immoral, as if Morality is something handed down from a higher power.  All morality is manmade.

AnnaCzereda
AnnaCzereda Nov 29 '13
Quote from praxi Quote from AnnaCzereda "Even now some euthanasia procedures are carried out illegally, without the patients' consent, at least this is what I read."  Where'd you read that?

Here.


Did you bother to read it? I will quote this part to you:


<<'Grey zone'

Earlier this month, 16 pediatricians wrote an open letter in two national newspapers demanding an extension of the practice.

Among them was Gerland van Berlaer, also from Brussels' Free University.

"Doctors do terminate lives of children as well as adults," he told CNN. "But today it's done in a gray zone or in the dark because it's illegal. And this means that there's a lot of room to do things the wrong way.">>



Quote from praxi Please elaborate. Is it your contention that those who support euthanasia for said reasons (choice/autonomy, easing suffering, etc.) are not sincere in their convictions, and that it's little more than a palpable party line?

Sure, there are those who are sincere in their convictions, but there are also people, especially politicians, who have their own agendas and they do not always mean what they say. Let's face it. Your objectives can be different from the objectives of the government or the society. If you are a parent of a terminally sick child, you may wish him to die so that he doesn't suffer or you may want to keep him alive till the very end, hoping for a miracle. Whereas the government and also the doctors may want your child dead, because it is just cheaper.


This is my beef with euthanasia, not that I think suffering is somehow noble but I see the possibility of abuse; getting rid of people who simply cost too much. And all of this under the fluffy carpet of some ideology which only appears to be benign.


My grandpa had cancer and he suffered terribly before he died, but I never heard him saying he wanted to die. Few people want to die, actually. When you go out and talk to normal healthy people what would they prefer: suffering or euthanasia, most will be for euthanasia. However, when the very same people get seriously ill and face death, most of them will cling to their miserable life with all the force they have left. Some are even so determined that when the standard medicine fails for them, they spend all their life savings for shamanic or faith healers or other bullshitters.


Death requires some courage. It is not easy to say goodbye to your life and it is even more difficult to sentence your loved ones to death. Therefore, if someone says he wouldn't hesitate to let his wife/mother or child undergo euthanasia, I take their words with a grain of salt. Apparently, words do not cost much and you never know how you will behave in some extreme situation until you face it.

praxi
praxi Nov 29 '13
Hi there.
Quote from AnnaCzereda Did you bother to read it?
Yes. I did read the CNN article, and I'm quite familiar with the grey zone. Nowhere does it mention or allude to these procedures being carried out "without the patients' consent," as you mentioned previously, so I assumed you had picked that up elsewhere.
Quote from AnnaCzereda Whereas the government and also the doctors may want your child dead, because it is just cheaper.
Are you saying there are financial incentives for doctors (or other care providers) if their patients die?
Quote from AnnaCzereda However, when the very same people get seriously ill and face death, most of them will cling to their miserable life with all the force they have left.
I find this statement odd and incongruent with my current perceptions and understanding of people who've been given a terminal diagnosis. My experiences, both personally and professionally, have largely been the exact opposite. Granted, most go through denial at some point, but many (if not most?) do not "cling to their miserable lives." If you don't mind, I'd like you to expound upon this a bit more.
AnnaCzereda
AnnaCzereda Nov 30 '13
Quote from praxi Are you saying there are financial incentives for doctors (or other care providers) if their patients die?

No. I'm saying that one lethal injection is cheaper than plenty injections with pain killers, other medicines, plus feeding the sick people, changing their diapers and so on.



Quote from praxi My experiences, both personally and professionally, have largely been the exact opposite.

I wrote about my experience, if you have other experience, then fine. I don't have anything against euthanasia per se. If you want to die, it is your business, not mine. The only thing that bothers me is that it can be abused and turned against people who are thought to be too expensive or no longer useful to the state, like old people, for example. They don't work, they don't generate national wealth. On the contrary, they take money from the state, so it's not really in the state's interest to keep these people alive and spend even more money on their treatment.


Sure you cannot round up people and simply shoot them like the Nazis did, because it would cause public outcry. However, you can put a little pressure on them and their families, pretend care, encourage them, console them and persuade them delicately that the best and the only option for them is to die. Once they are convinced there is indeed no other option, they will gladly sign the death sentence with their own hand. Basic psychology, my dear.


In Poland euthanasia is illegal but it is still there. How does it work? It's very simple. If you suffer from some rare disease that is difficult and very expensive to cure, the government will refuse to refund your treatment. You will not be able to pay for it all by yourself, unless you're Croesus. The only thing you can do then is to turn to various charities. If they manage to raise money for you, you can congratulate yourself on being lucky, if not, you'd better start arranging things for your funeral.

praxi
praxi Nov 30 '13
Hi again.
Quote from AnnaCzereda No. I'm saying that one lethal injection is cheaper than plenty injections with pain killers, other medicines, plus feeding the sick people, changing their diapers and so on.
I do not disagree with this, yet still fail to see why doctors would want their pediatric patients dead "because it would be cheaper."
Quote from AnnaCzereda I wrote about my experience, if you have other experience, then fine.
You wrote about one experience and made a lot of statements which you then applied to a large and diverse population of people. I was wondering if you had other experiences on which you base your convictions.

Quote from AnnaCzereda However, you can put a little pressure on them and their families, pretend care, encourage them, console them and persuade them delicately that the best and the only option for them is to die. Once they are convinced there is indeed no other option, they will gladly sign the death sentence with their own hand.
Again, I wonder where the incentive is for doctors and care providers to encourage euthanasia for patients with terminal diagnoses? Why would the care provided be pretend?

I am not disputing anything you've said about the financial drain certain patients have on the state, but I cannot see how this financial drain applies to doctors as well.
Quote from AnnaCzereda Basic psychology, my dear.
My name here is praxi. We are not yet internet buddies, so pet names can be interpreted as condescending.
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Nov 30 '13

Quote from AnnaCzereda
 

Sure you cannot round up people and simply shoot them like the Nazis did, because it would cause public outcry. However, you can put a little pressure on them and their families, pretend care, encourage them, console them and persuade them delicately that the best and the only option for them is to die. Once they are convinced there is indeed no other option, they will gladly sign the death sentence with their own hand. Basic psychology, my dear.




Is it because Poland+Euthansia = Nazis, that you feel this way?
AnnaCzereda
AnnaCzereda Nov 30 '13
Quote from praxi I am not disputing anything you've said about the financial drain certain patients have on the state, but I cannot see how this financial drain applies to doctors as well.

Oh for fuck's sake! Maybe we simply think about something totally different. Are you talking about private medical care for which you pay all by yourself? Because I'm talking about public hospitals financed by the state and also about private medical care provided by your health insurance. In both cases, it is not you who pays for the treatment directly (well you pay indirectly, perhaps, through your taxes and insurance policy) but it is the hospital managers, the state and health insurers who finance your treatment. I hope I made myself clear this time.



Quote from SIN_JONES Is it because Poland+Euthansia = Nazis, that you feel this way?

I don't know, SIN. I think I don't feel well enough in general. Maybe I will lie on the coach and you will read my mind and tell me what's up. ;)

praxi
praxi Nov 30 '13

Quote from AnnaCzereda I hope I made myself clear this time.
Nope.
XiaoGui17
XiaoGui17 Dec 1 '13
Quote from AnnaCzereda So you tell them about dying with dignity, having a choice, easing their suffering, equal rights and so on and the monkeys will buy that crap.

Read this monkey buy that crap.  Perhaps you should email him personally and tell him that he's just a monkey, and just buying crap?
thedeadidea
thedeadidea Dec 1 '13
There are things worst than death, and people would be a fool to believe otherwise. Euthanasia  will initially be set up as a final resort to incurable conditions with gross amounts of pain, mental and physical atrophy and is a better recourse than 'we've made him comfortable.'


I think there might be some concern with it, but on what grounds do you make it a prohibited practice to begin with ? (a very moral argument) 


 Some countries and societies have practiced outcasting cripples, the sick and enfeebled simply because they cannot care for them as a society. Healthcare in the developed countries sense of the word is a privilege that one cannot really comprehend unless they go or look elsewhere in the world.


There is such a thing as meaningful suffering that I do believe. But what is the point of being dead... for all intents and purposes before you are dead in the purely clinical sense of the word ? What is the point of suffering or trying to cure suffering when you know it is only a matter of time ? 


Aging well, the painless end, the end that can be met with intent all of these things are different. Much to the mystery of what it means to be a Lion in Winter. But some lay writhing under the sun, forgotten by the world with buzzards flying overhead. That is when death should be welcomed and when death is a mercy. 


Euthanasia is not only a medicinal practice, farmers do it for horses that can no longer stand. Soldiers shot by snipers as bait to draw in more of their comrades are given mercy in the form of a bullet. 


Anything done in killing without the intent to remove suffering or great pain cannot be considered Euthanasia by definition. People all over the world are left stranded with incurable states to atrophy that cannot afford treatment... But they are given no structure to meet an easy end. There are few things I can genuinely call despicable but a belief against euthanasia is one of them. 



The Forum post is edited by thedeadidea Dec 1 '13
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Dec 1 '13

Quote from AnnaCzereda

I don't know, SIN. I think I don't feel well enough in general. Maybe I will lie on the coach and you will read my mind and tell me what's up. ;)



It is an interesting psychology indeed, my darling ;)
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