European Countries Advance the Right to Kill Your Kids
“I hate this! Life is so unfair! I wish I was dead! Why don’t you just kill me?”
At some point everyone has heard these, or similar outcries, from an exasperated child. But we all know they are nothing more than expressions of momentary anger or frustration, and that, even though life isn’t fair, killing our kids is not an option. That is no longer true is some European countries. In the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, and most recently Belgium, killing kids has become a legal right.
An Associated Press article, reposted on Breitbart.com, tells how on December 12 of last year the Belgian Senate voted with an overwhelming majority to extend the “right to die” to children. The political leaders of Belgium were indeed representing the citizens who favor assisted suicide for children by 3 to 1. Adult requests for assistance in suicide, also known as “death with dignity,” are already honored in several countries including Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The process, theoretically, only applies to the terminally ill, those suffering inexorable pain, or the hopelessly disabled who are sufficiently competent to make the determination to end their life. Nevertheless, assisted suicide in Europe is being more commonly applied to those with mental illness such as depression, and relatively benign conditions such as persistent fatigue.
Despite recommended protocols to be used in the application of patient killing, it appears that the actual practice of assisted suicide often sidesteps those criteria. Patient killing is becoming more arbitrary, emotion-based, and outside the actual choice of the affected individual. The top of the slippery slope of convenience killing, some would say, was Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Since that time nations, as well as several of the states, have legalized the active killing of patients by physicians. As sad and gruesome as this phenomenon seems to be, it is largely regarded to be a matter of choice to be made by lucid adults suffering incurable, protracted ailments. The extension of the “right to die” to children nullifies the personal choice of the individual to be killed, and places it in the hands of parents, physicians, or bureaucrats, because children, by nature, are not equipped to make such a choice.
Although “right to die” statutes in several nations require the patient to have a “discerning” ability in order to request assistance in dying, there exist no guidelines which explain who is legally able to discern, what they are expected to discern, and what is a good time, place, and reason to be killed by a doctor. Until young adulthood it is beyond the capacity of even teenagers to fully discern and reason through the implications of a decision to die. Risk-taking and feelings of invincibility or immortality are hallmarks of adolescence, and it is doubtful that even a suffering teenager can “discern” the permanent personal and moral implications of his own death.
Because children are children, whose nature is innocent and lacking broad knowledge or complete “discernment” of long term cause and effect, they are morally and legally incapable of making a truly informed choice about whether to live or die. What child is capable of making sound choices about even the most mundane things such as dental hygiene or what to eat, without the guidance of an adult? The pre-frontal cortex of the human brain, where reason, impulse-control, and judgment are determined, is not fully formed until age 25. We prevent children from unilaterally making important decisions because they are immature, rash, and incapable of the full measure of adult understanding.
The “Right to Die” is in fact, the “Right to Kill” by parents and physicians. Parents may determine their child is in pain, or enduring prolonged suffering. Parents may believe they cannot afford to care for a chronically ill or disabled child. The state may determine that the expense of keeping a sick child healthy is too great. “Right to Die,” “death with dignity,” “physician assisted suicide,” “euthanasia,” regardless of what euphemism is used, this practice is homicide and legitimizes the taking life where no human has the right to take it.
Each year more economies, health care systems, cultures and families fail. The old are already regarded burdensome where they outnumber the young and are relatively non-productive. But the old, in most cases, have a voice, and the ability to choose. As the “right to die” movement advances, ill youngsters across the world who lack the capacity to make a discerning choice, will become victims of the moment as parents struggle against crushing economic and social pressures. Their outcomes will hinge on another’s “discernment” about what makes a life worth living.
by Marjorie Haun 2/13/14