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Euthanasia for Kids: Could You Give Your Child Permission to Die?

Posted by on Nov. 1, 2013 at 8:21 AM
  • 8 Replies

Euthanasia for Kids: Could You Give Your Child Permission to Die?

by Kiri Blakeley

Belgium has been making headlines recently for its law allowing adults to choose legal euthanasia to end their suffering. Recently, a Belgian man whose sex reassignment surgery went wrong decided to euthanize himself. But now the country is considering allowing children under 18 opt for euthanasia -- with parental permission, of course. This is predictably controversial. For one, can young children really make that kind of decision? Do they understand the permanence of death? How would they even communicate this? The child and parent who may have to decide this -- wow, the difficulty. It just boggles the mind.

Experts say that euthanasia for kids would be a last resort -- something only done with much consideration, when there is simply no hope for a child who is dying and suffering. Euthanasia, they believe, is humane and compassionate. Additionally, this would be very rare; only 10 to 100 cases might qualify in any given year.

But others say that there's just no way to know if a child really wants to die. And you have to wonder about kids who might want to opt out of life for reasons that have little to do with a terminal illness. I mean, look at all of the teens and even younger kids who commit suicide over bullying.

While the euthanasia law was primarily meant for terminally ill and badly suffering adults, it has inevitably moved into the gray areas of adults who just no longer wish to live. Besides the man whose sex reassignment surgery went wrong, there is also the deaf twins who chose euthanasia rather than go blind.

But you can't help but wish that, as a parent, there was a better way for a child to die rather than a long, slow, horrible death due to some disease. Unfortunately, children do die slow, painful deaths due to cancer and other illnesses.

Parents who want their children to die peacefully and without pain should have that option -- and the children should too. But could this law be misused? Of course it could. Everything can be misused. Parents, even here in the U.S., are often given other alternatives too, like "palliative sedation," in which a child is given painkillers or morphine and life support is withdrawn.

This is a very tricky and complicated subject. I just know that most parents would not want their kids to suffer.

Do you think euthanasia for kids should be legal?

by on Nov. 1, 2013 at 8:21 AM
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Replies (1-8):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 1, 2013 at 8:31 AM
1 mom liked this
If they were in severe pain and in their last weeks of life, yes.
zacmacsmomm
by Member on Nov. 1, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Thats tricky.  From a logical stand point,yes it should be legal.  I've seen kids put through countless surgeries that did NO good and only made their lives worse.  These kids had no life, was never going to have a life.  They suffered horribly, only to die slowly.   But as a mom, it's easier said than done I think.

fullxbusymom
by Bronze Member on Nov. 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Yes I do.  In the horrific event there was no hope and they would simply suffer a horrible death I would want them to be rid of the pain.  Honestly we treat our pets then we do human beings imo.

Bellmont
by on Nov. 2, 2013 at 3:19 PM

 

This is so true

Quoting fullxbusymom:

Yes I do.  In the horrific event there was no hope and they would simply suffer a horrible death I would want them to be rid of the pain.  Honestly we treat our pets then we do human beings imo.


 

Cindy18
by Bronze Member on Nov. 2, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I think this is very slippery slope that could be too easily misused.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM
Funny how it is humane to put an animal out of their misery. But, children or adults suffer and suffer and somehow it is the right thing to do.
1frog
by on Nov. 2, 2013 at 11:08 PM

God, I don't know how I'd have the courage to bring that up. I guess if my child were suffering that badly and for that long and absolutely all hope were gone, maybe. I still feel guilty over pulling the plug on my mother when she was in a coma for over a week with no recovery in sight. Doctors said it would only be a matter of time before everything jsut shut down on its own anyway. I still made myself sick over the decision and still feel guilty to this day. I don't know what I'd do about a child. A lot would also depend on age, 4, 10, 17? All would have different levels of understanding. I certainly sympathize with those in this position that choose to do it, but, O God, I just threw up in my mouth thinking of this.

momofthem311
by Silver Member on Nov. 2, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Absolutely it should be an option.
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