Friday, 20 December 2013

Don’t panic folks, Belgium has plenty of safeguards for their new child euthanasia programme

Cross-posted from Brendan Malone's blog in New Zealand:

One sure way to gauge whether your nation is in serious trouble or not is to complete the following, and very brief survey questionnaire:
Is your country on the verge of making it legal for sick children, of any age, to be killed by lethal injection?
a. Yes
b. No
If you answered yes to any of the questions in the above survey, then you can be sure that your society is serious trouble.
No, this isn’t a satire blog post.
The country of Belgium is now on the verge of making it legal for children, of any age, to request that the state, in the form of a physician, administers them a lethal injection to end their lives.
But don’t panic people, because the death-addicted grim reapers who thought up this gem of a piece of legislation have included the following safeguards to ensure that the killing of children remains respectable in Belgium:
a. The children must be in pain, suffering from a terminal condition and expected to die soon.
It’s probably far better that we offer the quick and easy solution of a lethal injection than actually invest time and effort into treating the child’s pain, and it’s not like this stringent safeguard will ever be abused right? Or that it could ever result in the killing of a child based on a misdiagnosis, because we all know that the problem of a misdiagnosis no longer exists within the healthcare sector.
b. The children would have to submit a written request to be euthanized, be aware of what their request meant and they must posses “the capacity of discernment”
We all know that children are perfectly capable of discerning things and understanding the full ramifications of their decisions.; like whether they want honey or jam on their toast, or whether they want to watch SpongeBob SquarePants or Barbie on DVD. Asking someone to kill you is just like any other childhood issue where discernment is required, so it makes perfect sense that the legislation would contain such a rigorous safeguard.
Sure, we don’t let children drive cars, operate heavy machinery, buy alcohol or get married, but then, asking someone to end your life with a lethal injection is far less serious than any of those things.
c. The child’s parents or legal representatives would also have to support the request in writing
This is a really top grade safeguard. No parent would ever succumb to depression, anxiety or unrealistic fears if their child became seriously ill, and then project these on to their child, and it’s not like there are selfish parents out there who might abuse this clause to make things easier on themselves.
Now, my kids regularly do things driven purely by an innate need they feel to keep my wife or I happy, but of course that won’t ever be an issue in cases such as these.
This bill has passed in Belgium’s Senate, and it now goes to their House of Representatives where it is expected to pass into law with little opposition.
Surely this development in Belgium finally puts paid to Maryan Street’s ridiculous assertion that legalized euthanasia would be a good thing for NZ, and that it never goes beyond the killing of seriously ill persons who can give full and informed consent to being killed by a lethal injection?

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