|Psychology and Mental Health Forum
|HesDeltanCaptain [ Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:15 pm ]
|This is horrible, but...
Just saw on CNN's 'crawl' that Belgium is contemplating allowing minors (those under 18) to opt for euthanasia if suffering from terminal illnesses. Googling around for more information, the Netherlands already allows it for those 12 and up provided they also have parental consent.
I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, if things are truly hopeless as determined by medical science, forcing individuals to endure pain and suffering if they prefer death for our own comfort isn't fair. On the other hand, while we're alive, there's always hope. Once we're dead there's none. And in the case of children it's just so horrible to imagine the conversation with a doctor "well, you can always kill yourself." Whatever happened to "First, do no harm?"
On a related tangent, one of the issues brought up in the news articles about this is questioning if children are actually competant to make this sort of decision. In the Netherlands it seems they are from 12 onward. Interestingly though, to make love they must be a few years older. So I wonder if this debate, should it come to our shores will revisit sexual age of consent legislation. As it stands right now, if only in the Netherlands, you can choose to die at 12 (with parental consent,) but to make love (reaffirming life) you have to be 16. That doesn't make any sense.
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