Physicians Legally Kill a Child in Belgium

A child has been legally killed in Belgium.  According to CNN: "A terminally ill minor has become the first child to be euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions were lifted in the country two years ago." https://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-PB109_dreisb_J_20160722154016.jpgThe Daily Mail reports that the minor was 17 years old.  Yet, in most nations and American states, while it varies by country and state, a child is legally incapacitated to participate in various activities due to age (such as smoking, drinking alcohol, voting, marrying, owning property, signing a contract, and in some nations even driving, among others). More specifically, Belgium legally restricts children under the age of 18 from not attending school, drinking alcohol, driving a car, prostituting yourself, marrying, and voting.  But now Belgium does not restrict  those under 18 from physician-prescribed death.

Children are legal minors, legally incapacitated to make legal decision, and laws rightfully recognize that children and minors should not participate in certain activities until reaching a certain level of development.  This is called the doctrine of the best interests of the child.  With the rise in euthanasia, Belgium is among those nations that now allow children to ask doctors to kill them. Even if one ignores the fact that killing is never medical care, it is difficult to imagine an argument for allowing children to demand physicians end their lives.

Rather, every single judge must work toward a decision that represents the best interest of each child before him or her, and every doctor must work to do no harm to a patient, even working to overcome the minor’s will to protect that child’s health.  This decision in Belgium to end a child’s life by a doctor turns those doctrines upside down.

Harming children by killing them cannot strengthen families. It cannot add or subtract value to a child’s life.  Instead, it subverts legal responsibility to care for the most vulnerable, converting a duty to protect a child into a right for a child to kill and be killed.


No comments:

Post a Comment