A Toronto Children’s hospital is talking about offering physician-assisted suicide to children without parental consent. From the Faith Wire:
A group of medics from a Toronto children’s hospital have released a shocking paper which outlines its controversial position on child euthanasia. In the paper, published at the British Medical Journal, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children revealed that in some cases, the young person’s parents will not be notified of the intention to end their own lives until after the death is confirmed. …
It is a terrifying prospect – that a child could choose to engage in physician-assisted suicide without the involvement of their own parents. Obviously, this has caused grave concern among certain ethicists and pro-life researchers. …
Response: Society has deemed it necessary to have laws in place that define when people become adults in order to protect minors. The traditional reasoning is that children do not have the capacity to make adult decisions.
We don’t send children to war, though 18 is too young as it is. Laws are in place to regulate and protect children in the workplace. Children can’t buy alcohol and tobacco or sign contracts and go into debt or vote. Also these days schools need parental approval to even dispense aspirins anymore not to mention regular medical care by doctors and dentists.
But now these Toronto medics believe that children should be able to end their own lives without any input from their parents? How can this be ethically justified in any way? The drumbeat of the cause of euthanasia has now gone way beyond anyone’s imagination of just a few years ago when we use to talk about ‘slippery slopes.’ These folks are willing to over-ride parental consent when it comes to the ultimate decision of life itself.
Children that can’t sign a contract or vote are nevertheless deemed to be capable of signing papers for their own death? How is this even logical and certainly it is not ethical. Just think for a minute. Who exactly is going to make the decision to even offer the children a way to end their own lives? Obviously an adult medical person is going to do it and implied permission and pressure will be part of the mix. But the parents will be excluded until after it is all over?
Hopefully ethical issues will be raised by the disclosure of these ideas and plans. If not, I would hope that the first parents who lose their child to the ‘decisions’ of these medical quacks will sue their pants off. In the mean time, I would counsel any parent to avoid taking their children to this hospital.