Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Putting children in charge

It amazes me how inconsistent our societies are in how they view the competency of children to make their own decisions.  Case in point: a 14-year-old girl in the U.S. cannot legally drink alcohol, smoke, vote or drive a car... but she can, on her own, choose to ingest pharmaceuticals to end a pregnancy with no requirement to consult a doctor (much less parents) about potential repercussions.

Not to be outdone, Belgium is ready to let children make life and death decisions for themselves -- literally:
A consensus among members of the legislative body has reportedly formed in support of legislation to allow children to choose to undergo euthanasia in certain dire cases, according to a report in the Belgian daily newspaper Der Morgen, as translated by the Paris-based news agency Presseurop.  ...
The decision to consider the bill follows months of testimony by medical experts, doctors, clergy members and others, and it marks a turning point in the nation's approach to the rights of young people, some of whom would be able to choose to die if the law were to pass, even while still being legally barred from driving, marrying, voting or drinking liquor until they turned 18.
Isn't it strange that the same authoritarians who routinely seek to curb individual freedom 'to protect the children' tend to be the same crowd that has no qualms with letting children at the most awkward phases of their development decide whether to terminate a pregnancy... or even their own life?  We owe them wisdom, comfort and assurance as they face the difficulties of life--not the burden of some of the heaviest decisions anyone ever wrestles with!

Just how dark this streak is becomes more apparent further into the article:
The bill would also likely allow euthanasia for patients suffering from Alzheimer's and other diseases leading to advanced dementia, who may otherwise be deemed incompetent to make the decision to die. There were 1,133 cases of euthanasia recorded in Belgium in 2011, accounting for about 1 percent of the country's deaths that year, according to AFP.
There is one common thread running from "Plan B" to Belgium: the elimination of the inconvenient or 'undesirable.'  And far from "doing no harm," much of the medical establishment is aiding and abetting the normalization of this ethos.

The more our world embraces death, the more it can expect of it... chosen or not...

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