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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Belgian children are now the victims of the slippery slope predicted by the right to life advocates

Belgium lawmakers vote for children's right to die law. This is horrible because children are frequently the beneficiaries of spontaneous remissions. Of course, some children have difficult developmental difficulties from which they may never recover. Nevertheless, children should be the recipients of boundless hope. Anyone who puts out the option of death to a child for any reason has, truly, lost their own humanity. 

There's absolutely no reason, whatsoever, under any circumstances, to offer euthanasia as an end of life option for a child. Children are incapable of making these decisions for themselves; therefore no one should be authorized to make these life ending decisions on their behalf, regardless of the intention. Never. 

Although evidence of loss of brain function over an extended period of time can require the removal of life support, this decision should not be  interpreted as euthanasia. Euthanasia is the intentional intervention at the end of life to bring about an unnatural and premature death. Children deserve hope, not death.

As a professional registered nurse, I've seen families bond and medical providers rally to save the lives of children. It's unethical to put families and medical care givers in a position of advocating for the right to die for children. Moreover, it's morally unconscionable to permit euthanasia for children, because they have a strong capacity to recover from illness and injury. Children often outlive their terminal illness diagnosis. 

How many times do we read about children who are the victims of drowning being revived with no apparent harm? This is particularly evident when children are the victims of hypothermia. Moreover, children respond favorably to life saving interventions like transplants and immune therapies to treat malignancies.

Nevertheless, you must listen to this. 

I've heard parents tell me how having a mentally ill child is more difficult to deal with than terminal illness.

Do blog readers need to read the above again?  

Parents have told me, as a nurse, how a mentally ill child is more difficult to deal with than terminal illness.

Treating children with mental illnesses are expensive and recoveries are rare.  

Treating children with life threatening illness like cancer or metabolic diseases can be successfully accomplished. Remissions are common.

Children, especially those in Belgium, are now the victims of the slippery slope predicted by the zealous right-to-life advocates. There's dwindling hope for anyone with terminal illnesses to live longer lives, if people are considering euthanasia for children.  

A society that voluntarily authorizes children to euthanize will also put at risk the end of life care for everyone else.  

Belgium has now validated the ugly outcome of the "slippery slope" argument. This euthanasia decision by Belgium lawmakers is unethical and it puts all people with terminal illnesses at risk for having caregivers abandon hope for remissions or extended life options - especially those with mental illnesses.

As a nurse, I firmly believe the above to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. My opinion is validated from experience. 

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