One way to reduce health-care costs is to kill the patients. The Times supports this.
“Extend assisted suicide to children? Belgium says yes; so should we.”
The Belgian government this week approved new measures allowing the euthanasia of terminally ill children, a decision that on first reading would make most of us gasp.
It is a distressing concept, and the idea of helping a child die sounds incredibly cold and morally and ethically unsound — until you dive into the issue. While it raises painful and conflicting emotions, and choices, the Belgians — who have pushed assisted suicide to the edge before — are on the right, groundbreaking track.
As one might expect, it was a highly controversial issue, and the bill was opposed by the Roman Catholic Church as well as some pediatricians.
The issue boils down to what steps should be allowed to alleviate the suffering of terminally ill patients who are in great pain and choose to end their lives at a timing of their own choosing, rather than waiting for nature (medically extended as it might be) to take its course. Five U.S. states recognize physician-assisted suicide, or “aid in dying,” as proponents call it. California is not among them, despite several attempts to get such laws through the legislature. The Times’ editorial board has gone on record supporting the right of terminally ill patients to end their lives on their own terms, and I hope state lawmakers — or voters — eventually agree.
And that right should extend to children, in tightly controlled circumstances and with legal protections. I suggest a system, much like the Belgians approved, in which the child (first and foremost), the child’s parents or guardians, the attending physician and a court-appointed lawyer, medical doctor or psychologist acting as the child’s agent all agree that assisting the death is the humane thing to do.
Read more at the LA Times