Consent to Terminate Care
Actions for Consent to Terminate Care
Your comments will be graded on how well they meet the Discussion Requirements posted under Before You Begin.
In Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal for people over the age of 18 since 2002, the government is considering an amendment to the law to include children. This is something that no other developed country has permitted (Belgium). The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia (Belgium). Advocates argue that euthanasia for children, with the consent of their parents, is necessary to give families an option in a desperately painful situation (Belgium). However, opponents have questioned whether children can reasonably decide to end their own lives (Belgium). In the last decade, the number of reported cases per year has risen from 235 deaths in 2003 to 1,432 in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available (Belgium). Doctors typically give patients a powerful sedative before injecting another drug to stop their heart. Only a few countries have legalized euthanasia or anything approaching it. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is legal under specific circumstances and for children over the age of 12 with parental consent (there is an understanding that infants, too, can be euthanized, and that doctors will not be prosecuted if they act appropriately) (Belgium). Elsewhere in Europe, euthanasia is only legal in Luxembourg. In the U.S., Oregon is the only state that legalized physician-assisted suicide. Assisted suicide, where doctors help a patient to die but do not actively kill them, is allowed in Switzerland. Is it ethical for healthcare professionals to support the practice of assisted suicide/euthanasia? Regardless of your personal view on the topic, please provide an argument which supports, and then opposes the practice of assisted suicide/euthanasia. Be certain to support your positions with credible evidence.