10 December 2008

Fighting for the lives of our children

As many of you know, I first became interested in researching euthanasia and assisted suicide as a result of my Disability and the Law class; specifically the paper I wrote on the Groningen Protocol in the Netherlands that allows doctors to euthanize infants because of their disability. At the time, the Netherlands was the only country to allow the euthanization of children.

There is now disturbing news from Scotland that they want to join in the fun by allowing children the right to choose assisted suicide. Read the story here. Obviously they are not targeting directly, but the MSP (equivalent to a Canadian MP) proposing the assisted suicide legislation feels that since we allow children (at 12 years of age) in family law a say in which parent they want to live with after a divorce, children should also be allowed to choose assisted suicide.


Yeah, that analogy made no sense to me either.

And, she goes further; since children with capacity who are under 12 are allowed a say in which parent they live with, we should extend the right to assisted suicide to those younger than 12 as well, if they are mentally competent to make that decision.

The bill begins by allowing terminally ill people the right to assisted suicide, but it goes farther by saying that "Assisted suicide would also be possible for patients who unexpectedly became incapacitated to an "intolerable" degree, or who simply find their life "intolerable" - although the latter case would require the doctor to seek a second opinion from another health professional."

Wait a minute.

You mean the terminally ill don't have to get a second opinion? As soon as they say "kill me" (with a mandatory 15 day cooling down period, but we've seen how well that's worked in other countries) they can die? No, no, no! Studies prove there is a link between depression and requesting/committing suicide. EVERYONE who requests suicide should not just get another medical opinion, but also psychiatric help to see if a) they are depressed and b) help them with their depression. Anything else is laziness on the part of medical professionals.

Scotland is a beautiful country (ranks at #1 for me) with a proud history and deserves much better than this from its politicians. (Much like every other country that has or is contemplating assisted suicide) The people of Scotland are wonderful, generous people who have bravely fought off evil doers in the past. I hope and pray there are still some brave souls in that country who will fight this new evil with the same courage that their ancestors fought off every invading force from the Romans to the British.

And I will leave you with a thought, from the Declaration of Abroath signed in 1320, which acted as a Declaration of Independence for the Scottish people in their fight against the British. It states "It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself." Yes my friends, that is what we are still fighting for; the freedom to live our lives.

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