February 25, 2024

Scottish MP proposes euthanasia right for 12-year-olds

Based on age when kids choose which divorced parent to live with
Margo MacDonaldChildren’sautonomy is a tricky issue. When can they give informed consent tohaving an abortion, participating in a clinical trial, or requestinghelp in committing suicide? A Scottish MP thinks that she has found agood benchmark for euthanasia, at least – the age when children canchoose which parent they wish to live with after a divorce. MargoMacDonald, a doughty champion of euthanasia, has introduced a privatemember’s bill into the Scottish Parliament. Although it has littlechance of passing, her solution to the difficult issue of assistedsuicide for children is intriguing.

In Scotland,youngsters are generally consulted by the courts over who they wishto stay with from the age of 12 to 16. (After that they are legallydeemed to be adults.) If a child is mature enough, the courts willconsider the choices of even younger children. Soif they are able to choose a life at 12, or even younger, MrsMacDonald feels that they are also mature enough to choose death."People of that age have the legal right to determine in thecase of their parents breaking up which parent they will live with.Arguably, therefore, they are being given a right to choose alifestyle and their wishes are respected." ~ TheHerald, Dec 9