Taking their cue from Belgium, Scottish groups have tentatively backed voluntary euthanasia for children with terminal illnesses.
Taking their cue from Belgium, Scottish lobby groups for child welfare have tentatively backed voluntary euthanasia for youngsters with terminal illnesses.
Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) has submitted a response to proposed legislation in the Scottish Parliament which says that Scotland should learn from Belgium, which extended the right to euthanasia to minors earlier this year. It argues that children have the same rights as adults and that if euthanasia were legalised, Scotland would be in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child if it denied children with sufficient maturity the right to die.
“It is important to note that children are prone to and suffer terminal illnesses and extreme physical pain just as adults do … terminal illnesses do not discriminate based on the age of a person and accordingly, neither should health care. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is clear that a child who is capable of forming his or her own views should be assured the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child. The views of a child must be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity.”
Campaigners against assisted suicide and euthanasia are outraged. A spokesman for Care Not Killing told the media: “Right-minded people will be baffled that such an idea can be advanced, not least from one organisation purporting to represent the interests of children. Such a monstrous idea should be unthinkable.”
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