Child Euthanasia in Belgium Should not be Legal

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The word “euthanasia” comes from the Greek words “eu” meaning good or well and “thanatos” meaning death. Euthanasia means to take a deliberate action with the express intent of ending a life in order to relieve intractable suffering. Belgium has passed a law that allows euthanasia for terminally ill children experiencing “constant and unbearable suffering” who can show a “capacity of discernment”. This has sparked many debates about whether child euthanasia is moral and whether it should be legal or not. Although child euthanasia is a way for a child to escape “constant and unbearable” suffering or to avoid suffering through a terminal illness, child euthanasia should not be legal because children do not possess the mental capacity to make a request for such an irreversible decision, a child may choose to die because they fear that they are burdening others, and the requirements in place to request euthanasia may not be sufficient enough to protect against misuse. There are multiple types of euthanasia. The two main classifications are voluntary euthanasia and involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is conducted with legal consent and is legal in Belgium. Involuntary euthanasia is conducted without consent - the decision is made by another person when the patient is incapable of making the decision for himself. There are also two main procedural classifications, which are passive and active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is the act of withholding life-sustaining treatments from the patient to cause them to die. Active euthanasia is carried out by using lethal substances or forces to end a patient's life - this includes actions conducted by the patient or someone else (Nordqvist). Physician assisted suicide, another types o... ... middle of paper ... ... 04 May 2014. Web. 12 May 1999. McDougall, Jennifer Fecio. Euthanasia : A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2008. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 13 Apr. 2014. Nordqvist, Christian. "What Is Euthanasia (assisted Suicide)? What Is The Definition Of Assisted Suicide Or Euthanasia?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon International Limited, 19 Mar. 2010. Web. 4 May 2014. Pawlick, Peter, and Tracey M. DiLascio. "Point: Active Euthanasia Should Be Outlawed." Points Of View: Assisted Suicide(2013): 2. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 26 Apr. 2014. Rodriguez, Cecilia. "Legal Euthanasia for Children In Belgium: Will It Trigger Death Tourism?"Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. Tada, Joni Eareckson. "Belgium's Euthanasia Law Doesn't Protect Children From Themselves." Time.Com (2014): 1. Business Source Complete. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

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