UK DOCTORS KILLING TERMINALLY SICK CHILDREN – Euthanasia is probably one of the most contentious subjects known to humanity and whilst a select few countries, such a Belgium, allow terminally adults to end their lives through assisted suicides many other countries refuse to allow a change in the law that would provide their own citizens with such a right.
Is euthanasia an acceptable practice? Again the answer doesn’t lie within majority consensus but rather with the individual who is terminally ill and suffering to a degree where they no longer can bear their existence.
Adult euthanasia is one thing; after all an adult in most cases can form a rational decision but what about terminally ill children?
Yes the very thought of euthanizing a child will have most people outraged but Belgium recently become the first country in the world that now allows the euthanasia of children; a move that is considered unthinkable in places like the United Kingdom where even adult euthanasia remains illegal.
Within just hours of Belgium announcing its decision to allow for euthanasia of children to be permitted a retried British GP has suggested that such a practice was in fact already occurring in the UK, albeit informally.
“It has happened in this country, very quietly. I know of one or two children over the last few years.
It has been done under the pretext of what we call Double Effect where the child has been given huge doses of painkillers and so on, in order to relieve discomfort, pain and other symptoms.” Dr Michael Irwin told an LBC Radio
In response to Dr. Irwin’s revelations the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last night vowed to investigate his claims in full but told reporters that he was not specifically aware of any such practice.
Dr. Irwin is one of the UK’s euthanasia campaigners and over the years has helped a number of terminally ill patients take their own lives at Switzerland’s Dignitas clinic.
As a result of Dr. Irwin’s campaigning and role in helping terminally ill patients to die, he has also been given the rather distasteful nickname ‘Dr. Death’ and has in recent years been investigated by the authorities; whilst Dr. Irwin has never been arrested or charged the practice of euthanasia in the UK carries a jail sentence of up to 14 years.
Currently the law views ‘assisted suicide’ and ‘euthanasia’ as two separate events; assisted suicide is where a doctor simply helps the patient prepare to take their own lives whilst euthanasia is where the doctor deliberately takes the life of a patient after being given permission to do so.
It is not surprising that anti-euthanasia groups are calling for Dr. Irwin’s claims to be fully investigated but despite his revelations he insists that if the authorities question him to give names, dates and places he will refuse such a request.
“There may be nothing in this. But if a doctor has intentionally taken the life of a child in the UK, then that is murder because euthanasia is illegal under British law.” Dr Peter Saunders, of the Care Not Killing Alliance, interview with Mirror
As the law currently stands, Dr. Saunders is perfectly correct and many will consider that the practice should never be allowed in the UK due to moral issues.
Again the debates on both euthanasia and assisted suicide can be actively debated on both sides.
There are of course many people who are dying of a terminal illness and where they are in considerable pain; it might be that these are the people that we should be listening to in order determine the righteousness of such a practice.
Religion unquestionably plays a starring role in this debate and as a predominantly Christian country there are many who will argue that under the indoctrination of the Bible no person should be allowed to take the life of another and no person should ever be allowed to take their own life.
There are now a number of pro-life campaigners stating that Belgium with its new laws allowing the euthanasia of children have fallen into the ethical abyss for anyone allowing such a practice where true consent cannot be obtained is simply immoral.
The Belgium Government is sticking to its decision to allow the euthanasia of terminally ill children but states that it must be shown that the child has no chance of survival and that consent must come from both the child and the parents.
Right or wrong? I certainly cannot pass judgment. There are parts of me that feel such a practice might be appropriate in certain cases. I have watched children die from being terminally ill with cancer and the pain they experience is certainly something no person should have to endure.
On the other side there is no life more precious than that of a child and to be part of taking that life, despite consent, is something where I could not be part of nor subjected to.