By Dave Andrusko
I’ve always been a soft touch when it comes to children anyway, even more so now that our three-year-old granddaughter has a three-month-old brother. That’s why watching a video distributed yesterday by the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice had me from the first note four-year-old Jessica Saba played on the piano with the help of her physician dad, Paul Saba. (As it happened I had spent much of the afternoon holding Ethan.)
Jessica, of Lachine, Quebec Canada, is pleading with King Philippe not to sign the bill approved by the Belgian Senate in December that would allow euthanasia for children.
“For the sake of the children, please do not sign the Euthanasia Bill,” she says.
“Currently the Belgian euthanasia law limits euthanasia to people who are at least 18 years old,” explains Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. “The Belgian Socialist government is adamant that the euthanasia law needs to extend to minors and people with dementia even though there is significant examples of how the current law is being abused and the bracket creep of acceptable reasons for euthanasia continues to grow.”
In 2002 Belgium introduced euthanasia for those aged 18 and over. Since then, Belgium has seen a nearly 500% increase in deaths by euthanasia.
Dr. Saba makes the case against the law in simple, eloquent language that comes from his heart. The backdrop is that the forces pushing assisted suicide are on the march in Canada, particularly Quebec. He wants us to understand that if child euthanasia is legalized in Belgium, that plague will makes it way around the world like a pandemic epidemic.
As the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice explains,
“Jessica was born in Montreal, Canada in May 2009 with a severe cardiac malformation: a completely blocked valve and underdeveloped ventricle. She would have survived for only a few hours or days without a series of cardiac interventions, which were performed at Montreal’s Children’s Hospital. At six days, her valve was unblocked and gradually her underdeveloped ventricle began to form. If Jessica had been born in a country where pediatric euthanasia is permitted, she might have been a candidate for euthanasia and her story would be very different than the one in the video.
“Millions of children are born each year with severe congenital malformations. Currently in Quebec, the government is attempting to pass its own euthanasia law, which is very similar to the law passed in Belgium about 10 years ago. The Quebec Human Rights Commission is recommending extension of euthanasia to children.”
The video is even more persuasive because of the heartfelt contributions of the entire family: Dr. Saba, his wife, Marissa, their daughter Jessica, and her two older siblings, Eliana and John-Anthony.
They remind you how hard Jessica fought from the beginning and what a cool sister she is.
Take five minutes out and watch the video at www.youtube.com/channel/UC4di7uSDkRYsHx8UL38LHvA. It will help you appreciate the enormity of what is at stake.