By Dave Andrusko
While the Belgian media seems genuinely perplexed why much of the rest of the world is shocked by its new policy making children eligible for euthanasia, until today I hadn’t read a response from any part of the American Medical Establishment.
What did the pillars of medicine here in the United States think about a nation so out of control that barely half of the assisted deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium were reported yet would brazenly double down and go after helpless children?
The following statement was released today by The American College of Pediatricians. The ACP came out both barrels blasting.
It is the role of every medical professional to deliver care to ailing patients with compassion, always striving to preserve the patient’s life and dignity. The American College of Pediatricians is appalled by Netherlands’ recent legalization of Neonatal Euthanasia and Belgium’s legalization of euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age, and alerts healthcare professionals to the possibility of similar legislation in the United States.
The concept of euthanasia is based on a utilitarian worldview that defines the value of the individual in terms of that individual’s contribution to society. This ideology relegates neonates, especially those infants with congenital defects, to an expendable status. Dr. Den Trumbull states
“This belief system underlies many of the current proposals for the allocation of healthcare resources in America. Even the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prescribes that scarce resources be focused on adolescents and adults under 50. The youngest who have not yet contributed to society and the oldest that have already ‘lived long enough’ are to receive only attenuated interventions. Under this system, certain newborn infants would be considered the least worthy to be recipient of available medical resources.”
Physicians are healers not killers. An individual’s future quality of life cannot be predicted by caregivers. The role of the physician is to promote health, cure when possible, and relieve pain and suffering as part of the care they provide. The intentional neglect for, or taking of, a human life is never acceptable, regardless of health system mandates. The killing of infants and children can never be endorsed by the American College of Pediatricians and should never be endorsed by any other ethical medical or social entity.
If ever a statement spoke for itself, this is it. If I may, let me briefly highlight three points.
#1. The statement alerts “healthcare professionals to the possibility of similar legislation in the United States.” The pro-euthanasia set rotates between brutally candid admissions of their ultimate agenda—you can not only kill yourself for any reason but others can kill you for any reason they deem in your “best interest”—and soothing professions of a dedication to volunteerism and “safeguards.” The interior logic is inexorable: if this is good for adults, it is good for children and to deny them this good is discrimination.
#2. “Physicians are healers not killers.” Yes, indeed. The next two sentences say it all: “An individual’s future quality of life cannot be predicted by caregivers. The role of the physician is to promote health, cure when possible, and relieve pain and suffering as part of the care they provide.” This brief statement does not get into what an Open Letter sent to the Belgian by pediatricians in Europe emphasized: “The palliative care teams for children are perfectly capable of achieving pain relief, both in hospital and at home.” And the most important of all…
#3. “The concept of euthanasia is based on a utilitarian worldview that defines the value of the individual in terms of that individual’s contribution to society. This ideology relegates neonates, especially those infants with congenital defects, to an expendable status.” Indeed, but this utilitarian worldview doesn’t only relegate babies with maladies to an “expendable status.” Defining someone’s worth by what they can contribute goes hand in glove with the forceful assertion that not only are these children better off dead but so, too, are their parents.
The American College of Pediatricians is to commended for this four-square, unambiguous resistance to the culture of death spreading like a metastasizing cancer in Europe.