By Wesley J. Smith
Assisted suicide is being legalized all over Australia, and I feel the country is going to go the dark route Canada has after it legalized euthanasia. Case in point: There is a bill before the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to legalize assisted suicide. The Human Rights Commission criticizes the proposal for restricting assisted suicide eligibility to adults:
Improvements to the proposed scheme
We detail below certain of our earlier recommendations that have not been incorporated into the Bill.
- Access for Children and Young People under 18: the current scheme is limited to individuals over the age of 18 years old. Human rights principles require due consideration for the rights of children and young people, including their right to access health care without discrimination and their right to have their views taken into account.
It is the Commission’s view that this extends to decisions for a child or young person to voluntarily end their life with dignity in the same circumstances as adults: namely where they have a condition that is advanced, progressive and expected to cause their death, where they are suffering intolerably, where they are acting voluntarily, and where they have demonstrated maturity and capacity to make such a decision. We recognise that there may need to be additional steps and safeguards for children and young people, particularly where the views of parents and carers differ from the young person or from each other.
If adopted, this means that “mature” minors would be able to be made dead without their parents’ permission and children no matter how young could be put down.
Canada isn’t there yet, but the same approach has been seriously proposed in that country. Belgium and the Netherlands already permit euthanizing children, and the Netherlands allows infanticide under the “Groningen Protocol.”
It’s only logical. Once a society turns suicide/homicide into a “medical treatment,” how can it be restricted to the adult dying, or for that matter, people who have decisional capacity?
Once assisted suicide/euthanasia is legalized, its scope and breadth never stop expanding. Those with eyes to see, let them see.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with permission.