Monday, February 26, 2018

Paediatric Palliative Care Symposium and child euthanasia?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Petition: "I Oppose Euthanasia for Children."

Canada legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide (known as MAiD) on June 17, 2016. Canada's euthanasia law required persons to be at least 18 years old and have a condition where "natural death is reasonably foreseeable," whatever that means, before doctors can go ahead with euthanasia.


Soon after the legalization of (MAiD), the Canadian government announced that the Council of Canadian Academies would examine extending euthanasia to children, people who are incompetent but have made an advanced request, and people with mental illness.

Last October, the Canadian Paediatric society published a study examining euthanasia for teens, young children, and newborns. I am concerned that study was designed to open the door to euthanasia for children.

Now the Biennial Provincial Symposium on Paediatric Palliative Care (at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto on April 25) will feature a break-out session titled: "Developing a policy on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for Paediatric Patients.

By the way, wine and cheese will follow.

I fear that either the Council of Canadian Academies has already decided to extend euthanasia to paediatric patients or the Canadian Paediatric Society has decided that euthanasia will be extended to children and newborns and is using this Symposium to develop a policy for when the killing begins.

Why are they so interested in euthanasia for children? Children can't choose and their autonomy is questionable. Well, children with disabilities are often seen as "better off dead." If you don't believe me, go to the Not Dead Yet website.

No, this is not about a "slippery slope" but rather an incredibly fast incremental extension. Remember, the law is not concerned with choice and autonomy but rather the rules that the doctor should follow before killing. Whether it be incompetent people, competent people or children, lethal injection is lethal injection and the decision is made by the doctor.

Netherlands euthanasia researchers recently advocated for child euthanasia, with or without consent in the Journal Pediatrics.

As I have stated before - Choice and autonomy are only slogans for selling the act.

Petition: "I Oppose Euthanasia for Children."

Learn more about euthanasia and assisted suicide. Order the Euthanasia Deception documentary.

3 comments:

Aimee Vida nurse practitioner said...

I just don’t understand our society, we have travelled so far to reach great strides in developing devices so that people with disabilities can fulfill a good life. Voice recognition software, toggle switches, fantastic computerized wheelchairs with advance life support devices. Highly advanced prosthesis that allow athletes to compete at the highest levels, etc.
Why are we stopping and giving up on our port children who are Facing difficult conditions not to mention their parents. Surely we as a society can place our efforts in a comfortable palliative approach which in powers these individuals with a message that we will be there till the end supporting, and learning from their courage , strength and personal journey. Place a value on their life’s by commuting money and energy to finding new ways to comfort, new technology to allow these little ones to stay with us on earth as long as they can but being supported and feeling loved till the end, not feeling that society has given up, tired and encouraging parents , brothers, spouses that it is better to hasten death . Let’s be there with them in their time of suffering offering love .

Richard Haber said...

I am not surprised and like Aimee Vida Iam amazed at how quickly the issue of Pediatric euthanasia has advanced in Canada. Two years ago at the AGM of the Canadian Pediatric Society(of which Iam a member) I presented a motion to have the society make a strong statement against euthanasia for children. This appeared to catch everyone by surprise and in the end the motion was deferred because there was a survey being prepared by the Bioethics Committee, chaired by Dr. DAwn Davies. The president asked if the motion could be deferred until after the survey to which I reluctantly agreed. In October 2017, the Bioethics Committee issued a position statement, “Medical Assistance in Dying: A Pediatric Perspective.” The committee using the society’s surveillance program questioned Canadian paediatricians on how often they received requests for euthanasia or MAID(Medical assistance in dying) and a survey of the attitudes of paediatricians. With regard to the first survey, there was a 40% response rate (out of 2597 paediatricians surveyed), 1.3% of Canadian paediatricians reported having had a discussion with 60 minor patients about euthanasia and .3% reported having had a specific request for euthanasia. Despite this small number the report concluded that “...minors in Canada are contemplating MAID-related concepts and approaching health care providers with MAID-related questions.” The attitudes survey had a 29% response rate and of those 574 responses only 487 completed all questions on the survey. 46% of respondents were in favour of euthanasia/MAID for terminal illness or i ntractable pain and 33% of teh574 against. The statement goes on to ask for better and more available palliative care. Unfortunately, it does not take any kind of moral stance against euthanasia/MAID by ending the position statement with “should legislation eventually permit competent minors to access MAID” anticipating that this will ultimately be the results of the committees examining the question of extending MAID to minors. It request that “governments at every level develop policies and procedures to safeguard young people from possible risks, harms or abuses of MAID” and that “procedures for assessing a minor’s personal capacity to make health decisions rest with the patient’s clinical team and parents.” Overall the position statement of the CPS ends up sitting on the fence with regard to euthanasia/MAID for minors depending on the legislators decision rather than making a strong statement which could guide legislators. More and better palliative care, yes but no to euthanasia and MAID. At the subsequent AGM the following year, after the survey results and the pending Bioethics Committee report, my motion was withdrawn.
Dr. Richard Haber

Doubting Thomas said...

euthanasia at any age is false compassion...it's about money always has been always will.

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