Canadian doctors get ready for child euthanasia

The Canadian medical establishment has clearly signaled its acquiescence. Earlier this year, the Canadian Paediatric Society issued a position paper entitled “Medical Assistance in Dying: A Paediatric Perspective.” The paper is entirely uncritical of expanding the euthanasia law to include minors. More than that, the statement makes recommendations about how to implement pediatric euthanasia once the law permits. In refusing to oppose legalization or, indeed, to make even one substantive argument against its moral propriety, the society implicitly endorses a policy that would allow sick and disabled children to be killed.

Member pediatricians were polled about the question. Only one-third of respondents opposed expanding Canada’s euthanasia law to children in all circumstances. Almost half (46 percent) were in favor of extending the MAID option to “mature minors experiencing progressive illness or intractable pain.” (According to the report, “the mature minor doctrine recognizes that a patient’s comprehension of the nature and consequences of a treatment has determinants beyond age, and that children’s wishes should be granted degrees of deference that reflect their evolving maturity.”) There’s more: Twenty-nine percent of answering respondents believe in making euthanasia available to mature minors experiencing “intolerable disability,” while 8 percent would even extend the killing to mature minors with “intolerable mental illness as the sole indication”!

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