What Would Whitney Houston Say?

Reading about euthanasia makes me sick. I never thought I’d write about it. It’s not the idea of it so much as the radical and skewed views on it. But then I happened to move to a country that may just legalize euthanasia for children.

Children!

We’re all programmed to treat anything involving children, especially in the news, with kiddie gloves and attention. As we should because children are our future. I only wish Whitney Houston had believed this forever. But the fact is she’s not here anymore and in this present and free world there is a child euthanasia bill being pushed through in Belgium, in the hopes of becoming a law.

It’s difficult to find an objective and neutral voice online because most articles and blogs paint Belgians as cold-blooded killers and God-haters without using those exact words. Most of the people interviewed on the subject have a higher education than most of us combined, yet they can’t seem to keep their emotions and personal feelings in check. There are two sides to this argument, always, but too many media outlets post extremely one-sided conclusions. Belgium wants their people dead. What? No.

I’m just a regular girl living in a regular world. I’ve been asked many times in the last few weeks “what I think” and “how I feel” about the possibility of Belgium passing child euthanasia into law. I’ll try to answer the best I can with what my life has thrown at me up until now.

When my dad was basically living in the ICU in and out of comas for the last months of his life he never once asked for an end to his life. If he had, then I know my mother would have said no and I would have said okay dad yes. And then there are those who ultimately end or try to to end their own life without any thought to euthanasia, legal or not, and it’s labeled suicide. Everybody else will be biased about your death. That’s how I know euthanasia should be a choice all your own.

Ultimately, I believe a person’s right to euthanasia is their own and you can add as many asterisks to that as needed. Of course this is religion aside, because God doesn’t make legislative laws. Depending on your own views this is fortunate or unfortunate but it’s fact.

As far as children are concerned? I volunteered at children’s wings in hospitals as a very young girl, with my church’s Sunday School class, as part of a summer Korean medical exchange program. I remember my very first time seeing sick children like that who were all around the same age as me, at the time, and it shocked me. I’d cried in the bathroom most of the time that first day because I felt so bad for them. My Sunday School teacher came to check on me I was crying so loud. She asked me if I wanted to go home and I’d said no, I wanted to help cheer up the sick kids. I got better at not crying with each week and I saw a few kids get better and more just disappeared. I always asked if they’d died and I always got the truth. My mother still remembers how much I cried that summer for those kids.

Ultimately, I don’t believe children can comprehend the choice in euthanasia. However, this bill is so complicated with its asterisks and other conditions that it doesn’t just come down to whether or not said child understands their choice for euthanasia. Then the ultimate question is what if something happens to my own child and my child chooses euthanasia over life? My answer would be calm down because nothing has happened to my child, at least not yet or maybe never, but I don’t believe any governing body is out to kill my child. It’s merely an option. Just like legalizing abortion didn’t turn women into crazed baby-killing machines.

If the law passes in Belgium then nothing drastic will happen overnight. It’s not like you’ll be able to walk into a store and order some euthanasia. And I don’t live my life picturing scenarios in which my child asks me for euthanasia. Sorry.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter what I think. Euthanasia is different from abortion because we can talk about what it feels like to have had an abortion but nobody can talk about what it’s like to have been euthanized. But when I read or hear the last messages and wishes of adults choosing to be euthanized, I know that I couldn’t help them live any longer or happier myself if real doctors couldn’t. So I have no right to say whether or not they should stay on this earth for someone else’s reasons.

One of the many reasons I feel at home in Belgium, and Europe as a whole, is because of the different thinking and lifestyle overall. Rights are rights here across the board so it makes sense that euthanasia is legal here in Belgium. Whether or not child euthanasia will be legal, and a right, still remains to be seen.

There’s a map on CNN that gives you an idea of what euthanasia looks like in some parts of the world

I’ll be watching to see if the child euthanasia bill gets passed.

I really do wonder what Whitney Houston would have to say about all this.

Always dishing,

Jun

16 Comments

  1. There are people fighting in Walmarts across the US over TVs while Belgians are deciding this. Such a hard thing to look at. You want to fight for your children. Not give up. But when you see them in pain and doctors say the words no hope, how can you decide? Miracles can and do happen. A child given a no hope scenario survives and thrives. How do you decide? …….

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      Stabbing too! Black Friday madness omg…

      Sigh.

      Yes Richard. There are some things that hurt so deep that up until now it’s ultimately up to fate but with this bill being pushed, fate might be the other option over voluntary death. It’s a tough tough topic…

      Reply
  2. Eroca Gendron

    Very well written Jun. There was a case in Canada in 1993 where Robert Latimer took the life of his daughter Tracy, who had cerebral palsy. From that point on, euthanasia, especially in children, has been an open debate, nation wide. Right now Belguim is taking center stage in addressing and voting on the issue. How they decide will have an effect on the rest of the world. We read of individuals going to other countries because they want to die, and those countries will allow it. But those are adults making decisions for themselves. These are children. It’s easy for people to say ‘I could never do that’, when you are not in that position. But what if you were? That’s a thought for everyone to ponder as you go through the motions of your day.

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      Belgium’s a tiny country with big laws and some of the most equal rights across the board. Yes, thanks for mentioning those who’ve gone to great lengths to have euthanasia administered…it’s why I added that map link, because there are parts of the world that euthanasia is legal already. Many people don’t realize that still.

      I’m with you 100% on never knowing what you’d do if you were put in a situation. Thank you for leaving your message. I appreciate your candor.

      Reply
  3. OkieChris

    Wow my first thought was, WHAT?!? Then after reading & reading the comments, I realized I have made this decision with my own child.

    3 months premature she was born. Determined to come into the world. Her lungs weren’t developed enough to live on her own yet. I was given the choice of taking her off life support or let her lungs “maybe” get stronger. By this time you could visibly see she had severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen for too long.

    My Mom says I fought and cried saying it didn’t matter I would take care of her. (I don’t remember this part) Ultimately I signed the papers for her to come off life support and held her till she passed.

    I KNOW that was the right decision. I’d make the same decision again.

    Euthanasia? Yeah I personally think it was.

    Thank you Jun for your blogs they hit me sometimes and I share thing I’ve never shared before.

    Love you girl!
    Chris

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      Chris, thank you for sharing your story. I didn’t know everything about your circumstances around losing your baby girl, although I knew some. I was wavering about writing this blog to begin with. I’m grateful for everyone’s openness to read, and comment.

      Love you too Chris. Hugs to you 🙂

      Reply
  4. I share the same bond with Chris. I too had to choose; my son was born premature with his lungs too underdeveloped to survive. I struggled with my emotions and thought process for a very long time after I chose to turn off life support. I still treasure the moments I held my tiny bundle close while he took his last breath. Reading this blog made me realize what I did really was Euthanasia. I’ve never thought of it that way before. I would do it again if faced with the same situation.

    Doing my clinical rotation on the cancer wing, I found children so very wise beyond their years. Some knew they would never leave the hospital and I remember one little girl telling her friend not to cry when she was gone. She told her she wouldn’t be in pain anymore and she was going to be happy playing up in heaven. Some just wanted the pain to stop and would tell you they made peace with the fact they were going to die and wished for it to be soon.

    I personally, even though it’s against my religion, believe we should all have a choice no matter the age for this option. I absolutely do not want to be a burden on my children or anyone else when my time comes. I HATE nursing homes and will not spend my last days in one.

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      Thanks mama for sharing. I remember when Noah was born 6 weeks early I was scared of the number of scenarios that could come about. You and Chris and many other moms and dads who’ve lived with such loss are everyday heros to me.

      There are many strong opinions on this topic of euthanasia, and now child euthanasia, but I hope everyone keeps an open mind to the possibility that the bill gets passed. The likelihood is high.

      Reply
  5. vivi howe

    This is disgusting. Old people who ask for it. Ok. I don’t have a problem with that. They have lived their lives and know what they want. Children? Oyvee. And you are wrong about abortion. Google how many are aborted daily…yes they are running to get the unborn child killed. Humanity…phoey…it is selfishness. Ok said my peace. Bless the ignorant, for they are truly sad.

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      You’re not alone in thinking the child euthanasia bill is disgusting. Many people have strong feelings about it like you do, on both side. Sigh. Humanity’s been courageous at times and an abomination other times. We can’t do that much about it in the way of bills and laws but maybe just in our daily lives we can make small but good differences in the world Vivi 🙂

      I was being quite literal about baby-killing machines…I’ve yet to hear about women’s groups purposely getting impregnated just to undergo abortions…

      Reply

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