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.
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.
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.