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Commentary

Toronto Children’s Hospital is Sick

Tue, October 16, 2018   |   Author: Rod Taylor   |   Volume 25    Issue 42   

People generally take their children to a hospital so they can get well, not so they can be killed. Doctors and other health care professionals presumably entered their chosen careers to help people get well, to alleviate suffering, and to assist individuals and families going through a medical crisis.

As the parents of many sick children will testify, there is profound gratitude for the dedicated efforts of doctors and nurses who have helped their children recover from a serious illness or even—when treatments have failed to restore health—the compassionate care given to children and their families during the final weeks of life.

Now however, since the introduction of government-sanctioned euthanasia, (Medical Assistance in Dying or MAID), a whole new set of problems and ethical challenges has arisen. Where medical practitioners once laboured to sustain life, now some seem to think it is their responsibility to shorten life. At the Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital, an effort is now underway to streamline decision-making regarding children dying by lethal injection. Euthanasia-promoting doctors and administrators are now suggesting that children should be able to die by euthanasia, with or without parental permission. They want to be able to end the lives of children without consulting the parents who care the most and will be most affected. That is sick.

As predicted by all those who opposed the introduction of physician-assisted suicide, the parameters and guidelines for eligibility have been shifting ever since it was made law on June 17, 2016. Sold to the public as a pain-saving shortcut for those suffering from debilitating and terminal disease in their last days, it was always evident to the pro-life community that the driving force had more to do with cost-cutting for the medical system and the freeing up of beds than with pain relief. As happened in Europe, once practitioners in Canada became accustomed to deliberately ending a life, the expansion of the demographic considered for premature death began expanding.

Following legalization, the federal government began considering euthanasia and assisted suicide for adolescents and children, for adults suffering from mental illness and for those who might request it in advance of feared dementia or other disability. The obvious next step is allowing doctors to make the decision without the participation of the patients’ families or even of the patients themselves. When these kinds of decisions are being made for children, especially without parental involvement, it should concern every Canadian.

This is one more indication of the tragic loss of a moral framework in our society. It exposes the willingness of the state to intrude into the sovereignty of sacred family decision-making. For Toronto’s Sick Children’s Hospital to begin talking about killing children with or without parental knowledge or consent is simply mind-boggling. It is our responsibility to remind them that human life is sacred and that parents are the primary caregivers and protectors of their children’s lives.

Of course, even if the parents were convinced that euthanasia was acceptable, we in the CHP do not believe that doctors should be participating in procedures designed to end life. We believe that life is a gift from God and must not be deliberately shortened. If you share this view, please join CHP if you are not already a member, and make a donation to see our work continue!



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