Culture of Death: Pediatric Euthanasia

As Belgium is about to pass child euthanasia into law, Delight in Truth will offer a quick review of such practice in light of medical standards and Scripture.

Pediatric euthanasia is the practice of medically assisting in the suicide of a usually terminally ill or hopeless child.  In cases where the child is an infant or a toddler, the euthanasia is no longer an assisted suicide, but a “mercy” killing by a medical professional or the parents.

Pediatric euthanasia is legal only in the Netherlands under the following requirements:

  1. The presence of hopeless and unbearable suffering
  2. The consent of the parents to termination of life
  3. Medical consultation having taken place
  4. Careful execution of the termination

We must specify that euthanasia is NOT what we think about when we consider letting a loved one pass away as they succumb to disease.  I do not endorse aggressive medical interventions in someone who is at the end of the road.    Euthanasia instead is a volitional act of terminating someone’s life prematurely, in this case a child who may not even give their CONSENT to be euthanized.

That is outside of standard medical practice, common sense, and Christian faith.

We have come a long way in alleviating suffering using medications, nerve blocks, nerve and ganglion ablations, epidural and intrathecal medications and many other techniques.  Depression and psychologic hopelessness can also be treated using a variety of interventions.

But to terminate children based on the reasons above!?

That is abominable.

In his sermon in Acts 3, Peter makes a pro-life statement in accusing the Jews of killing Jesus: “you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.”  The Bible clearly states that God is the the Author of Life, the same author who raised Jesus from the dead.  He alone has power and rights over anyone’s life.

Euthanasia is a satanic act because it accomplishes the purpose of Satan which is stated by Jesus in John 8:44 “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth”

On the other hand, Jesus came to give live, He came to regenerate, He came to bring hope and He came to save.

The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Life” who along with the “Author of Life” and “the Way, the Truth and the Life” form a Holy Trinity of Life.

To allow a child to expire is natural, but to euthanize a child is an act of rebellion against the Author of Life.


20 comments on “Culture of Death: Pediatric Euthanasia

  1. I am shocked by this report. That parents would consider murdering their children in the name of love is diabolical.

    The LORD is indeed the Author of life – who knows what His plans are for these precious little ones.


  2. “But to terminate children based on the reasons above!?”

    I haven’t read the report, but my wife is a pediatrician. She deals primarily with premature babies, and sometimes they are born with conditions that leave them in unbearable pain and suffering.

    Is it more moral to let them suffer for days or weeks and eventually dying, or to euthanize them before they’ve had to suffer that long?

    I speak only of situations in which death is medically inevitable and the only question is the amount of suffering that will take place.

    • Thanks for the input.

      I have medical expertise (anesthesiologist) in issues related to pain relief and some end-of-life issues, and I can attest that there is a great divide between comfort care and euthanasia.

      I fully support comfort care and hospice care because it alleviates pain while attempting to maintain arousability.

      So it is one thing to provide meds for comfort and allowing life to expire, vs pushing propofol and terminating one’s life…

      Btw… On the issue of unbearable pain of the preemee in the NICU, I would argue using the same terms for the pain of the aborted during abortion

      • If you’re referring to partial birth abortion, I’m against it.

        Sometimes meds cannot provide comfort for a variety of reasons. It’s a terrible decision to have to make, but if I was suffering horribly and would die anyway, I’d prefer euthanasia.

        • Suppose you would not die “anyway”

          Consider the famous case of the Belgian twins who underwent euthanasia at age 40 or so because they were born with a condition that would eventually lead to blindness.

      • Chris, you make such an excellent point in your comment. Where is the pro euthanasia medical field when an unborn child is sufferring unbearable pain while being killed in the womb by an abortionist? Where is the mercy? It is nowhere to be found. Proponents of euthanasia have a diabolical lust to kill.

        • “Proponents of euthanasia have a diabolical lust to kill.”

          No, they really don’t. And saying they do makes you sound ridiculous and ignorant. (You may not be either of those things. But lumping everyone who would consider mercy killing into that absurd oversimplification makes you sound that way.)

        • I am referring to ‘proponents’ – those in power who are pushing it, not the families dealing with terminal illness, as they have no power to legislate.

          A public policy to murder is still a public policy to murder no matter how you dress it up. And there the slippery slope begins. Who is man to terminate life?

          Think about this: Today, you (figuratively speaking) might have the right to decide if this law gets passed, who is to say that in the not too distant future, you as a parent have no say so in whether your child gets to live or die?

          And who is to say the government won’t decide to go after old people who are just living too long and being nonproductive? Would you be happy for the government panel of doctors to come and tell you that you will be euthanized because you are a burden to society? If you read up on this, even on wikipedia, you will see that even the US government toyed with the wish to implement eugenics and get rid of the undesirables- at that time it was mentally handicapped persons, which by the way were ‘labelled imbeciles’ by the medical community and thought to be useless- whereas today, so many people with mental handicaps can lead independent productive lives with training and support form family and community.

          By the way- check out this chart from the Nethelands with the number of patients in the Netherlands who were (1) Killed without their consent and (2) administered lethal doses of morphine without the patients consent

          and tell me this is not a case of lusting to kill. These doctors are on a power trip.

          and more at this link-

          The most frequently cited reasons given for ending the lives of patients without their knowledge or consent were: “low quality of life,” “no prospect for improvement,” and “the family couldn’t take it anymore.”(17)
          In 45% of cases involving hospitalized patients who were involuntarily euthanized, the patients’ families had no knowledge that their loved ones’ lives were deliberately terminated by doctors. (18)
          According to the Remmelink Report, Dutch physicians deliberately and intentionally ended the lives of 11,840 people by lethal overdoses or injections–a figure which accounts for 9.1% of the annual overall death rate of 130,000 per year. The majority of all euthanasia deaths in Holland are involuntary deaths.

          lust to murder…or worse…. pretend they are God

  3. “Consider the famous case”

    Consider what about it?

    Would I try to talk them out of it? Sure. But I’m not overly upset as if a person wants to kill themselves, they’ll find a way to do it.

    But I don’t think it has anything to do with legally allowing euthanasia under pretty strict rules.

    • Forget legality for a minute. A sane person without a psychiatric diagnosis undergoing doctor-assisted suicide is contrary to the mission and oath of being a doctor. There was not psych illness in that case, no physical pain other than poor sight, just the will to die.

      I have more of a problem with the guy injecting the lethal drug more than with the euthanasee. Why is that doctor the arbiter of a mercy killing? Who gave him that right?

      • “Why is that doctor the arbiter of a mercy killing?”

        Clearly he wasn’t the arbiter. The arbiter were the people asking for it to happen.

        Who gave him that right? The twins did.

        • My questions probe more deeply. The doctor extinguished two lives which he did not create, nor have anything to do with their existence.

          Let me illustrate differently:

          Suppose we find an authentic, verified testament of da Vinci asking us to destroy his Mona Lisa. It would be a tremendous disservice and a crime against art to do something like that… wouldn’t you agree?

          Is it not the same to destroy two lives just because these two just do not want to live?

        • “Is it not the same to destroy two lives just because these two just do not want to live?”

          If Mona Lisa asked us to destroy her, I would certainly consider it.

  4. “Wow!”

    Why wow?

    Should a person’s desires not be taken into consideration? If a person wants to die (for whatever reason), and they aren’t mentally impaired in one way or another, you can’t stop them. You can delay them. You can make sure their death is messy, like a leap from a building’s roof or a gunshot to the face. But you can’t stop them.

    I don’t, necessarily, think that assisting them die in a way that causes as little suffering as possible is automatically a bad thing. It’s certainly something that should be considered very closely on a case by case basis.

    Decisions such as this are not and should not be taken lightly. Where they have been taken lightly, I disagree with them.

    Does that make my position more clear?

    • Yes it is clear, I understand your position, it is the position of dr Kevorkian and elements of the govt of Holland and Belgium…

      I”f a person wants to die (for whatever reason), and they aren’t mentally impaired in one way or another,”

      In the case of children (infants and toddlers) who are not capable of making these decisions, this line of reasoning is invalid.

      The issue at hand in the case of adults is not the fact that they want to die.

      The more pressing issue is the fact that a third party (doctor, nurse) wants to step in and take life away. They did not create life, and do not have the natural right to take it away.

      Of course our world views conflict on this issue because in my case I believe in the divine authorship of life…

      • “In the case of children (infants and toddlers) who are not capable of making these decisions, this line of reasoning is invalid.”

        A newborn or premature baby can’t make that decision, you are right.

        So your suggestion is to let them suffer horribly until they die?

  5. A very interesting, and sad may I add, discussion.

    I heard the story about the twins and though saddened, was not surprised.

    When 50+ million living beings (and that’s in American only) are murdered in what is to be the safest place in the world, Houston we have a problem.

    I could not agree more with you and rodi, Delight. Life is sacred. It is endangered because many do not believe the scriptures you have quoted. I’m afraid we are going to hear of more stories in this arena, because life is cheap in our day.

    My grandma passed at 92. The last two years were difficult, but she was given pain pills to put under her tongue to ease her pain. It was not an easy thing to watch, but how would I have felt if I had decided to euthanize her? My parents made the right decision, and she died peacefully. Who knows how many conversations she had with God before she went to be with Him.

    There is a movement afoot to decrease the population. Some say that there are too many people for the planet to support. I don’t know if it is true, but I heard somewhere that if you put all of the people in the world in one place they would take up a relatively small space placing them at arms distance apart. I think it was the state of Texas, but I could be wrong.

    It doesn’t matter how big or small the state. What matters is what is right and wrong. I don’t want someone deciding how I die. God is big enough to figure that one out.

    Thanks for sharing this important topic.

    God’s blessings…

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