‘Legal’ Child Suicide

Design Pics/Thinkstock

‘Legal’ Child Suicide

In Belgium, euthanasia is now open to all ages.

Belgium has become the first nation in the world to remove an age limit for euthanasia—legalized suicide. On February 13, a bill passed in the Belgian Parliament with relative ease granting children, regardless of age, the right to demand their own death.

The law states that the child must be terminally ill and facing tremendous suffering, and must ask repeatedly to die before euthanasia can be considered.

One of the law’s supporters, Dr. Jan Bernheim from the Free University of Brussels, claims that children with terminal illness are mature enough to demand their own deaths. “They’re not as young as the calendar says. They are in fact psychologically much older and more mature than their calendar age would suggest” (Deutsche Welle, February 13). This is an example of the reasoning that helped bring the new law to fruition.

Legalized killing is not new to Belgium. Medically aided deaths have been law for 11 years. In 2012, more than 1,400 people were legally killed.

Evidence that such a law cheapens life surfaced soon after the adult euthanasia law was passed. That law was originally created so people suffering from intense physical pain could be “relieved.” However, the idea of what constitutes “pain” has been watered down over the years. Today, the definition has come to include psychological pain.

A woman who underwent a failed sex change was legally killed in October last year, not because her life was in danger but because she said her mental suffering after the failed procedure was “unbearable.” An inmate in a Belgian prison is currently awaiting legalized euthanasia after saying that he had suffered incredible psychological trauma while in prison and could not bear to live with it.

Killing for psychological reasons is becoming more prevalent in Belgian society. According to Dr. Bernheim, 30 percent of people who demand to be killed are denied.

Now that the age limit on euthanasia has been removed, even immature children with few life experiences can make the decision to end their own lives. In Belgium, you can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes until you are 16, you can’t drive until you are 18, but you can choose to die as long as there is enough mental “agony.”

Proponents of the new law might say that it will only be used in extreme circumstances, but history has proven that, over time, restraints weaken.

How does God look at euthanasia? To God, euthanasia—which is really suicide—is not brave, courageous or romantic. Euthanasia is not self-deliverance. It is murder!

The Bible forbids this evil act, but few today live according to the Bible. Our loving and living God calls euthanasia a sin—a violation of the Sixth Commandment—which not only brings a life to a tragic end, but also causes indescribable suffering for those left behind.

There is way of life that produces true happiness, peace and lasting success. There is a way of life that teaches us how to face and overcome problems rather than resorting to suicide. To learn more, read the cover story for our February 2013 Trumpet issue, “The Truth About Suicide.”