Why some children should be euthanized with parental consent

During the 2009 campaign trail in America I viewed Sarah Palin discuss her thoughts on abortion. She argued, that while she was opposed to abortion, she believed that in order to keep that as a workable precept, it would require a society and institution far more able to deal with unwanted children. Despite all of Palin’s many, many faults, I think this line of reasoning would be acceptable to most ethical debates in theory. I don’t think that there is any possibility of any institution that would legitimately remove all need for abortion – embarrassment, pregnancy affecting work etc. are just some potentially irreconcilable challenges, it could be applied to other areas. In short, if there is a priniciple that requires a lawful backing to uphold but is an essentially ethical question, can it be implemented in a realistic manner in the world? Of course it is always desirable to have laws that do not infringe upon personal freedoms, but for the sake of this discussion we’ll run with it.

Clearly there are many ethical and/or religious beliefs where it is simply impossible to do so. Prohibition, anti-homosexuality and killing off Catholics are all enforced ethical laws, but none of them worked/work particularly well, and all lead to a great deal of civil unrest (not to mention are all morally pretty outrageous by western society standards). There is one more that I would like to add here, and this is the case of euthanasia for terminally ill children.

It seems bizarre to me that a child with Tay-Sachs, with zero possibility of living past the age of three, and in crushing, inhumane pain to that point should not have parents equipped with the option of euthanizing them in a painless manner. It’s a big decision to make obviously, and one that a child at such an age could not make, the option should rest with the parents. To use the above ethics through law idea, there is literally no oppurtunity for avoiding, alleviating or curing pain, sufferring and death for some illnesses and genetic diseases. With this in mind, I see no reason why euthanasia should not be seen as an option.

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~ by freeze43 on May 17, 2010.

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