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Doctors may be helping sick kids die

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posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:26 PM
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This is an article i read on yahoo news today. apparently the netherlands is the first country to legalize euthanasia. i for one am kind of on the fence about it when it comes to euthanasia of the elderly. but for children....i really dont think that is right. It is one thing if the kid is on life support and the family decides to take the child off. its another thing if a kid has cancer that he/she might not survive through and so they make a decision to let the kid die when he/she wants so it can be "on their own terms."
and the main reason i disagree with euthanasia i guess is because im looking at it from a christian perpective. Either way, i thought this article was shocking, so i thought i would let you all take a look at it and comment.

here is a snippet of the beginning of the article:
ASSOCIATED PRESS: CHICAGO - Researchers in the Netherlands, the first country to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill people, have found that doctors are helping hasten the deaths of sick children in a variety of ways, sometimes at the edges of what the law allows.....

and the link: Link

Kind Regards,
DigitalGrl

Mod Edit: shorten link

[edit on 7-9-2005 by kinglizard]




posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 06:31 PM
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Whilst it's never officially condoned, you're going to find that it's not actually unheard of (though I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying it's "common") for compassionate doctors to either withhold treatment for terminally ill children, or actually go as far as "hastening" the process of death.

With regards to the article, the key thing I'm seeing is this:


Connor said both countries agree that sedation with drugs is acceptable for adults and children, when death is imminent and distress can't be relieved in other ways


In other words - the way I'm reading it is, they're not talking about "euthanizing" children who have a viable chance at pulling through their disease; they're talking about easing the suffering of children who are being classed as terminally ill.

A child with a realistic chance of survival is never (in my experience, and those of the folk I've worked with) classified as "terminal" - just the same as an adult.

Is it the fact that it's children, which is bothering you?

Or the fact that parents and their healthcare teams can decide for the child?

I'm a bit confused, to be honest


(And I suppose I'm seeing it as only fair that if it's "ok" to do so with adult patients, that we afford the same measures of comfort to children, too, you know?)



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 07:23 PM
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There is no greater act of kindness one human can bestow on another than to allow them the dignity to die in peace and pain free. We see kids flogged day in day out, endure procedures of un-imaginable cruelty for a iffy if not futile chance at existance. In the end you want to ask... Are you doing what is best for your child or yourself.

I do think and strongly beleive that parents should be in the loop and no one doctor should be allowed to make these decisons on their own. But would I hesatate to allow pain medication to be given to my terminaly ill child to ease his suffering knowing full well it could stop his breating? Not one second.



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 12:44 AM
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well i see your guys points on the issue...all very good ones. i dont have a problem with sedation or easing the pain or even withholding treatment.
but its the line in the article that i had on the first post....about them going farther than what the law allows or skimming the line.

and i suppose i do have a bit of a problem with the parents having all the say so. im 19 so i can relate to this for a a teenage perspective. if im 13 or 14 and i have an illness, and lets say i have different religious beliefs than my parents and i do want to go through a treatment like a blood transfusion and lets say my parents are JW's (they arent lol) and they are against it. so they tell the docs to withhold treatment because.. well... they are going to be the ones paying for it and they have medical rights over me. and i end up dying. and this is a very real scenario because i work at a hospital in the ER (im the patient registration lady lol but dont ask me medical questions because im not going into the medical field at all..just a good job to have while in college) anyway the other reg. lady i work with is a JW. and i asked her about this very scenario and she told that she would absolutely not allow her daughter to have any such treatment and her daughter is 12. and i looked at her and said "so you would just let her die" and she said "yes, even if my daughter did not understand."

so there is a slippery slope. its also slippery if the children have all the say so as well. so i think there needs to be clearer lines as to what docs can do or not. i think easing pain is one thing but killing someone off by giving them pills, or injections is another thing. especially in the case of children.

i have so much compassion for people in these situations but at the same time i just see danger in it as well.

hope that made sense


Kind Regards,
DigitalGrl



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:36 AM
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Originally posted by DigitalGrl
....about them going farther than what the law allows or skimming the line.


I do see your point. It's just that from a legal and ethical perspective, this isn't new....the law is horribly grey in some areas, and in some cases this actually necessitates "skimming the line", as it were, you know? I know ER isn't the best example, but remember all those times George Clooney's character skirted the law to help patients (and in some cases downright trampled all over the law
) ? It's the same kind of thing.



....lets say i have different religious beliefs than my parents and i do want to go through a treatment like a blood transfusion and lets say my parents are JW's (they arent lol) and they are against it. so they tell the docs to withhold treatment because.. well... they are going to be the ones paying for it and they have medical rights over me. and i end up dying.


This is where you'd have a great case for legal emancipation - and you'd probably have no problem winning your case (fwiw, while it was being decided, your parents wouldn't be able to have treatment withheld). Plus, there've been cases recently when such actions (parents withholding treatment for religious reasons) have resulted in lawsuits against the parents for abuse and/or neglect.



so there is a slippery slope. its also slippery if the children have all the say so as well. so i think there needs to be clearer lines as to what docs can do or not. i think easing pain is one thing but killing someone off by giving them pills, or injections is another thing. especially in the case of children.


Honestly, the same concerns apply to vulnerable adults, too, and adults who (for whatever reason) are not considered able to make their own healthcare decisions. Though it's a tough cookie to swallow, parents and guardians do have the rights to make healthcare decisions (unless emancipation is sought and awarded) - sometimes those decisions are made for reasons we don't understand.

There does though need to be a separation (if only for our own limited understanding of these matters!) made between terminally ill patients, and those who might have other treatment options - I don't honestly think that these decisions are made lightly at all, and it does appear that they're rarely made at all if the patient isn't considered terminally ill.



i have so much compassion for people in these situations but at the same time i just see danger in it as well.


I don't think you're alone in feeling compassion for the patients in these situations


I'm just not sure the article is actually indicating that much of a problem...it is, afterall, really talking about cases where it's generally conceded that there aren't any realistic treatment options available.

In an ideal world, the decisions would be made by the parents, but with the full knowledge, advice and suggestions of the treatment team.



posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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tinkleflower,

i totally understand what you are saying and agree. i agree with both sides, those for and against it actually...if that makes sense. It's one of those issues where im sort of on the fence. and im usually NEVER on the fence lol. on the one hand im not for the idea of euthanasia because, looking at it from my POV as a christian there is a sanctity of life issue. where i feel we need to play out our course of life until God decides it is time. sometimes that means we might have to suffer greatly. and thats why i think pain medication to ease any suffering is wonderful. unless you are on a machine and then its more like a Deus ex machina issue. (God of machines) in which case pulling someone off life support to me is different.

then here is my other side. i realise not all people have the same views as i do. and while i feel the idea of euthanasia is a moral issue, i dont feel i have the right to tell someone that they HAVE to live in their condition. It really is between them and their creator. it is a highly personal matter.

so it pretty much comes down to how they define terminally ill. does the person have 1-6 months to live or 1-5 years? and is the guardian of the patient whether it is a child or adult really making the choice that the patient would want?

look at the terry shiavo thing.....in here case i feel that she should have been taken off the breathing tube. the state that she was in imhop her soul wasnt in there anymore. she wasnt self aware if she was truely in a PVS which i believe she was. BUT i dont think the guardian...her husband DID NOT really had her best interests at heart and therefore i think the gov. should have had her stay on the breating tube because there was nothing in writing from the patient. her medical condition to me qualified for euthanasia but that doesnt mean it was what SHE would have wanted. and here in lines the problem.

and this is the kind of case i am talking about. you have this person whose condition suggests that they arent even "with it" anymore. they dont know they exist, they cant see, hear, respond to stimuli. so you think, yea that person should be able to be let go. but the guardian says one thing and the parents say another and there is no legal documentation stating what the patient really wants.

thats where i think dangerous situations can occur. where the patient is fallen to either religious practices that arent their own or the guardian is the one that possibly has some alterior motives for wanting them to be euthanised.

and you mentioned emancipation...what if the child is like 8 years old. how are they going to higher councel? has that been done before?

but i guess in all things there are going to be innocent people that get hurt.

so i hope that all made sense. as you can see, when it comes to the issue of myself and euthanasia i firmly disagree unless its a PVS or life support issue, but as far as other people having the right, i feel they do. so i guess im "on the fence" and the fence sucks lol.

Kind Regards,
DigitalGrl




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