Skip to comments.Assisted suicide plans for children unveiled at Toronto's Sick Kids hospital
Posted on 10/05/2018 7:25:21 PM PDT by rickmichaels
TORONTO In a prestigious medical journal, doctors from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children have laid out policies and procedures for administering medically assisted death to children, including scenarios where the parents would not be informed until after the child dies.
The article appears just three months before the Canadian Council of Academies is due to report to Parliament on the medical consensus about extending voluntary euthanasia in circumstances currently forbidden by law. The Canadian Council of Academies is specifically looking at extending so-called assisted dying to patients under 18, psychiatric patients and patients who have expressed a preference for euthanasia before they were rendered incapable by Alzheimer's or some other disease.
The Sept. 21 paper written by Sick Kids doctors, administrators and ethicists was published in the British Medical Journal's J Med Ethics and backed by the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics.
In a flowchart that outlines how a medically induced death would occur at Sick Kids, authors Carey DeMichelis, Randi Zlotnik Shaul and Adam Rapoport do not mention conversation with family or parents about how the child dies until after the death occurs in the "reflection period."
Patient confidentiality governs the decision about whether or not to include parents in a decision about an assisted death, the authors said. If capable minors under the age of 18 stipulate they don't want their parents involved, doctors and nurses must respect the patients' wishes.
"Usually, the family is intimately involved in this (end-of-life) decision-making process," they write. "If, however, a capable patient explicitly indicates that they do not want their family members involved in their decision-making, although health care providers may encourage the patient to reconsider and involve their family, ultimately the wishes of capable patients with respect to confidentiality must be respected."
The proposed policy for Sick Kids argues that there is no meaningful ethical distinction between a patient choosing to refuse burdensome treatment and accepting an inevitable death versus patients who choose to die by chemical injection before the disease brings on death. Legally, Ontario does not require parents to be involved in a capable minor's decision to refuse further treatment, therefore there is no legal reason to require parent involvement in an assisted death, according to the Sick Kids policy.
Bioethicist Bridget Campion said she is neither surprised nor shocked by the article.
"The fact is medical assistance in dying is now legal. And it's legal in many places around the world," said the researcher, lecturer and writer with the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute. "Now that it is legal, many practitioners are saying, 'How do we do this?' I'm not surprised at all."
Opponents of assisted suicide are concentrating their efforts on a fight for conscience protections, she said, both for individual clinicians and for religious health care institutions.
"It's a tough thing to know what to do next under the circumstances. This is now legal," she said. "In my opinion, if we are committed to building a culture of life, forget the legislation. That ship has sailed. There are some things that we absolutely must make sure stay in place that there can be Catholic health care, that there can be conscientious objection. But, to me, the biggest thing is, 'OK, how do we build a culture of life? How do we build a culture of care?' If we can do that and make it so that people don't want medical assistance in dying, then we will have achieved something."
Like other Catholic bioethicists, Campion finds the assisted suicide argument based on patient rights and autonomy simplistic and overly narrow. But the Sick Kids policy seems to take no account of collective rights or values, as it concentrates on patient autonomy.
"These days, what I'm thinking about is that we tend to think of medicine as a highly private thing between the patient and the clinician," she said.
"We have to be thinking about communities of health as well, communities of wellness."
Let that sink in.
“We killed your child. What are you going to do about it?”
How could anyone bring their child to such a place
But it is free. Isn’t that what we are told about how wonderful Canadian healthcare is?
Must make the national health care system solid so Canadians will stop coming down here to Florida for healthcare. Seniors next up!
I am afraid they would not like my response.
I would not like it either.
But it would be necessary.
This can only be the product of an entirely materialistic mind.
What’s the point of having a hospital?
Think of all the money it would save the Canadian “free” healthcare system. Think of the parents who won’t have a sick child as a burden and could become a more productive member of society.
Hmmmm...... gives me an idea....
How ‘bout we get rid of all the other burdens against society... like the moochers.... like the people in prison... like the poor... like the members of government who remain in their positions for too long....
Liberals harm and kill the most defenseless every chance they get.
I didnt see in the article a definition of Capable Minor.
Who decides who is a Capable Minor? What are the criteria?
Hey doc, this kid is costing the health care system about $50K a day do you think hes Capable?
Oh, sure he is. Schedule him for termination Tuesday. Ill get his consent.
We killed your child. What are you going to do about it?
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This is awful. I cant imagine how any parent would feel to find out after the fact that the hospital euthanized their child. Can you imagine?
I have a couple questions that lead to another concern? What is the age of consent to being able to make this decision. Who is to say that the patient was given the proper information that they could understand? Who is to say the child really agreed?
Satan walks the Earth in the open now.
Remember when we were told that death panels were not part of socialized health care and they called us lunatics?
These people are frigging subhuman.
I think the days we are living in are worse than the days of Noah.
Soylent Green Puppy Food.
All bad, but the line that is perhaps most troubling is “...and patients who have expressed a preference for euthanasia before they were rendered incapable by Alzheimer’s...”. So it isn’t assisted suicide anymore in certain cases?!? Flat-out killing people? I guess with socialized medicine you need a back-up plan!
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