Canadian panel pushes for some minors to be able to choose assisted suicide without parental consent

Just because your child isn’t an adult doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to kill themself — with the government’s help, of course.

And parents shouldn’t be able to stop them.

That, believe it or not, is the unconscionable position of Canada’s Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), which recommended assisted suicide for “mature” minors without parental consent earlier this month.

In the 138-page Canadian Parliament document titled, “Medical Assistance In Dying In Canada: Choices or Canadians,” the committee argued that “minors with the requisite capacity are generally entitled to make their own healthcare decisions.”

“The term ‘mature minor’ refers to a common law doctrine according to which ‘an adolescent’s treatment wishes should be granted a degree of deference that is reflective of his or her evolving maturity,'” they explained.

And despite the fact that the prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain that handles things like impulse control and making rational, complex decisions — isn’t fully developed in a human being before the age of  at least 24, the committee believes there needs to be “greater engagement with directly affected youth and their families on the topic of MAID for mature minors, including youth with terminal illnesses, youth with disabilities, youth in the child welfare system and Indigenous youth.”

Two “tracks” toward euthanasia for kids were considered by the committee: one for those whose death was “reasonably foreseeable,” and one for those for whom “mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition.”

The topic was debated by government witnesses.

“For MAID and mature minors, the committee heard a mix of views about whether MAID should be available to those under the age of 18,” the document stated. “Many witnesses believed that age alone does not determine whether someone is capable of consenting to MAID.”

The authors did note that “a cautious approach was recommended, especially since there is little evidence from youth themselves on this topic.”

Thankfully, it seems “most” of the witnesses weren’t on board with the idea of letting the government kill depressed or anxiety-ridden kids.

“Most witnesses agreed that if MAID for mature minors were allowed, it should only be under track one (reasonably foreseeable natural death),” according to the document.

And, the authors wrote, “The committee agrees with the many witnesses who opined that MAID for mature minors should be limited to track one (reasonably foreseeable natural death) at this stage, especially given the lack of youth perspectives on the topic.”

“The committee recommends that mature minors should have access to MAID under track one,” they stated. “The committee also recommends that youth be consulted on the topic of MAID and mature minors.”

But what about consulting the parents of those children?

Well, sure, the committee agreed, the parents should be consulted, so long as they know they don’t get the final say in the matter.

“The committee agrees with those witnesses who supported a requirement for parental consultation, but not consent, in the context of MAID for mature minors,” they declared.

This, the committee felt, should be a law.

Among the many jaw-dropping, dystopian recommendations made by the committee was this one: “That the Government of Canada establish a requirement that, where appropriate, the parents or guardians of a mature minor be consulted in the course of the assessment process for MAID, but that the will of a minor who is found to have the requisite decision-making capacity ultimately take priority.”

Should MAID be expanded to include these “mature minors,” children would join “the roughly 10,000 adults who end their lives each year by state-sanctioned euthanasia in the world’s most permissive such program,” according to the Daily Mail.

Amy Hasbrouck, of the anti-MAID group, Not Dead Yet, called the idea “horrible.”

“I think it’s horrible,” she told the outlet. “Teenagers are not in a good position to judge whether to commit suicide or not. Any teenagers with a disability, who’s constantly told their life is useless and pitiful, will be depressed, and of course they’re going to want to die.”

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, cautioned that Canada is sliding down a slippery slope and could, in the future, decide to expand MAID even further.

“We said we were going to have safeguards and guardrails,” he told the Daily Mail, “but the next government can simply open it up further by making a decision — and that’s exactly what’s happening.”

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