The Boundaries of Euthanasia

euthanasiaThanks to Arata Kaku for pointing out this story!

 

While I have always been decidedly supportive of the idea that an individual should ordinarily have the option to end his or her life WHEN THERE IS A CLEAR DEMONSTRATION THAT EXERCISING THAT OPTION IS THE RESULT OF REFLECTIVE CONSIDERATION OF THE NEEDS OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND THOSE OF THE SOCIAL CONNECTIONS TO THAT INDIVIDUAL.

However, a recent occurrence in Belgium should give pause to all of us who take that position.  Does the age of the person matter?  Does it matter in a determinative way? Does the mental health professional have the talents to determine when mental anguish and mental illness are severe? Are the calculations about the severity of mental anguish reliable?  For such a permanent decision, how much weight should be attached to the claims of suffering of the person wishing to end her or his life?

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