White Paper: Nina

Hypothesis: The diagnosis of a short term- terminal disease sets the age clock in children higher than the age clock in other children and adults not affected by a terminal disease.

Article 1: Child euthanasia should be allowed by Luke J. Davies

Davies, L. (2015). Child euthanasia should be allowed


It seems counterintuitive that doctors assist in the euthanization of children but also can decide the terms of which children can be euthanized. In this article the author describes the two opinions of child euthanasia. First, in many cases when a child or individual is diagnosed with a terminal disease that has no cure, parents and or guardians refuse to point to euthanasia as their second option, especially if a child is involved. Secondly, others would rather allow euthanization to be the alternative opposed to allowing someone to suffer from an incurable disease.

The author argues that child euthanasia should be allowed, but only under strict criteria and approval by professionals. There will be a narrower set of criteria for children then there would be for adults, for children won’t be accountable to decide life or death. But, this also holds a barrier over a child’s input to make decisions.

Lastly, the article highlights the emotional pressure that euthanasia endures on not only the patient but on his or her family. A child who is told they are qualified and meet the criteria and can be euthanized might feel obligated to agree. Where as a family may suffer emotional and financial set backs due to euthanasia.

Article 2: Organ donation after euthanasia in children

Bollen, J. A. M., Ten Hoopen, R., van der Hoeven, Mark A H B M, Shaw, D., Brierley, J., Ysebaert, D., . . . van Mook, Walther N K A. (2018). Organ donation after euthanasia in children: Belgian and dutch perspectives. Archives of Disease in Childhood, , archdischild-2018-315560. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2018-315560


It seems counterintuitive that individuals who argue euthanasia shouldn’t be allowed in children nor adults, wont want the organs of the deceased to be donated to others to prevent death in other children or adults. In this article, many authors agree and argue forth that after euthanasia is complete, the organs should be donated to save other lives. The article describes that the steps taken to proceed in euthanasia is caused by a coma injection and muscle relaxant. After about five minutes of allowing the organs to set, they can be recovered in an immediate surgery.

The audience must also take into consideration the laws surrounding the requirements for the procedure in different locations. For example, in Belgium the individual must be mentally competent adults and emancipated minors. Where as in the Netherlands, children that are twelve or older are able to choose if euthanasia is an option for them.

The maleficence of the option is the emotional outcome from the individuals family. But the procedure and the steps to take afterwards will be discussed to ensure the family well if euthanasia is an option. The benefits of this is that those who suffer from other health conditions could be saved if organ donation occurs after the procedure.

Article 3: Euthanasia and Depression

Koch, T. (2008). Euthanasia and depression: No surprise. Bmj, 337(7679), 1127-1127. doi:10.1136/bmj.a2479


It seems counterintuitive that euthanasia is a dominant use for those who suffer from long term incurable diseases, but that patients can also use euthanasia as a solution to depression and anxiety. It is argued that euthanasia should not be an option for individuals who suffer from depression, but it should also not come as a surprise that people would consider it.

Euthanasia has now become a gateway for individuals who suffer from not only chronic-long term diseases, but also for those who face psychological disorders. For example, the woman who requested the procedure during the suffering of anorexia. Doctors and other health professions do not want euthanasia to turn from the end of suffering, to the end of people.

It is argued that means of therapy, psychological counseling, and group sessions with others should be the first steps taken by someone who suffers from depression. Measures of proceeding to euthanasia if the individual has shown no signs of progress, is up to the patient if further signs of psychological illness begin to occur.

Article 4: The sensitivity argument against child euthanasia

Keeling, G. (2018). The sensitivity argument against child euthanasia. Journal of Medical Ethics, 44(2), 143-144. doi:10.1136/medethics-2017-104221


It seems counterintuitive that ending the suffering in of a painful, incurable disease in adults is more flexible than ending the suffering of an incurable disease in a child. The author poses that children wouldn’t want to see their parents sad and stressed of their death and are too young to understand the process and aftermath of euthanasia. Where as an adult understands the procedure and has no one to hold standards up to and can choose when he or she cannot handle a terminal disease.

Boven suggests that children are more primitive to opt out of euthanasia more than adults. More so because of their family expectations. Adults have a more flexible approach and doesn’t depend on another adult to make their decisions rather than a child. Boven also discusses that if euthanasia is an option, parents might encourage their children to agree to the procedure without considering their child’s best interest.

In conclusion, distinct and specific measures should be taken to decide when euthanasia is appropriate rather than having the option on the table up for takes. A child should fully understand the results and parents must take into consideration the child’s condition and if the criteria for the procedure matches with the child’s situation. The moral lines of the decision for adults to choose euthanasia are very unique from the criteria of a child who has the option to go through the procedure.

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