Scottish MPs have been urged to consider allowing children the right to assisted suicide by a coalition of charities (including Barnardo’s) called ‘Together’.
A submission, made by Together to the Scottish parliament’s Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill, has asked MPs to note that, ‘Terminal illnesses do not discriminate based on the age of a person and, accordingly, neither should health care’.
Together has been working to ensure the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is implemented in Scotland. It argues that the change to Belgian law earlier this year allowing child euthanasia ‘was in line’ with the UNCRC.
According to reports in the Telegraph, Together recommended that the committee ‘reflects on international examples of comparable legislation, such as the recent amendment to Belgium’s 2002 euthanasia law’.
Patrick Harvie, Green party MSP, is pursuing the Assisted Suicide Bill, which would allow people with a terminal illness or progressive life-shortening condition to be helped to commit suicide — but only if they are aged over 16.
However, pro-life group Care not Killing, which opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, said that extending the Bill to children, as Together proposes, should be unthinkable. ‘The people of Scotland should be alarmed and ashamed of what is being said and proposed. Right-minded people will be baffled that such an idea can be advanced, not least from one organisation purporting to represent the interests of children’.