No Infant Euthanasia
Dear Committee members,
We strongly object to Dr. Louis Roy’s suggestion that Canada should expand the euthansia/MAiD criteria to include infants from newborns to 1-year-olds.
Medicine needs to be humble enough to admit that it doesn’t have all the answers when a life-limiting prognosis is given to an individual. We do not and cannot foresee exactly what a child’s quality of life will be in a few years and it is misplaced compassion to suggest that ending the child’s life constitutes care.
In our experience there is no way for parents to reasonably adjudicate whether ending their child’s life is legitimate. Even the idea of this places immense pressure and unjust guilt on parents for the suffering of their children and families. Furthermore, we know that much physical suffering can be dramatically alleviated through proper palliative care
Expanding euthanasia to infants violates the principle of autonomy which was supposed to be essential to this law in Canada. . We are warning that this opens the door to prematurely ending the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities or other cognitive impairments.
Finally, it further devalues persons with disabilities. Nobody deserves to have a question mark over their life because the society in which they live has deemed their lives optional from the outset. This is unacceptable in the free and inclusive society we seek to promote.
We will not abandon children and their families who suffer.