Q: What's your take on this move by Belgium?
The LDS church views life as a sacred gift from God and, therefore, is opposed to euthanasia, defined as "deliberately putting to death a person who is suffering from an incurable condition or disease." Assisted suicide also is considered a violation of God's laws.
Belgian lawmakers' decision to remove age restrictions on its law permitting euthanasia is especially troubling for several reasons. A group of 160 pediatricians have signed a letter saying there is no demand for this change, and that medicine can alleviate the worst suffering.
Based on press coverage, it appears the strongest advocates are doctors or other adults who cited their own anguish watching children die. I credit them with good intentions, but I also wonder if one driving force behind their concerns is their own anguish at watching children suffer. Several have mentioned their own emotional pain in arguing for the law.
The only voice I found from those close to the age that the new law addresses was a teenage girl, recently turned 18, who was incapacitated by Huntington's disease. Barely able to speak, she whispered her view that euthanasia is "not good."
I don't view lightly the emotional strain of watching a loved one suffer. My father died slowly, and painfully, of cancer. It was his second battle with the disease and it lasted for nearly a year. To watch one of my children die in similar fashion would be immeasurably more difficult.