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In our opinion: Lives worth living, euthanasia unsuitable for children

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  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 2:16 a.m.

    I don't disagree with this desnews editorial, but I wonder why the difference with animals? Why do we put animals who we love to death if we deem their life not worth living and believe what we have done is for the best?

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    So the Dnews, who has supported the death penalty, advocates that the State can eliminate your right to life, but a terminally ill patient cannot? Where is the liberty in that? There is no liberty, and no compassion, in denying a terminally ill, suffering person a more peaceful way to die.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    I'm having dejavu of a Child K circa germany 1939 who was deemed to have no quality of life as well.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    We have some tough issues to face.

    Medicare is projected to be the main budget buster going forward. Our costs are increasing and the baby boomers are retiring.

    1/4 of medicare outlays occur in the last year of someones life.

    If you study this as a business person would, this number would scream loudly.

    But it turns into a political flash point. Remember all the hoopla over death panels?
    Heck, this was a made up issue, and yet it took the headlines.

    But, realistically, this needs to be addressed. We cant continue to spend huge $$ on someone who is about to die.

    That is a cold hard fact.

    In reality, we DO need some form of end of life panel. Call it death panels if you want, but it needs to be discussed in a logical, factual way without over-the-top political rhetoric which shuts down the discussion.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    "One of the foremost principles of common law is that minors, or individuals under the age of 18, are unable to enter into legally binding contracts." - Is not an accurate statement. The State of Utah grants minors the right to enter marriage, a civil contract, at the age of 16 with parental consent and at the age of 15 with judicial and parental consent.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    Is euthanasia "suitable" for ANY group? Or ANY age?

    Once we accept euthanasia as "suitable"... we are no better than the Nazis and their gas chambers. just on a different scale.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    JoeBlow, I can't believe I'm saying this but I agree with you. People don't want to put a price on someone's life, but we do it everyday and must continue to do it. People just don't want to admit we do.

    If we didn't put a price on someones life, insurance companies would be required to pay for each and every procedure and medicine that could extend the life of a person by even a minute.

    We cannot do that. A business person understands that regardless of who much you can get an obamacare policy for, the true cost of insurance to taxpayers is at an unsustainable level and cannot continue to increase.

    There needs to be a way for logical people to realize that "No" needs to be said by insurance companies sometimes if any of us are to survive the health care nightmare we are in.

    But too often liberals try and guilt these insurance companies by saying there is no price too high to help someone. And that simply is not true.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    I know that comparison was a little over-the-top. But when we accept euthanasia for certain groups (children in this case)... we are headed the wrong direction (IMO).

    If you think it will just stop at those with mental or medical handicaps... read the views of the euthanasia society (goggle it). Or the views of the Fabian Socialists on euthanasia. Google George Bernard Shaw and read his views on Eugenics. Watch his video spouting the philosophy of the Fabian Socialists (that every person should be asked every year or so.. what are YOU contributing to society... and give the chance to justify their existence.... and prove they deserve the RIGHT to live).

    Goggle "Fabian Society"
    Goggle "The second spring"
    Google "Eugenics"
    Learn about the agenda and where it goes.

    It's a slippery slope after you accept euthanasia . Especially State sponsored Eugenics.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    "JoeBlow, I can't believe I'm saying this but I agree with you."

    Crazy things happen sometimes. :)

    "But too often liberals try and guilt these insurance companies by saying there is no price too high to help someone. And that simply is not true"

    I don't disagree but I see both sides as the problem (a totally liberal idea).
    The last big discussion about the issue was shut down by the conservatives.

    "Obama wants to kill Granny!"

    And this was all predicated by the concept that doctors should be paid for having a sit down discussion with the family about end of life options.

    This is what inspired the whole "death panel" discussion.

    Yes, liberals definitely contribute to the problem. But Conservatives hands are equally dirty.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    What this article doesn't mention is how strict the rules are before any minor is granted his request to die. The procedure is so time-consuming and requires so many check-points that in nearly all cases the incurable, intolerably suffering child will have died before any action can be taken. Moreover, the number of requests will be extremely low, if any. The Netherlands have have had this law (for 16-year olds) for more than 10 years and only 5 minors have made the request over that period. So, comparisons with Nazis and gas chambers are very inappropriate. This is a complex, deeply humane problem. Compassion with the one who suffers intolerably should be a guiding principle in judging.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    I always believed that the countenancing and regular practice of legal abortions would be a stepping stone to legally killing the old and infirm. I cannot believe the evil of the world in which we live.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    I see it now, euthanasia camps across America and Europe. Where Grandma goes to stay. Or the government reroutes you when you thought you were going for a cruise in the Bahamas. "Arbeit macht frei" "Jedem das Seine" Apparently the concept is not appalling to some posters. "we DO need some form of end of life panel. Call it death panels if you want, but it needs to be discussed in a logical, factual way without over-the-top political rhetoric (code for don't bring morals into the discussion) which shuts down the discussion." "comparisons with Nazis and gas chambers are very inappropriate" If the Nazis had only euthanized 600,000 it would be acceptable. Maybe if it was only five it would be acceptable. Eugenics is alive and thriving in the US. Already we turn our backs on 50 million children killed since Roe vs Wade. We live in a black and morally depraved society.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    "Compassion with the one who suffers intolerably should be a guiding principle in judging." The Nazis determined 10 million, (6 million Jews) were suffering intolerably and thus were released from their suffering as a race, because they didn't equal the greatest race and were destined to forever suffer as inferior.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    We are 17 trillion dollars in debt. A baby born today is 50,000 dollars in debt (if one adds in unfunded liabilities, make that 150,000). Ruining the futures of children so old people can live 6 more months is immoral. As for euthanasia and children, children deserve the option. I would prefer no children suffer persistent horrible health, but I didn't create this universe.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    Soilent Green is PEOPLE!! (Charlton Heston)

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    Would any same adult allow a child to eat candy without constraint? There is a reason that children are under the protective care of adults. Adults realize that life, once extinguished, is gone forever. Children may not fully understand that consequence.

    No child is capable of making the decision to commit suicide. No adult fully understands the full consequences of 'self-killing'.

    Before we assume that we are gods, shouldn't we fully understand the purpose of mortality?

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    @ Joe Blow and Christopher B. I hope your personally volunteering to be first in line. If you truly have a problem with medicare going to elderly then I say scrap it for every one. The people who need medical coverage the most are the people in the beginning or last stages of life.It is the height of self serving narcissism to have posterity regard their aging parents who scrimped saved and sacrificed their whole lives for them to deny them the treatment they need to help them enjoy the fruit of a lifes labor worth of pain blood sweat and tears. If you guys are so concerned about the cost I suggest you all open your checkbooks and pay your parents back the 150K-200K they spent on average to raise you. thats the average we all cost our parents by the time we leave home. Or we could go back to how america used to take care of our elderly. When they got to old to be self sustaining it was your job to have them move in with you and support them. I personally prefer that idea.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    "so old people can live 6 more months" and the spin goes on maybe we shouldn't allow a retirement because it puts a drain on the children. A movie from 1976, "Logan's Run" depicted a society that had determined the optimal period of life and exterminated people when they reached that age, thus no drain on society. There is no moral position that supports this kind of policy.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    Does anyone in this comment section actually understand how euthanasia works in Belgium? You do all realise that it has to be requested dont you??? This isnt a case of doctors going around and killing the old and infirm. People have to apply, go through a series of checks and interviews and state that they wish to die.

    Comparing this to the nazis and eugenics shows a clear misunderstanding of how this all works.

    This is for people in crippling pain or those with a condition with no cure that will leave them with no dignity as they wait for a death.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    "If you truly have a problem with medicare going to elderly then I say scrap it for every one."

    Nice strawman. There is quite a difference between treating an otherwise healthy 70 year old with prostate cancer and doing a hip replacement on an 85 year old with lung cancer.

    I find it curious how the same people that justify spending endlessly to extend someones life a few months but want to deny healthcare to younger people with their whole life ahead of them.

    Somehow one is humane and the other is not?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    @JoeBlow

    You nailed it...

    Healthcare for 65 and older, why that Patriotic Americanism

    64 1/2 and below...is nothing short of Red Communism.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    @jsf
    If you can't separate genocide committed by Nazis to people choosing something much closer to the equivalent of pulling the plug, I don't know what to tell you.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    liberty,

    Yes, I'm proposing when I get old and have incurable cancer, if there is a procedure that costs $1 million and could increase my life expectancy by 2 months, I should have to pay for it. No insurance company(and therefore taxpayers) should have to pay for whatever procedures I want, regardless of the cost, purely because it helps.

    If your proposal is for taxpayers(through insurance costs) to pay for whatever expense anyone wants, sorry it doesn't work.

    I suggest you be the one to start paying double what your insurance premiums are and just tell your insurance company you want them to start covering more expenses for the elderly.

    Or if you want medicare to pay more - I suggest you start giving the govt double the taxes you and specify you want your contributions to go medicare.

    Well, are you willing to start doing this?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    @ChristopherB

    I don't disagree with you, but I must ask...

    What if that procedure extended life 10 years? 5 years? 2 years? 1 year? Or cost $500,000, 200? Or even just three hundred dollars?

    Who gets to make those decisions? You? You're family? An insurance company? The government? You're doctor?

    What if instead of you being old, it was a kid that was only a few months old? Or a teenager? A 30 year old?

    Should one's status in life, and financial ability be a consideration when determining "Right to Life?"

    The problem we run into (and I have no solution either) is we do not have a clear set of criteria that can be applied in all situations. When and where does that line get drawn?

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    Darrel,

    And I've never suggested I have all the solutions either. I just don't like when people get caught up in the emotion behind something that yes is very emotional and they are unable to reconcile those emotions with reality.

    The reality is that we can't afford health care costs currently and insurance companies are still crucified for not covering a great deal of services.

    So we can't afford it, but we want more services, but we don't want to pay for them. Sorry, reality and logic are missing there.

    So anyone who says that insurance companies need to start covering more need to back up their talk by start paying their insurance companies more than their premiums are and ask that the excess funds be used to cover more than what is currently covered.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    And what happens when the Medicare fund starts to run out?

    Total Medicare spending is projected to increase from $523 billion in 2010 to $932 billion by 2020. From 2010 to 2030, Medicare enrollment is projected to increase from 47 million to 79 million, and the ratio of workers to enrollees is expected to decrease from 3.7 to 2.4

    As the fund runs out... Does the government scramble to find more money? Does medicare tax skyrocket? Bank accounts confiscated? Does the age-limit for when some of these procedures are allowed go down? Obviously adjustments will be needed to save it.

    The current medicare system was based on the population growth trend we had in the 1950's (the baby boom). We know that trend is over and has reversed. People are retiring earlier and often living till 100 years old. What will happen when there are more people on medicare than there are working people paying into it??

    These are things we need to think about BEFORE they happen. While there is still time to fix it before it collapses.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    I certainly do understand that when an odious evil practice is first suggested it is attended with all kinds of "safeguards", exemptions, etc and has, at first, just an isolated and unusual, special case, application. Then it becomes more common and we get more used to it and the propaganda is meanwhile stepped up. What we need to consider is camels, noses and tents; frogs, warm water, boiling water.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 19, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    "What if that procedure extended life 10 years? 5 years? 2 years? 1 year? Or cost $500,000, 200? Or even just three hundred dollars? "

    Yes Darrell. That is the conundrum. It is a difficult issue. But, the answer today is typically to do anything and everything. Why? Because someone else is paying.

    We shouldn't demonize people for talking about the problem openly. It is an emotionally charged issue. We need to have mature, fact based discussions.

    And, the extent of end of life care is really a very separate issue from euthanasia.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    @ Joe Blow hard. I agree you are a straw man. As for the difference between the 70 or 85 year old I believe that should be theirs and their doctors decision not a bearucrat board of fiscal alcoholic politicaly motivated government appointees. Every socialist/ marxist philosophy promotes this idea of eliminating the less fit for the good of the whole. Unfortunatley it never turns out that way because the people with control levers, power, money and connections can always find justification or corruption on why their life gets extended and spared while someone else doesn't. It also becomes a political tool of oppression against those who are opponents to those in power as has been repeated in every one of these grand experiments. And yes I say get rid of medicaid and SS if we are going to death panels. I am tired of supporting generational theft by people who have known since the 1960's these programs were unsustainble. you pull your own weight plan for your retirement and save for your own medical needs rather than leech it from me.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Feb. 19, 2014 5:49 p.m.

    @Gildas

    What is odious and evil about someone who lives a life of constant agony wishing to end things on their terms?

    Does everyone understand that people can be in so much pain, the strongest pain killers we have wont begin to ease it?

    Does everyone understand that you can get diseases that will waste away your muscles, diseases that have no cure. You will spend your last few months unable to go to the toilet by yourself, feed yourself and be in constant pain.

    Life is worth living and blah blah blah but if I have the prospect of having my wife or children change my diapers and feed me mush, I think I would rather take the bye bye drink that you get at dignitas.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 12:02 a.m.

    I wonder if, faced with this scenario being a reality in our lives, we'd make decisions differently than we armchair QB them now? I can't imagine having to sort through options like this under duress like that of a child with a terminal illness. And I don't think anyone who ever has to even contemplate this situation cares one iota what the rest of us think. Or what the law says. Nobody is suggesting that we take this lightly. But we who have not arrived at this place owe dignity to those who have, and to their families. In a lot of cases, I think they're going to take it in any case. I'm not a religious man, and I don't buy into god as is marketed around here. But I do see an assessment of fate in the statement 'there, but for the grace of god, go I'. Whether god or fate or chance intervenes in our lives, we're bloody lucky to have this discussion externally rather than as participants.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    I am LDS, and have an opinion probably against my Church, but both my wife and I agree that we don't want to be a burdon, financial or otherwise, on our children when we get to that stage of "just waiting to die". Plus that stage is usually accompanied by a lot of pain and indignity. And, with medical technology, many people live beyond what nature, or God if you will, would have determined. As far as I'm concerned, I should have the choice, and be able to give my spouce the legal choice, to pull the plug when the right time comes. I think that, just like a will, a legal contract should be allowed to be executed which would determine the circumstances that a person could be given that last overdose of oxycontin, and allowed to check out.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    The promise of the Declaration of Independence, that all people “are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” presupposes life. Indeed, the very notion of an “inalienable right” is a right that cannot be abrogated.

    Except that the DNews and its owners constantly fight (and attempt to justify on the basis of religious grounds) to abrogate some peoples' "inalienable" right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 20, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    Why, oh why, do all discussions with moral implications (what's right and wrong)on this thread, devolve into black and evil, this reminds me of Nazi Germany, so you'd rather live in communism, or some other equally hyperbolic and absolutely inapplicable comparison?

    If something can't be defended or discredited on it's own merits and needs the support of exaggeration you might think twice about the position.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 20, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    Absurd fact:

    We the People of the United States deem that individuals cannot choose when or how you will die. But the government can.

    Indeed, there is a fear that America cannot rely upon individual families and persons to make educated, prepared and compassionate decisions regarding their own lives. Thus, the government compels many to an unnaturally artificial, limited, painful and dependent quality of life. What is unnatural is often very expensive. This is no exception.

    I am disappointed in the Deseret News for its lack of nuance in approaching these issues. The editorial board's logic is consistently unsound and frequently contradicts itself depending on the issue.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 20, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    Morality is a very difficult and expensive ideal to protect by law.

    When morals dictate Americans have a right to a "living wage", we all pay for that new "right."
    When morals dictate Americans have a right to a social security net, we all pay for that new "right."
    When morals dictate Americans have a right to access medical care, we all pay for that new right.

    Unfortunately, the government was never built to efficiently support our desired prophylactic "rights."

    My parents generation has mortgaged their children's prosperity for their own fiscal security and comfort. I doubt my generation will be any better. At a certain point, however, we will have to admit we cannot afford to live our ever-expanding interpretation of what constitutes a "right".