Mother requests lethal injection for 4-year-old born with disability

Mother requests lethal injection for 4-year-old born with disability

A Canadian mother has asked the Canadian government to extend euthanasia to children so a lethal injection might be given to her son.

Karie-Lyn Pelletier, from L’Islet, says she will wish to end the life of her four-year-old son, Abel, if his condition becomes worse.

Abel was born with Mednik syndrome, a genetic condition that means he is deaf and has severe learning disabilities and intestinal problems.

Miss Pelletier has said she wants euthanasia to be “the end that will deliver Abel from his sufferings and the fight he leads”.

She has received support from Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, who worked on Bill C-7.

Euthanasia has been legal in Canada since 2016. In 2019 however, following the euthanising of Alan Nichols, a former school caretaker who was physically healthy but struggled with depression, the legal requirement that a person be terminally ill before administration of euthanasia was dropped.

Bill C-7, passed by the Canadian Parliament in March this year, further extended euthanasia legislation to people with disabilities and those with mental health issues, over the age of eighteen.

Other countries that have introduced supposedly restricted assisted suicide and euthanasia legislation have seen an expansion of their laws as medical professionals and activists push the boundaries of acceptable practice.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, the law that permits euthanasia has rapidly expanded to include more categories of people.

Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002 and since then, the practice has even been extended to children. The current law allows euthanasia if the patient is in a state of constant physical or psychological pain.

There is now a renewed push for euthanasia to be available for those who are healthy but have decided they have led a ‘fulfilled life’.

In the Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, doctors are now permitted to secretly sedate patients who have dementia before euthanising them. The law permits voluntary euthanasia for anyone over the age of 16, and children aged 13-15 can be euthanised with their parents’ consent. 

Last year, the Dutch government said it would be changing the regulations to allow doctors to end the lives of terminally ill children between the ages of one and twelve.