It seems counterintuitive that euthanization could become legal for young children, but in Belgium it has. The Belgian senate passed a law that allowed the euthenasian of children who are terminally ill. Although euthenasian has been legal in Belgium since 2003, this was only available to those who are 18 years of age and older.Euthanasia for older people is viewed as more ethical and more common. But, a young terminally ill child is also close to death like an elderly person may be. They could both be 6 months away from death. Although the difference between years of birth is significantly different, the length of time between their death is relatively the same.
Many experts are against this new law and hope it is vetoed in the House of Representatives. The CMAD has found 32% of euthenasians have been performed without an official request. They also found that euthenasia in some cases is not being reported and that nurses are performing this task instead of the doctors who are required by law.
Legal euthanization allows a terminally ill child to rest peacefully without facing the rapid health decline they are bound to face before their passing.This procedure also allows the family some relief to know their child is no longer suffering and waiting for death. This practice is already being used in young children, some experts claim.
Those of the Euthenasian Prevention Coalition are against the new bill as they fear this power will continue to be wrongfully used in order to cover up medical errors and believe that resources should instead be poured into research to find moral ways to cure the pain and suffering endured from their disease.
To Counteract this argument, children who are terminally ill may have only a few months left to live. The chances of a cure in the time span they have left is very slim. If we haven’t found a cure already, how do we expect to find one in the last few weeks or months that a child has to live? Although euthenasia has been given to those suffering from depression and anorexia, which does not fit the government’s stated criteria, the circumstances surrounding this decision result in the long pain and suffering a child has to endure before their disease overcomes them.
It seems counterintuitive to use live animals in the circus, but this was a practice that was used for years. Only recently circuses stopped using elephants in their shows as they were receiving a lot of backlash from animal lovers everywhere. The ringling bros circus traveled all across the country with their elephants performing in their shows. These wild animals were forced into performing and were kept in bare minimum enclosures during shows to appease the crowds. What happened at ringling bros can be said to contribute to the ban of circus elephants as they were being mistreated and forced to perform at least 3 shows a day.
One juvenile elephant, Kenny, became very sick the morning of a show and was not given the proper medical care. According to federal regulations, these animals must receive prompt medical care and be cleared by veterinarians before performing a show. The Department of Agriculture inspects and ensures circus animals under the Animal Welfare Act. Although Kenny was showing clear signs of illness such as weakness, diarrhea, and bleeding from the bottom, the show still went on and he was expected to perform. When the circus veterinarian finally arrived the juvenile elephant was given some antibiotics and it was recommended he miss the evening show. An animal tamer overruled the suggestion of the vet and Kenny performed that night when he was obviously too weak to even stand. The bleeding from his bottom continued and two hours after the show he was found dead. With proper medical care and rest this disastrous situation could have been avoided. Instead of following vet orders, Kenny was forced to do a show which ultimately was too much on his body and killed him. Even though his cause of death remains unknown, you can speculate that if the ringling bros took this more seriously and gave the elephant proper care then he would still be alive.
The ringling bros attempted to cover up their mistake and only released the information on the death of Kenny when an employee tipped off animal rights activists. This goes to show the guilt they felt for allowing a sick animal to continue to perform and go against medical advice. Instead of banning the use of these animals right away, a donation of $20000 was given to contribute to elephant causes. Although many investigations on this franchise have been launched, the federal government continued to ignore the clear signs of animal abuse. Baby elephants were being weaned from their mothers at just 1 year old instead of teens like they would in the wild. It was found that these creatures were being chained and confined to small areas as well as beaten with things like bullhooks to teach them to do tricks.
The lack of help from the federal government allowed the abuse of these animals to continue. The FDA continued to open cases on the question of animal abuse by the ringling bros. In 2011, the US Court of Appeals took the case into their hands and their decision was upheld. Peta has been involved and looking at the records in order to revoke ringling bros licensing for wild animals. The practice of using elephants in the circus is cruel and inhumane and has been something that has been debated for years.
It seems counterintuitive to give heroin addicts the means to get high, but in Vancouver they are giving addicts sterile equipment and drugs to reduce the amount of drug related deaths. The practice of giving addicts needles, tourniquets, and wipes is a form of harm reduction to lead to safer injection and to reduce the risk of infection. In Vancouver they are providing safe places for addicts to go use where nurses are on staff and the heroin is supplied.
Although some argue this is just feeding the addiction, the use of harm reduction has significantly saved lives and is a step towards recovery. In Vancouver, free heroin is only supplied to those who have tried alternatives such as suboxone and methadone. Suboxone and methadone are heroin derivatives that are used to wean people off. The goal of this project is to reduce the amount of addicts you see passed out on the streets with a needle in their arm. They hope that the prescription this program provides reduces the risk of crime in Vancouver such as robberies and prostitution. The drugs are being prescribed by medical doctors who can monitor the patients. This also reduces the risk of laced drugs that are killing addicts everywhere. Although this program prolongs the recovery of an addict, it does create a safer environment until they are ready to work the steps and commit to recovery.