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Canadian euthanasia committee says 12-year olds should be eligible

by Sharon Kirkey, National Post, 14 December 2015

The nine-member “expert panel” advising Canadian provinces on the implementation of Carter v Canada argues there should be no “arbitrary age limits” for assisted death, and that eligibility should be based on maturity and mental competence, not age.

“A five-year-old? A seven-year-old? They would never be seen as having the capacity or competence for making these decisions,” said co-chair Maureen Taylor, widow of Dr. Donald Low, whose posthumous video plea for legalized assisted death was shot just days before his death in 2013 from a brain tumour.

However, Taylor, a physician assistant, said, theoretically, a 12-year-old could have the maturity to make such life-and-death decisions. “I could definitely see 12-year-olds having that capacity, and I could see 16-year-olds not have that capacity.” Decisions would have to be made on an individual basis, she said.

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