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Canadian pediatricians ‘increasingly’ being asked about assisted death for children

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 12:11 GMT, Oct 26, 2017 |
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The Canadian Paediatric Society says its members are “increasingly” being asked by parents about the option of seeking medically assisted death for children, while a survey of doctors found nearly half of the respondents supported assisted death for kids with “progressive terminal illness or intractable pain.”

Some 2,600 pediatricians were asked to participate in a survey about inquiries regarding assisted death for minors, both by parents and by children themselves. About 40 per cent responded, the society said Thursday.

Thirty-five pediatricians said they had “exploratory discussions” with a total of 60 patients under the age of 18 in the preceding year. Nine pediatricians received “explicit requests” for assisted death from a total of 17 minors.

Another 118 pediatricians said they had exploratory discussions about assisted death with the parents of sick children, involving 419 kids in all.

Forty-five respondents said they had received explicit requests for assisted death from parents, involving a total of 91 children. More than half of the requests involved a child under a year old.

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