Joni Eareckson Tada Urges Prayer as Belgium May Legalize Euthanasia for Disabled Children

Joni Eareckson Tada
Joni Eareckson Tada

I am dismayed that the Belgium Parliament may soon legalize euthanasia for children with disabilities. The irony is that this same parliament in 2009 ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD).

Article 10 in the CRPD clearly declares, "States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others."

How can, on one hand, Belgian legislators insist that people with disabilities have 'the inherent right to life' yet extend a so-called right to die to not merely adults but, shockingly, to minors who feel burdened by their disability?

A 10-year-old child with a disability simply does not have the psychological wherewithal to determine his or her own demise.

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Life is the most irreplaceable and fundamental condition of the human experience, and it is morally reprehensible to assume that a child understands the gravity of choosing his or her own death.

While the Belgian House of Representatives still has a chance to stop this law from being passed, I call on Christians of conscience everywhere to pray for Belgium and its leaders and to consider the ramifications here in the U.S. and in other parts of the world if this devaluing of life continues to run rampant.

We are called to defend the helpless, not destroy them. And we are to minister to those who are hurting, not agree with them that life isn't worth living. Because the church isn't stepping up to its calling, we are gradually seeing each of our values—God's values—eroded one by one.

God is the giver of life, and He is the only one who should have the power to take it. I pray that our leaders here in the U.S. recognize that what is happening in Belgium could soon happen here and elsewhere around the world unless we take a stand for life and commit to protect it at all costs.

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