Twitter CEO and one of the richest men in the world, Elon Musk, has stated that he is opposed to child euthanasia.
In response to a post about the legalisation of euthanasia for children in the Netherlands, Musk said that he supports assisted suicide for adults but not for children.
He tweeted “I agree with assisted suicide if someone is a mature adult, but definitely not kids.”
“There is a reason we have an age of consent.”
In response, one Twitter user said “Assisted suicide sounds ok on paper but the instant you legislate it the government injects economics into the issue and it suddenly becomes an economically sound policy to urge some people to go kill themselves.”
Another added “Define mature adult. Slippery slope here…”
Earlier this month, the Netherlands signalled its intention to allow euthanasia for children of any age.
New regulations that will outline the scope of the provisions allowing euthanasia between the ages of one and twelve are set to be published later this year.
There were 8,720 cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands in 2022, accounting for 5.1% of all deaths in the Netherlands in that year. Euthanasia deaths in 2022 represent a 13.7% increase on 2021.
Euthanasia in Canada
According to the latest report on Medical Assistance in Dying from Health Canada, 10,064 Canadians ended their lives by assisted suicide or euthanasia in 2021. This figure represents 3.3% of all deaths in Canada and is an increase of 32.4% from the 2020 figures.
A total of 31,664 people have ended their lives by assisted suicide or euthanasia in Canada since legislation making it legal was passed in 2016.
In Canada, 1 in 5 cite loneliness as a reason to want to die
The Canadian report states that 86.3% gave the loss of the ability to engage in meaningful activities as among the main reasons for wanting to end their life. Additionally, 83.4% said the loss of the ability to perform activities of daily living was a reason for wanting to end their lives.
17.3% of people also cited “isolation or loneliness” as a reason for wanting to die. In 35.7% of cases, patients believed that they were a “burden on family, friends or caregivers”.
A study in Ireland found that almost three-quarters of people over 50 who had previously expressed a wish to die no longer had that desire two years later.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “While it is positive to see that Elon is against child euthanasia, it is concerning that one of the richest men alive, with one of the largest audiences in the world, would signal his support for assisted suicide. Musk should spend some more time studying the disaster of euthanasia in Canada before he makes such pronouncements.”