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Can Your Child Make Life-and-Death Decisions?

Our legal system has a concept of age of majority. It is the age at which people are considered to be responsible for themselves: their persons, their actions, and their decisions. This concept is particularly applicable in the financial world. For example, life insurance companies will not pay a benefit to a minor. The proceeds must go to a guardian, a trust, or another legal entity who has legal responsibility for the child. When the child reaches the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on the state), he or she can assume ownership of those assets. Yet, smart estate planning will still allocate the money over time to confirm the child can make proper financial decisions.

In my opinion, this concept is sensible. There are few things more pitiful – and dangerous – than people with the bodies of adults, the maturity of teenagers, large expensive toys, and poor judgment. We all know this and work very hard at helping our youth learn how to make the right decisions. It takes time. We encourage them to clean their room. Get a job. Hang out with the right people. Get an education. Find a good person to marry. Get involved. When things work out, they become civic minded, responsible members of society. They have the seasoning and the experience to handle tough decisions on behalf of themselves, their family, and their community.

We would never expect a kid to make a decision with a lot on the line. Would you ask your eight-year-old to manage $1 million for you? Or your 10-year-old as to whether grandma should be kept on life-support? Of course not. As adults, we know better, and as kids, they don’t. So why on earth did Belgium recently became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for children? Please read this article and tell me what you think is going on. To me, it smells too much like government playing God.

Who else will their government label as expendable – seniors? The handicapped? Prisoners? Drug addicts?