Rights of the child and Euthanasia in the context of South Africa
Euthanasia is controversial topic that attracts conversations on grounds of fundamental human rights and freedoms. The opinions of legal scholars are inconsistent because while some view euthanasia as a gross violation of one’s human rights, others argue that it should be regarded as a fundamental human right. Extending the ‘right to die’ to children is more controversial because they are considered to be a vulnerable demographic and generally presumed to be legally incompetent to exercise their rights autonomously. The State aims to protect children by restricting their rights rather than enhancing their autonomy and including them in the discussion. To that end, children are often excluded from decision-making on the understanding that they are legally incompetent and cannot comprehend the consequences of their decisions.