Should A Child Have The Right To Choose Life Or Death?

Readers, a controversial decision has been made to let a five-year-old choose heaven over hospital has caused a debate about whether or not a five-year-old should be able to make their own end-of-life choice.

Five-year-old Julianna Snow is dying of an incurable neurodegenerative illness called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. She's stable at the moment, but the muscles that control her breathing are so weak that any germ that comes her way, even just the common cold virus, could kill her.

If she survives, doctors say she will likely end up on a respirator with very little quality of life. Her parents, Michelle Moon and Steve Snow, asked Julianna, when she was just four-years-old, if she wanted to go to the hospital the next time she becomes dangerously ill, or if she wanted to stay home and go to heaven.



  1. This isn't a child for whom a cure is right around the corner. She has a deadly illness that will end her life. She lives in pain everyday. She can't walk, she struggles to even breathe. This issue isn't so black and white. These parents aren't refusing medical care they are choosing how their daughters life should end. I think she gets a say. I also think we should stay out of it. There are no 'right' answers. Lets not simplify this by simply making it about religion.

  2. Children don't know about life and all its intricacies, which is why God gave them parents. We are to teach and train them and help them learn and grow in knowledge and wisdom. That said, this is a heavy decision for a five year old. My five year old can't decide what kind of juice to have for lunch, let alone do I end my life or not? That said, it's not wise to let a child who doesn't fully grasp the concept of life and death to make such a serious decision based on a doctor's speculation. No one definitively knows what her future holds, but God. My mother was supposed to be dead almost four years ago, according to her doctor. She's alive today and has a great quality of life.

  3. Im I'm a chaplain at a pediatric hospital. I have a 6 year old patient who set with me and explained all the reasons why he did not want to have another heart transplant. He told his mom that the first one didn't work and he did not want to continue suffering. We talked about death, we talked about heaven, and he explained both his theology and his philosophies about life. He has told all his doctors his family and this Chaplin very rational and mature reasons for his refusal to be transplanted. After he made his decision he was later diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors that had not formed at the time of his decision. Out of all the treatment he had received, the medical team at my academic research center had to concede and admit that the child was right.


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