Euthanasia Spreads in Europe
Several nations find themselves far down the slippery slope.


Wesley J. Smith

There are seemingly no limits to whom the Swiss suicide clinics can serve — including, apparently, the mentally ill. Indeed, in a case brought by one suicide clinic, the Swiss supreme court declared a constitutional right to assisted suicide for the mentally ill, which would please the audience members who applauded the disturbed woman demanding the legal right for help in killing herself at that town-hall meeting I described earlier.

All of this, by the way, in a nation that outlaws the flushing of live goldfish down the toilet.

To be sure, most countries in Europe have not followed the Dutch, Belgians, Swiss, and Luxembourgers down the legalized-euthanasia rabbit hole. But they might soon have no choice. The European Union guarantees the “right to family life.” When a German court refused to let a husband help his wife commit suicide, he took her to Switzerland to die. He then sued, stating that the German refusal amounted to an infringement of the couple’s right to private family decision making. Incredibly, the case has been accepted for adjudication by the European Court of Human Rights, which could issue a ruling decreeing that a right to family life includes, within its emanations and penumbrae, a concomitant liberty to assist in a family member’s death.

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, a legal consultant to the Patients Rights Council, and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture.