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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Belgian Euthanasia: Off the Moral Cliff



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Euthanasia activists always promise that the killing will be strictly controlled. That’s the sales job. Once euthanasia/assisted suicide become legal and/or culturally accepted, all bets are off.  Accept the ideology that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering and the guidelines cease to matter. Worse, very few continue to care

A 10-year review of how the euthanasia law has fared in Belgium–which among other wrongs has seen the coupling of E with organ harvesting–shows the pattern I described unfolding before our very eyes. From a report by the European Institute of Bioethics, “Euthanasia in Belgium: Ten Years On:”

From the time of its initial report and subsequent reports, the Commission for Control and Assessment acknowledged its inability to act going on to say that it is not capable of assessing the proportion of declared cases of euthanasia compared with the number of real cases which have actually taken place” Yet, in 2002 the stated objective of bringing euthanasia out of the shadows was a major argument made by those in favour of its legalization.

Yes, well talk is cheap. Once doctor-administered death is legal, such assurances become inoperative.  Indeed, as I have often reported here, the categories of the killable continually expand:

Initially legalized under very strict conditions, euthanasia has gradually become a very normal and even ordinary act to which patients are deemed “to have a right”. In the face of certain high profile cases, the evident relaxation of the very strict conditions has caused many reactions but also a total absence of any sanctions on the part of the Commission and a very conciliatory silence from the political establishment has given rise to a feeling of impunity on the part of some concerned medical practitioners, and to a feeling of powerlessness in those worried about where things are leading.

Both assertions are correct. As documented here, there has been at least one joint euthanasia of an elderly couple in Belgium, the Canadian Medical Association reported that nurses have been involved in killing patients, and many euthanasia killings are imposed without request or consent, etc. etc. And it doesn’t matter because the ideological premises and discriminatory quality of life view–the essence of euthanasia consciousness–prevail. Oh hum.

It looks to get worse, with Belgium poised to follow the Netherlands into infanticide:

Several neonatologists have drawn up a procedure which enables euthanasia of premature newborn infants or those presenting a handicap in one of the three following instances: either the infant has no chance of survival, or it is deemed to only have a very mediocre quality of life, or the outlook is poor and it is felt that the infant will suffer unbearable pain.

The Groningen Protocol [Dutch infanticide protocol] caused quite a stir in Belgium and a great many medical practitioners are of the opinion that since a “therapeutic” abortion is possible right up to the day before birth in the event of the child being handicapped, euthanasia of newborns ought also to be allowed under the same conditions.

Well, studies show it is already happening. This would just institutionalize the human rights abuse. But again, once the underlying premises of euthanasia are accepted, what’s to stop it?

But Wesley, at least Oregon is working, right? Wrong!



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