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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Belgian Anorexia Euthanasia!



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Belgium is a vivid demonstration of the abandonment and darkness that euthanasia can’t help but eventually become. Now, only weeks after learning that twin disabled men were euthanized, we find out a young woman with the mental illness of anorexia nervosa has been killed by her psychiatrist–after being sexually abused by another psychiatrist. From the Bioedge report:

Ann G. was clearly a complex woman. As early as 2007, she told journalist Kristien Hemmerechts that she wanted to commit suicide. When she appeared on the program, she had apparently already requested euthanasia. Going public gave her a brief respite from “the cancer in her head”. However, she was bitterly disappointed that the man who had victimised her was not severely disciplined. Then, overseen by a kindly new psychiatrist, she exercised her option.

Walter Vandereycken’s case is still under review by the authorities. However, some people have protested that he is being unfairly stigmatised over Ann G.’s death.  A cynic might suggest that Belgian psychiatrists are insensitive to conflicts of interest. One psychiatrist tips a sick woman over the edge; another helps to ensure that she will not be testifying in court against him. Dr Vandereycken is back at work seeing private patients; Ann G. is dead. But Belgians must be getting used to this sort of thing. 

I wonder if they took her organs too? It wouldn’t be the first person with a severe mental illness who was first euthanize and then harvested.  

We shouldn’t be shocked (although I always am). It has happened in the Netherlands too. From my book, Forced Exit: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and the New Duty to Die, about such a case that happened about 20 years ago.

The [Dutch television] documentary also shows Maria, a twenty-five-year-old woman with anorexia nervosa, asking for euthanasia.  She is in remission but fears a recurrence of her malady, stating: “I’ve thought about dying day and night, and I know that if relief does not come, I will return to the old pattern, the pattern of self-punishment, hurting myself I know it.  I feel it, and therefore I hope the release will come soon and I die.”[i]  Maria’s doctor agrees to euthanize her, stating, “It is not possible to have a good quality of life for her.”  This case was even too much for the authorities, who brought charges against the doctor.  However, the euthanasia consciousness had so permeated the justice system that a judge ruled that Maria’s killing was justified because her suffering had made her life unbearable.

That’s why they call it the culture of death. And it is steaming our way. 



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