The Corner

Netherlands Heading Toward Death on Demand

We are no longer talking “slippery slope.” That ended years ago. It is now facts on the ground.

Once a society accepts the premise of euthanasia–that killing is an acceptable answer to suffering–the “suffering” that constitutes a killable condition continually expands.

Now, the Netherlands is getting ready to legalize euthanasia for anyone “completed with life,” e.g. death on demand. From the Reuters story:

The Dutch government intends to draft a law that would legalize assisted suicide for people who feel they have “completed life,” but are not necessarily terminally ill, it said on Wednesday…

In a letter to parliament, the health and justice ministers said details remain to be worked out but that people who “have a well-considered opinion that their life is complete, must, under strict and careful criteria, be allowed to finish that life in a manner dignified for them.”

But Wesley, that hasn’t happened in Oregon!

Yet. It took the Dutch more than 40 years to get here as euthanasia was first decriminalized circa 1973, and formally legalized in 2002.

Euthanasia changes mindsets and cultural norms. That takes time.

Moreover, Oregon is being used to normalize all of America to assisted suicide, and the assisted suicide zealots in control of what we see and hear know that expanding assisted suicide too soon would interfere with their national strategy.

But the cultural changes that lead to the Netherlands are already happening.

For example, we see suicide parties cheered in the media. Popular culture ubiquitously celebrates so-called “death with dignity,” with the expected movie about Brittany Maynard soon to come out. Suicide is being normalized as if it were a medical treatment. Even the ghoul Jack Kevorkian was remade after his imprisonment to seem like a harmless Muppett.

The point is that we are not yet the Netherlands or Belgium because American society hasn’t swallowed the full glass of hemlock. But we are holding it to our lips and beginning to drink.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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