The Corner

Law & the Courts

Doctors Who Euthanized Autistic Woman Found Not Guilty

I told ya.

When a Dutch doctor was found not guilty of murder — and indeed, praised by the court — after she euthanized an Alzheimer’s patient struggling to stay alive and being held down by her family, I knew Belgian judges would not punish three doctors involved in the voluntary euthanasia killing of Tine Nys, who had autism and experienced severe depression. Yup. From the Time story:

The criminal complaint by the family was only granted on appeal after it was first rejected by a lower court.

It was something that riled the defense lawyers, some of whom thought there were conservative political forces at work to bring the case to the court where a citizens’ jury would rule on the case.

“This is relief for all doctors who have to carry out such tough tasks,” said defense lawyer Walter Van Steenbrugge. “If this would have gone the other way, so many doctors would have been in real deep trouble,” he said, implying few would want to risk assisting in euthanasia if it meant that they could face manslaughter charges.

So, letting doctors euthanize with impunity is preferable to allowing conservative political forces — hide the children! from exercising at least some restraint on the euthanasia imperative.

Disgusting but unsurprising. After the Dutch and now Belgian refusals to convict, don’t expect any other death doctors to ever be prosecuted no matter how far they seem to stray from legally accepted euthanasia practices.

Do you now see that protective guidelines and so-called restrictions advocates that solemnly promise they will protect against abuse are mere useless veneer? Once medicalized killing becomes legal and societally accepted, death becomes the prime paradigm rather than protecting the lives of vulnerable people.

Those with eyes to see, let them see.

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