Human Exceptionalism

Belgian Rapist/Murderer Wants Euthanasia

Why not? Once killing is accepted as an answer to human suffering, who is anyone to judge what suffering qualifies as killable?

That’s certainly the thinking behind a vicious psychotic rapist/murderer who wants to be euthanized because he finds life in a mental hospital to be unbearable. From the Globe and Mail story:

For more than half his life, Frank van den Bleeken, a rapist and murderer, has been detained in the Belgian penal system, spending long stretches in solitary confinement in prison psychiatric wings, waiting for treatment of his violent sexual urges. Now he wants to die.

With little prospect of change, Mr. van den Bleeken has turned to his country’s euthanasia law and asked to be killed by lethal injection if he cannot get treatment.

A morally sane society would reject this out of hand. But Belgian doesn’t qualify as morally sane anymore:

Mr. van den Bleeken’s still unresolved case is the latest controversial example of applicants who are not terminally ill but suffer psychological pains. “Two prominent psychiatrists have seen him and said this is a man who is suffering in an unbearable, enduring way and that his mental condition can never be treated properly. That’s why he’s asking to be euthanized, because he’s suffering in an unbearable way,” Mr. Van Der Velpen said.

“It’s a medical question that is very, very, very delicate and very difficult.”

I don’t know whether a doctor will kill van den Bleeken. I suspect not because of the harsh light recently cast on Belgium’s wild euthanasia.

But at some point, euthanasia due to the anguish of long term incarceration or hospitalization for dangerous psychosis will become a reality: Saying no will be seen as either arbitrary or a cause of suffering.

I call that notion–already embraced in some circles–“cruel and unusual death with dignity.”

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

Most Popular

World

On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More
U.S.

Confirm Pompeo

What on earth are the Democrats doing? President Trump has nominated CIA director Mike Pompeo, eminently qualified by any reasonable standard, to be America’s 70th secretary of state. And yet the Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, have perverted the advice and consent clause of the Constitution into a ... Read More
PC Culture

The Dark Side of the Starbucks Stand-Down

By now the story is all over America. Earlier this month, two black men entered a Starbucks store in Philadelphia. They were apparently waiting for a friend before ordering — the kind of thing people do every day — and one of the men asked to use the restroom. A Starbucks employee refused, saying the restroom ... Read More