Human Exceptionalism

Dutch Move Toward Family-Assisted Suicide

Any media story about Dutch euthanasia is generally accompanied by the blithe and false assurance of medicalized killing being governed by “strict guidelines.” What a joke, given that death doctors kill disabled babies in their cribs, the elderly “tired of life” and the mentally ill, along with the dying and disabled.

One of the guidelines that has actually been enforced is the requirement that doctors do the deed and be present for the homicide/suicide. 

But euthanasia activists always want more. In recent years, there has been political agitation to allow families to help kill their relatives. And now a court has apparently okeyed the practice. From the New York Times story:

A Dutch appeals court has cleared a man of any criminal responsibility for helping his 99­year­old mother take her own life — a case that aimed to create precedents for assisting suicide in a country where euthanasia already is legal under certain circumstances.

Judges in Arnhem said Albert Heringa should not be prosecuted for helping his mother die in 2008. They said Wednesday he had to make a decision between obeying the law against assisting suicide and his “unwritten moral duty” to help his mother achieve her wish for “a painless, peaceful and dignified death.”

Oh, and here’s the mandatory baloney media assurance about strict guidelines:

While euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands for years if carried out under strict conditions by a physician, assisted suicide by a friend or relative of the person who wants to die remains illegal. 

Media malpractice aside, this is precisely how doctor-administered death started in the Netherlands–with a court ruling allowing a doctor to disobey the law.

As I always say: The culture of death is never satiated, it never says “enough.”

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