Two for the price of one. Yesterday Wesley Smith published on his blog two excellent articles concerning the Dutch and euthanasia. The Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2002 after their courts - defacto legalized - euthanasia in 1984. Since then the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands has developed by incremental extension, meaning that the more something becomes acceptable, the more it is allowed.
I use the term incremental extension because the euthanasia lobby tell me that the slippery slope doesn't exist.
The following two articles are about:
1. Hypocrisy of the Dutch supporting the UN Treaty on Persons with Disabilities while also euthanizing newborns with disabilities, and
2. Dutch doctors being by the government to euthanize more people with dementia.
By Wesley Smith, June 2, 2013
The NYT editorialized today in favor of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, chastising Republicans for blocking USA ratification. That got me to thinking that the Dutch authorities allow doctors to kill babies born with disabilities and I don’t recall a single NYT editorial in defense of those murdered children.
Also, I wondered whether the Dutch have ratified the Convention, which states in part:
States Parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. To this end, States Parties undertake:…b. To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities:
Article 10 – Right to life States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
In answer to my question: Why yes, the Netherlands has ratified the Convention. Hypocrites!
The Netherlands, by permitting doctors to kill disabled babies, is in direct violation of this treaty that the government ratified. No doubt, defenders of Netherlander infanticide would claim that it complies with the part of the treaty requiring states to serve the “best interests” of children with disabilities. But killing is the epitome of prejudice and discrimination, because it denies the chance of the murdered children to have any kind of interests at all.
By Wesley Smith, June 2, 2013
It is rare when the government has to push Netherlander doctors to be more aggressive with euthanasia. But that is what is happening around the killing of Alzheimer’s patients based on an advance directive. From the British Medical Journal story:
Senior figures in Dutch medicine and politics are set to decide whether advanced euthanasia directives can, in practice, replace verbal requests if patients with dementia are no longer able to express their wishes. Doctors in the Netherlands have expressed “difficulties” with this “grey area,” arguing that some communication is essential if they are to understand properly their patients’ suffering and wishes.
But eminent figures in medical ethics argue that doctors are placing themselves above the 2002 euthanasia law. This law states that doctors can act on an earlier advanced directive once a patient becomes incompetent. A public debate has raged on this subject since the Dutch Medical Association, in its response to the government’s latest research assessing euthanasia policy, proposed adapting the law. It suggested that the legally required second medical opinion must not only see but also communicate with the patient.
Former health minister Els Borst, who piloted the euthanasia law through parliament, has since argued: “A professional body cannot choose its own interpretation of the law.”
But it seems to me the doctors are the ones following the law. What if the patient no longer wants to die? What if the patient isn’t really suffering? The law says killing can be done only when that is required to end suffering. But the government leaders are essentially saying, “What does that matter? The advance directive is what counts!”
The bottom line here is that once a society broadly accepts the poison of euthanasia, the killable categories never stop expanding. Culture of death, Wesley? What culture of death?