Friday, December 27, 2013

Disability and euthanasia in Belgium.

I was busy cleaning up my emails and I came across this article that was written by Michael Cook and published by BioEdge on August 31, 2013 under the title: Whose Autonomy is respected in Belgium?

I published this article on the blog about the same topic, but Michael Cook hit the nail on the head in a simpler fashion.

On November 13, in Brussels, I was given the opportunity to debate euthanasia leaders in Belgium. During that debate, Etienne Vermeersch, one of the authors of the Belgium euthanasia law stated that the Belgian euthanasia law was specifically designed for people with disabilities or people chronic conditions.

Belgium is currently debating the extension of euthanasia to children with disabilities.

Belgium is infringing on the rights of people with disabilities while also killing people with disabilities by euthanasia.

The Quebec people also need to know that euthanasia Bill 52, is based on the Belgian euthanasia law.

By Michael Cook, August 31, 2013. Link to the article.

Opponents of euthanasia in Belgium are highlighting the state of disability services there. A recent judgement by the European Committee on Social Rights found that that Belgium’s inadequate provision of care and accommodation for highly dependent persons with disabilities amounted to a violation of human rights.

While arguments for legalised euthanasia are fundamentally based on the right to autonomy, the Committee found that Belgium had failed to promote the autonomy of the disabled. There was a failure to provide effective access to social and medical assistance, social services and housing; a violation of the right to independence, social integration and participation in the life of the community; a lack of social, legal and economic protection against poverty and social exclusion; and discrimination.

The Committee was responding to a complaint made by the International Federal for Human Rights on behalf of an estimated 75,000 disabled adults in Belgium. They include persons with multiple disabilities; persons with autism; persons with an acquired brain injury; persons with severe cerebral palsy; persons with a severe to profound mental disability; persons with behavioural disorders on top of a pre-existing severe disability; and persons in a position of high dependency caused by a range of other factors. 
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