International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Last week a 20 year-old Belgian woman submitted a formal complaint against Belgian euthanasia guru, Dr Wim Distelmans. The woman, known as Margot, has submitted a complaint stating that her depressed mother died by euthanasia without first receiving treatment for depression.
De Standard news reported Margot as stating:
"how could someone who has not even received treatment for depression, get euthanasia?"Distelmans reponded:
"It's very frustrating for me, but I can not respond to these kind of stories in the press.
I can not respond, because of privacy laws and it would violate my professional duties."The article reported that this euthanasia death was approved by the Belgium Euthanasia Control and Evaluation Commission. The article omitted that Distelmans chairs the Commission.
|Godelieva De Troyer|
Distelmans did not have the expertise to evaluate whether Godelieva De Troyer, was ready for euthanasia. Distelmans is an oncologist, not a psychiatrist and was not even De Troyer's doctor beforehand. She was physically healthy and not suffering from physical pain, and she had spoken with psychiatrists who thought that her emotional distress was treatable. In fact, she was taking medication at the time, which can cause suicidal ideation - so clearly a treatment plan was in place and it may have been causing serious side-effects. Distelmans, it seems, did not take that into account.Similar to Belgium, the Netherlands is also incrementally extending euthanasia to more conditions.
|Gaby Olthuis Nootdorp|
In Belgium and the Netherlands doctors have the legal right to lethally inject people based on physical or psychological suffering. The term physical suffering has incrementally extended to many non-lethal conditions while the term psychological suffering cannot be defined.
The euthanasia bill that was being debated in Québec and the recent euthanasia bill that was introduced by MP Steven Fletcher in Canada's parliament would also give Canadian doctors the right to lethally inject people for the reasons of physical or psychological suffering.
The rest of the world needs to learn about the Belgium and Netherlands euthanasia laws.
A just society cares for its citizens. A just society does not kill them.