Saturday, March 21, 2015

Belgian doctor justifies euthanasia for depressed people.

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Godelieva De Troyer died by euthanasia in 2012.
An interview with Wim Distelmans, the chairman for the federal euthanasia commission in Belgium, was published in HLN.BE   (google translated) on March 15. where Distelmans explains that there were 50 - 60 psychiatric patients who died by euthanasia in 2013 - 2014. Distelmans states:

"It is a small group, 50 to 60 patients. But it is not a negligible number:. 2 to 3 percent of the 1,924 people who were euthanized last year."
Distelmans then states:
"usually they are not old, but they suffer long. They do not belong in this world, they think.."
Distelmans promotes euthanasia for depressed people. He states (google translated):
"Manic-depressive patients are in their manic moments capable of the most improbable things, They spend their bank loot, for weeks at a five-star lodge, buy several cars one day. At that stage they are not competent. But in moments of depression they by their exhaustion come back to the baseline and are indeed competent. Then they can for instance say, "I live for thirty years crazy highs and lows, I've tried everything to break that infernal cycle Now that I'm back on the baseline, and I know that I have a couple of weeks left, back I for a dip in the depth or a jump in height. " These are people who are eligible for euthanasia."
Once euthanasia has become an acceptable solution to human suffering the only question that remains is what conditions will death become the solution for life.

Lethal injections for people with psychiatric conditions is based on a false compassion. Distelmans appears to be reacting to his fear of living with chronic depression.

1 comment:

Janet T said...

ThisBelgian approach is scary. My father lived all his adult life with manic depression, till he died of lung cancer in his late 60s. My mother, in this precariousness, suffered when in a manic phase he would disappear for weeks and spend like a drunken sailor, forgetful of his wife and 5 children, and his own parents. In periods of depression (less common) it took all his strength to get up and go to work. The condition has also appeared in my 2 brothers, cousins, a niece, probably more relatives than I'm aware of.
Western society has become one in which suffering is intolerable – not just our own, but the sight of it in others. When we cannot eliminate suffering ... we eliminate the people who suffer. But murder – yes, this is its correct name – is not the answer. Look to Mother Teresa's order: their answer to suffering is to love the person, restore their dignity, treat the person as another Christ. Suffering can be a time of growth, a time to mature, to learn compassion for others, not wasted days of pointless pain.