Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Belgian politician promotes euthanasia for "completed life."

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Politicians in the Netherlands have been debating, for several years, a law to permit euthanasia based on "completed life." 

Gwendolyn Rutten
Gwendolyn Rutten, an Open Vld (liberal) politician was published in De Morgan on October 29 claiming that the "time is ripe" in Belgium to allow euthanasia for "completed life." Rutten wrote (computer translation):

However, the debate is not over. Legislation must evolve with the times. A few years ago, after an important debate, we made euthanasia possible for skilled minors. This expansion encountered misunderstanding worldwide, but could count on a parliamentary majority in our country. Because there is no age on unbearable suffering....
Rutten argues that Hugo Claus' death by euthanasia based on dementia, created acceptance of euthanasia for dementia. She then argues the same for completed life (computer translation):
Last weekend Lutgart Simoens, the 91-year-old celebrity of Radio 2, started the debate about completed life in an interview in Het Laatste Nieuws . "She had it," the newspaper headline. Mrs. Simoens is not incurably ill, she enjoys life, her family, and classical music. She is not tired of life, but satisfied with life. “Give me one reason for the meaning of unbearable suffering. There is none. All I want is to be able to fall asleep calmly, painlessly and before I physically or mentally deteriorate. That should be everyone's right. I want the legislator to respect that it must have been possible after a completed life. "
Rutten supports Simoens campaign to extend euthanasia to people who simply want to die. Rutten states (computer translation):
For the ground flow in our country, life is something that you as an individual have at your disposal and decide.
The completed life debate brings the euthanasia debate full circle.

The euthanasia lobby argues that euthanasia is not suicide because it is for people who don't want to die, but want to end their suffering. They then amend their position and state that euthanasia is not suicide because it is for people who want to avoid suffering. Finally they will argue that completed life is not suicide, simply because they say so. 

Completed life not only sounds like suicide, it is suicide. Completed life means that the state provides the means for suicide, not because the person is suffering or dying but because they want to die. Completed life is suicide.

The only response to this debate is don't legalize euthanasia. 

Once the bright line of killing and doctors are given the legal right to kill by euthanasia, then the only question remaining is who can be killed? The only answer to this question is don't kill.

A society that is committed to caring for its citizens does not kill its citizens.


Jeffrey Golin said...

The naked deception being performed here is to conflate one's right to end one's life with a right to make the state or the medical profession an accomplice in the act of murder.

I don't like the idea of making suicide a cultural norm, but if one is determined to end one's life, nobody can stop them. Go ahead. Nobody's telling you you can't do it. Who told you that you couldn't? Since this elder is fit and capable, she can use a myriad of easy ways obtainable at her local market to accomplish her goal.

Why on earth, then, would someone go to all this trouble to enact legislation to legalize something they can already do? Why must she involve all of us into her private affairs?

The only reason I can think of is a sinister one. That such advocates intend to covertly borrow the powerful apparatus of the state to carry out the deed, under the guise of supposed consent and propaganda. Let's call it what it is: Eugenics, Euthanasia. Not surprising to find a hotbed of eugenics in Belgium given its history.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment, Jeffrey Golin. Euthanasia is eugenics - indeed!

Paul Anderson said...

The next step is "unrequested" euthanasia for a completed life. This would essentially be involuntary euthanasia of people judged by others to have lived long enough.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Paul:

Justice will demand unrequested euthanasia, but probably not based on a completed life. The argument will be - it is terrible to allow these people to suffer just because they didn't ask for euthanasia. Therefore, based on justice, it will be done.

Deacon William Gallerizzo said...

The term "Competed Life" is nebulous and indistinct. AT present, I am 68 years old, and although having had several orthopedic surgeries due to both accidents and genetics, I am far from "completed" and still intelligently functioning, and planning to conquer my next elevated climb, to test out my new prostheses. My mother, a very conherent 94, is far from "completed". It is not something that can be legislated or legally decided. I know many who are more than adequately functioning well into retirement. To deny the personhood of another human being is to deny one's own personhood. We are seeing a plethora of individuals who are demanding that animals be given the same respect as human beings, but at the same time, many reduce the value they place on human beings. One might say that dogs and cats are terminated when life is not worth the expense, but most have never seen a dog or a cat that is close to the end of life. A dog or a cat has no clear understanding of the finality of death, but nowing it is not well, will back itself into a protective corner and literally fight to keep from being eaten by a predator as a matter of animal instinct. No animal that is euthanised is ever given the choice, but if it were, the evidence is clear that it would fight to the death to preserve its own existence. The complacency of giving up fails to meet any criterion of the dignity of the human person which is not a subjective factor but objectively inherent in every individual regardless of whose standard he or she fulfills.