Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Netherlands Child Euthanasia ...Gone too far.

Margreet van der Valk: They just killed my mother.

Narrator: Consent to euthanasia is sometimes ignored in the Netherlands.

Margreet: And I said the cause of death, what is the cause of death and she said pneumonia and heart failure, but I thought, I was laying in bed, no it was not, it was that lethal injection you gave her.

Narrator: And in neighboring Belgium, people with disabilities are being targeted.

Lionel Roosemont: We were walking with our child in her wheelchair and we would have people who we do not know, and they would come towards us, and they would ask us, why don't you have euthanasia with that child.

Narrator: Even those in favor of euthanasia in the Netherlands say we've gone too far.

Dr Boudewijn Chabot: People who are fighting their fear of life and fighting against death flock to the life ending clinic and then we see that there is a slippery slope.

Hugo de Jonge
Narrator: And now the Dutch Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, has announced the expansion of euthanasia to include children.

Gerbert van Loenen: What we have seen here in the Netherlands and in Belgium is that the euthanasia practice has broadened.

*Sign and share the Petition opposing child euthanasia in the Netherlands (Link).

Narrator: When euthanasia was legalized in the Netherlands it was based on an adult who was capable of consent but as Margreet van der Valk found out doctors sometimes make the decision to euthanize patients on their own.

Margreet: And he said, the decision to let her go or to let her live, you couldn't make because you were not there so I made it because they said my mother was depressed, but she was not depressed.

Narrator: Lionel Roosemont lives in Belgium. His daughter Tikvah has lived with a significant brain conditions from birth. It's hard to believe but people often ask why he hasn't euthanized his daughter.

Lionel: Our children were there when people were telling us to have euthanasia with her. And my daughter who was thirteen at the time, she said: "they do not have the right to say that." She was very angry but she was right.

She's a joy for everyone of our family members. We cannot image her being gone, impossible.

Narrator: Dr Boudewijn Chabot, sometimes called the pioneer of euthanasia in the Netherlands sees a real culture shift as people with psychological illnesses are now being euthanized.

Boudewijn: We do slide down with demented brain diseases and psychiatric cases. But on the whole you have to see it in perspective. These are two groups together are 200 of the 6000, that's small, that's always the arguement the review committee says - don't worry Mr Chabot it's only 200 cases, so that's the way they re-assure the public. But I say look at the steep rise in seven years.

Gerbert: Will this also apply to patients with psychiatric disorders, will this also apply to patients with alzheimer's disease, will this even apply to patients with advanced alzheimer's disease, will this apply to babies, will this apply to children?

Narrator: Indeed the Netherlands is now considering the expansion of euthanasia to children. Many people are sounding the alarm bells with the concern that this is one step too far.

Lionel: Tikvah has been a testimony to us. If today you go through Belgium, you will not see many young children that have a handicap because they were not left to be alive.

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3 comments:

sophie jensen said...

I feel sick every time I read articles like this one. The situation is creeping to the point where it is almost out of control. The thing that worries me most, though, is that it does not matter how many times you rail against such things, governments and lawmakers and so on just do whatever they like. It is like beating your head against a brick wall, and all you do is damage your head, but the wall still towers above you. This is a truly terrifying situation. For those who say, for example, that children, or adults, with disabiities need to be euthanased, or need to consider how much of a burden they are on the community, my response is: put yourself in that situation, and see how you feel about it then. I read some years ago about a primary school teacher in the USA who had set up a test to show what discrimination felt like. She divided the class into two groups, one of the 'coloured' people and the other of the 'whites'. She let them systematically abuse each other, according to their perceived status. When they were 'on top', they behaved outrageously, when they were on the 'bottom' they were not quite so happy. One man reported that the episode and what it taught had never left him. As a loose paraphrase of the words of Atticus Finch: you need to stand in the other person's shoes so you can know what they are feeling. If someone came up to the parents of a 'healthy' child on the street and said 'why don't you euthanase your child', there would be an outcry. But it is okay to say this if the child has a disability? Where is the world heading!

Heather said...

As a mother of a child with a disability, I find this absolutely horrendous. I also have a child who is considered normal. While parenting my child with the disability has been much more challenging, the joys experienced are also much greater. When my normal child reached a developmental milestone, it was nice, but no big deal, because, of course that child would reach that milestone. But when my child with a disability reached a milestone, it brought tremendous joy, because it was never certain whether or not that child would reach it. That child is tremendously gifted in music, so brings great joy to the world through sharing that gift. That child is now studying computer science and will someday change the world through insights that normal people can't make, because they are caught up in the group think of their "normalness." Life is infinitely better because of my child who is not normal. I am a better person having learned how to love and parent this child.

Jen said...

It is correct to say as Sophie Jensen has said, that no matter how we protest against issues, governments do whatever they like. The terrible danger there is that we have no idea what the psychological profile, or what the motivations of these politicians, is. They could be (and sometimes are) very damaged individuals with personal agendas and yet they hold this power to create laws. In the case of the euthanasia and abortion laws in Canada, the current Liberal government is pressing forward with ever more liberalization and availability for the disposal of human lives.