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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Belgian euthanasia: Sharply rising

Belgian Parliament   (Photo by Mirej)
A 44-year-old transsexual was legally euthanized in Belgium on the grounds that his "botched sex change" was causing him "unbearable psychological suffering."

He joined the ranks of thousands of others who have been put to death under Belgium's controversial euthanasia laws. Damien Gayle
of The Daily Mail reports that "Belgian euthanasia cases jumped 25 per cent in one year," and that euthanasia is "now the cause of nearly one in 50 deaths in the country."

Gayle explains that euthanasia guidelines, which have been set by Belgium's parliament, stipulate that "patients wishing to end their own lives must be conscious when they ask
to die."  Additionally, the "unbearable physical or psychological pain that they are experiencing" is supposed to be the result of an "accident or incurable illness."

Gayle gives examples of patients that allegedly met these Belgian guidelines.  One was a 44-year-old woman with chronic anorexia nervosa, and the other was a 64-year-old woman with chronic depression.  Both were euthanized.

Were these actually "incurable" illnesses? If so, would they have continued to cause the patients "unbearable" pain?  Aren't there people who have either healed from such illnesses, or learned how to successfully negotiate their challenges?  And – can doctors really make accurate determinations about the future pain
thresholds of their patients?

The number of Belgian euthanasia cases is sharply on the rise.  Gayle adds that the parliament is "reportedly on the verge of passing legislation that would allow people under 18 to consent to euthanasia." 


Copyright October 8, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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