By Wesley J. Smith
Euthanasia in Belgium has gone completely out of the control — including as just two examples —doctors killing the mentally ill and conjoining the death procedure with voluntary organ harvesting, as well as joint euthanasia deaths of elderly couples who ask to die for fear of future widowhood.
Now, a death bureaucrat named Dr. Ludo Vanopdenbosch has turned whistleblower as he resigned from the euthanasia-review commission. Vanopdenbosch charges his former colleagues with covering up violations of the euthanasia law that, he worries, could discredit euthanasia and reduce its support among the public.
He describes a doctor euthanizing a dementia patient who had not asked to be killed at the request of her family. From his letter of resignation (from a translation):
The most striking example took place at the meeting of Tuesday, September 5, 2017: a euthanasia of a deeply demented patient with Parkinson’s disease, by a general practitioner who is totally incompetent, has no idea of palliation, done at the request of the family. The intention was to kill the patient. There was no request from the patient.
That, of course, would be a crime under the law. But the commission decided to wink at the wrongdoing (emphasis added):
The doctor was questioned by the Committee. The interrogation was recorded. A video of the patient’s condition was sent in advance. It was debated for hours and finally voted upon. No two-thirds majority was reached that would allow to forwarding this dossier to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The motives of those who did not want to forward it are fundamentally political in nature: defending euthanasia in any circumstance, promoting the desire for euthanasia in dementia, and fearing that there will be less euthanasia in Wallonia. With this decision, this FCEE is proven to be obsolete. This does not stretch the law, but violates it.
Dr. Vanopdenbosch apparently doesn’t understand that guidelines aren’t really meant to protect against abuse, but rather, to give false public assurance to gain public support for euthanasia or assisted suicide.
Eventually, the “protections” come to be seen as “obstacles,” to the point that they are either stretched beyond any effectiveness, go unenforced, or are changed to accommodate more radical practices.
Worse, the public shrugs because people have accepted the premise that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering. At that point, the details of particular cases don’t matter much.
Here’s an article providing more details on the resignation.
For those with eyes to see, let them see.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with the author’s permission.