Belgium’s Moral Abyss

By Wesley J. Smith

Belgium legalized lethal-jab euthanasia in 2002. Since that time, medicalized homicide has grown increasingly radical.

Now, MercatorNet has published a story based on a translation of the “Belgium Federal Commission on the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia” — the nation’s official report on patient-killing by doctors. It makes for very chilling reading.

Here are some lowlights:

  • Deaths by legal euthanasia have increased nearly tenfold (982%) from 235 in 2003 — the first full year of legalisation — to 2,309 in 2017 (my emphasis).
  • Organ donation [conjoined with euthanasia] has been reported in 8 patients for the years 2016 – 2017. Patients had either a nervous system disorder or a mental and behavioral disorder.
  • In 2017 there were 375 cases of reported euthanasia of people whose deaths were not expected in the near future.
  • In 2017 some 87 (3.76%) cases involved no physical suffering at all. [!!!] This included 14 cancer cases and 15 other cases of physical illness. There were also 18 cases of “polypathology” as well as 40 cases of mental ill health. The psychic suffering, apart from psychiatric conditions, included “addiction, loss of autonomy, loneliness, despair, loss of dignity, despair at the thought of losing ability to maintain social contacts, etc.”
  • Three children have so far been killed under the Belgian law in 2016 and 2017. These were a 17-year-old child who was suffering from muscular dystrophy; a nine-year-old child, who had a brain tumour, and an 11 year old child, who was suffering from cystic fibrosis.
  • Between 2014 and 2017 two patients who were in an irreversible coma after a suicide attempt were euthanized based on an advance directive 5 months and 35 months respectively before the suicide attempt.
  • A total of 201 people with psychiatric disorders were killed by euthanasia in Belgium between 2014 and 2017 including for mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder (73 cases); organic mental disorders, including dementia and Alzheimer’s (60 cases); personality and behavioural disorders (23 cases); neurotic disorders, and disorders related to stressors including posttraumatic stress disorder (16 cases); schizophrenia and psychotic disorders (11 cases); organic mental disorders, including autism (10 cases) and complex cases involving a combination of several categories (8 cases).

I note that there is no mention of joint-geriatric-euthanasia cases — elderly couples killed together for fear of future grief or not wanting to be widowed, etc. — of which I know of at least three cases.

The carnage so bloodlessly described in the Belgian report demonstrates vividly the consequences to a society when it generally accepts killing as a proper answer to human suffering — or even, it now seems, the fear of future suffering.

Those with eyes to see, let them see.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great posts appear at National Review Online and are reposted with the author’s permission.