February 1, 2013

Six Lessons from Death in Belgium

 Verbessem-Brothers

When Belgian doctors euthanized deaf twins because they were slowly going blind and couldn't bear not to see each other,  the world was shocked.   

Their family opposed their decision to die as did the local hospital, but they found a willing doctor.

Michael Cook at MercatorNet explores Six lessons from death in Belgium  and what it reveals about a legalized right to die.

Lesson one: the expanding circle.
Lesson two: euthanasia-minded doctors prefer easy deaths to complicated social work.
Lesson three: safeguards are meant to be hurdled.
Lesson four: if you’re disabled, you’re in trouble.

Lesson five: compassionate euthanasia has a price tag. Both Eddy and Marc were charged 180 Euros each for transporting their bodies back home. This macabre detail shouldn’t surprise us. China also charges the families of the people it executes. It's called a bullet fee.

Lesson six: not enough Belgians are being euthanased but the government has a plan. In 2011, the last year for which official figures are available, 1133 people were euthanased in Belgium. A few days after the Verbessem brothers died, the government announced that it would amend the law to allow minors and people with dementia to be euthanased as well.
Posted by Jill Fallon at February 1, 2013 10:55 AM | Permalink