Dutch Doctors Expanding Euthanasia to “Lonely” People

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 31, 2011   |   1:57PM   |   Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Dutch Medical Association is seeking to expand the practice of Euthanasia in the Netherlands to include more people under the “unbearable suffering” that allows physicians to kill patients and the elderly.

Dutch Radio Worldwide reports: “Until now, factors such as income or a patient’s social life played almost no role when physicians were considering a euthanasia request. However, the new guidelines will certainly change that. After almost a year of discussions, the KNMG has published a paper which says a combination of social factors and diseases and ailments that are not terminal may also qualify as unbearable and lasting suffering under the Euthanasia Act.”

The idea is generating a strong response from pro-life advocates upset that people are already targeted for euthanasia.

“The Culture of Death is voracious.  Once it begins to feed, it is never satiated, the categories of the killable, never finally enough,” said Wesley J. Smith, an attorney and bioethicist in the United States. “Another is a very long series of cases in point that I have been reporting on for nearly twenty years.”

“How can anyone say there is no slippery slope?  One of those factors includes loneliness,” he said.

The news report continues:  “As people age, many suffer from a complex array of gradually worsening problems, which can include poor eyesight, deafness, fatigue, difficulty in walking and incontinence as well as loss of dignity, status, financial resources, an ever-shrinking social network and loss of social skills. Although this accumulation of ailments and diseases is not life-threatening as such, it does have a negative impact on the quality of life and make the elderly vulnerable or fragile. Vulnerability also affects the ability to recover from illnesses and can lead to unbearable and lasting suffering. Under the Euthanasia Act, a request for euthanasia may be honoured only if a patient is undergoing unbearable and lasting suffering. The KNMG now says that, if non-medical factors such as income or loneliness are to be taken into consideration, other specialists must be consulted when a patient has requested euthanasia.”

Smith responds:  “This is compassion?”

“Since 1973, when euthanasia was quasi decriminalized, Dutch doctors have gone from euthanizing the terminally ill who ask for it, to the chronically ill who ask for it, to people with disabilities who ask for it, to the mentally anguished who ask for it–and all legal because the “guidelines” proved so elastic they had not snap back at all.  And now, they want to target vulnerable and marginalized elderly people,” Smith says.

He continues:  “Even that isn’t enough.  If patients don’t qualify legally for euthanasia, the KNMG says it is perfectly fine for doctors to provide their patients with how-to-commit-suicide information–known as “auto euthanasia.” And while we are on the subject, we mustn’t forget the technically illegal euthanasia killings–infanticide and “termination without request or consent”–which generally go unpunished, and indeed, in the case of infanticide, is openly and respectfully discussed in medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, with the publication of the ”Groningen Protocol.”

LifeNews blogger Gerard Nadal also responded to the news.

“This is an absolute descent into madness. We doctors of science and medicine spend close to twenty years of our adult lives in training, and for what? This?” he asked. “This represents moral and intellectual bankruptcy, the collapse of reason and sanity, of love for our patients and experimental subjects. In the Netherlands, medicine no longer seeks to better the human condition. It makes the problems go away by killing the patients.”

“We don’t need extensive education for this anymore,” he said. “We simply need executioners. This is what many in this country are pushing for. And this is what national healthcare will deliver. It’s time for this nation to have a serious family talk.”