The Netherlands Considers Permitting the Euthanizing of Children Only a Year Old

Oct. 23 2020

In describing Jews’ various bizarre practices—most of which he appears contemptuous of—the Roman historian Tacitus notes their refusal to kill unhealthy babies. More recently, the Netherlands, known for the extreme latitude of its euthanasia laws, is considering lowering the minimum age at which patients may be killed by their physicians from twelve to one. Wesley Smith comments:

The Netherlands won’t be the first country to permit child euthanasia. Belgium removed all age restrictions a few years ago. We know, based on government reports, that children as young as nine have been killed by doctors. One assumes their parents gave the go-ahead.

Pediatric euthanasia may soon come to this side of the Atlantic. Canada permits lethal-injection euthanasia for adults. . . . As the country is preparing to expand its eligibility criteria, some hope that will include children—perhaps without parental consent.

Indeed, Smith notes, some Canadian doctors have already made the case in an academic journal for “confidentiality” in the matter of infanticide. That is, if a child asks his physicians to kill him without telling his parents, they would be under no obligation to do so.

So what is the bottom line? Once a society embraces killing as an acceptable answer to human suffering and redefines assisted suicide as a “medical treatment,” the culture’s entire mindset shifts. Helping suffering people live ceases to be the overriding objective: these patients are rarely offered suicide prevention. Instead, death becomes the imperative, and not just for adults but eventually for sick and disabled children too—perhaps with organ donation thrown in as a plum to society.

It’s all so disheartening. As the Canadian journalist Andrew Coyne once wrote about the growing popularity of euthanasia: “A society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. A culture that has lost its faith in life cannot comprehend why it should be endured.” When the euthanasia death angel comes for children, who can say he is wrong?

Read more at First Things

More about: ancient Judaism, Canada, Euthanasia, Medicine, Netherlands, Suicide


When It Comes to Peace with Israel, Many Saudis Have Religious Concerns

Sept. 22 2023

While roughly a third of Saudis are willing to cooperate with the Jewish state in matters of technology and commerce, far fewer are willing to allow Israeli teams to compete within the kingdom—let alone support diplomatic normalization. These are just a few results of a recent, detailed, and professional opinion survey—a rarity in Saudi Arabia—that has much bearing on current negotiations involving Washington, Jerusalem, and Riyadh. David Pollock notes some others:

When asked about possible factors “in considering whether or not Saudi Arabia should establish official relations with Israel,” the Saudi public opts first for an Islamic—rather than a specifically Saudi—agenda: almost half (46 percent) say it would be “important” to obtain “new Israeli guarantees of Muslim rights at al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem.” Prioritizing this issue is significantly more popular than any other option offered. . . .

This popular focus on religion is in line with responses to other controversial questions in the survey. Exactly the same percentage, for example, feel “strongly” that “our country should cut off all relations with any other country where anybody hurts the Quran.”

By comparison, Palestinian aspirations come in second place in Saudi popular perceptions of a deal with Israel. Thirty-six percent of the Saudi public say it would be “important” to obtain “new steps toward political rights and better economic opportunities for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.” Far behind these drivers in popular attitudes, surprisingly, are hypothetical American contributions to a Saudi-Israel deal—even though these have reportedly been under heavy discussion at the official level in recent months.

Therefore, based on this analysis of these new survey findings, all three governments involved in a possible trilateral U.S.-Saudi-Israel deal would be well advised to pay at least as much attention to its religious dimension as to its political, security, and economic ones.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Islam, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia, Temple Mount