In the Netherlands, Euthanasia Has Ceased to Be Voluntary

July 12, 2021 | Wesley Smith
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According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, about fifteen to twenty newborns are euthanized in the Netherlands every year after being diagnosed with conditions involving “unbearable suffering.” This figure is but a fraction of the 600 Dutch infants who die annually because physicians and parents decide to discontinue medical interventions. Wesley Smith sees here the inevitable consequences of the country’s laws, which have for years been among the world’s laxest in tolerating medical homicide:

[E]uthanasia in the Netherlands has metastasized from killing the terminally ill, to the chronically ill, to people with disabilities, to the elderly, to people with dementia, to the mentally ill, to children of any age, and babies born with serious disabilities.

Here’s a recent example. . . . A dementia patient had indicated she would want euthanasia, but she wanted to decide when. After becoming incompetent, she never asked to be killed. Moreover, when the doctor brought it up, she repeatedly said no.

So what happened? Her doctor drugged the patient—and when she woke up and resisted the lethal jab, she had the family hold her down so the killing could be completed! How a woman who clearly fought to liveand indeed, who, according to the killing doctor, said no three times—was experiencing “unbearable suffering” is beyond me. The response of the [Dutch] courts? Praise for the doctor. And then, the government expanded legal euthanasia practice to include drugging dementia patients and killing them when the doctor wants—even if the patient does not agree as to time and method—if the patient had asked for euthanasia in an advance directive.

That’s what always happens when Dutch doctors push beyond the supposed strict boundaries. The boundaries are just erased.

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