July 17, 2011

IT'S NOT AS IF THEY'RE STILL HUMAN:

The tragic reality of euthanasia (Derek Mediema, 7/15/11, National Post)

In the Netherlands, where assisted suicide and euthanasia became legal in 2002, the law states that individuals must give written consent that they want to die. In spite of this, a 2005 study of deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands found that almost 500 people are killed annually without their consent.

Belgium has the same safeguard. Nonetheless, a 2010 study found that in the Flemish part of the country, 32% of euthanasia cases were carried out without request or consent. Some were cases where a person couldn't give consent due to their medical condition. Others were cases where a person could have given consent but didn't. In the latter cases, doctors proceeded with euthanasia because they felt it was in the best interest of the patient, or because they thought discussing it would be too harmful to the patient.

Another suggested safeguard is mandatory reporting: All cases of euthanasia must be reported to the proper authorities so that they can ensure the other safeguards are being followed. This safeguard is weak from the start. Why would a doctor abusing patients report his abuse to the authorities? Nonetheless, the Netherlands and Belgium maintain this requirement. In Belgium, nearly half of all estimated cases aren't reported. In the Netherlands, at least 20% of all cases aren't reported.

The third safeguard is the guarantee that assisted suicide or euthanasia be carried out only by doctors. Yet a 2010 study of 120 Belgian nurses found that they administered life-ending drugs in 45% of assisted suicide cases without the patient's consent.


You've already determined that their lives aren't worth living.


Posted by at July 17, 2011 5:55 AM
  

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