Apr 8, 2014
When Europe coughs, America catches a cold. The legal, political and cultural landscape in the U.S. is fertile for the importation of bad legislation like a new law in Belgium that legalizes child euthanasia.
History has shown that once adopted, doctor-prescribed death escapes regulation — and the circumstances in which it is allowed grow rapidly and exponentially. In 1984, the Netherlands was the first nation to lift criminal penalties for assisted suicide. The Dutch model allowed for it only at the explicit request of the patient and to put an end to “unbearable suffering.” Despite guidelines laid down in the law and by the Royal Dutch Medical Association, abuse has been rampant.
A recent government-sponsored survey showed that more than 80% of cases went unreported — a breach of the medical guidelines — and were certified as deaths stemming from natural causes. Verifiable statistics also show the shocking reality that shortly after the decriminalization of assisted suicide in the Netherlands, the practice of involuntary euthanasia commenced. In 1990, at least 1,000 patients were given lethal injections without express consent, amounting to nearly 1% of all deaths caused that year in that country. An astonishing 0.4% of the deaths in the Netherlands as recently as 2005 were attributed to involuntary euthanasia.
The Dutch courts have also allowed for the killing of an estimated 15 to 20 newborns per year. “Dutch doctors have gone from euthanizing the terminally ill to the chronically ill, to people with serious disabilities, to the emotionally and mentally ill” (Wesley Smith, National Review, 2011). Belgium has followed this exact radical trajectory and, like the Netherlands, has moved on to minors.