The Dutch cesspit

Hearing of the Dutch bigots who are among the most vituperatively anti-Islamic in Europe does not have its full impact until you realise what they are fighting to protect. We’ve all heard of the tolerated red-light districts and liberal attitudes to marijuana, and its “enlightened”, “uninhibited” attitude to sexuality. What is less well-known is euthanasia. It’s not the only country which tolerates this, or which (unlike the UK) does not prosecute people for assisting suicide. A few years ago I heard of a family whose son suffered brain damage during heart surgery, resulting in the loss of his sight and hearing. A TV programme showed him screaming constantly, going to sleep “out of exhaustion” after a few hours of this. The parents, meanwhile, searched high and low for a place where he could legally get euthanasia (my mother noted that the child was not very well stimulated). Their first port of call was the Netherlands, which refused.

Today, however, babies with supposedly excruciating pain are being put to death at a rate of one a month in the country as a whole; this report in the Guardian today claims that the doctors are seeking to have the practice regulated rather than prosecuting the people responsible:

Euthanasia has been practised for 10 years in the Netherlands, the first country in the world to legalise the practice, and now accounts for 4-5,000 deaths a year, 3.5% of the national death rate. The practice is severely circumscribed and tightly regulated. It is estimated that doctors in the Netherlands, the only people allowed to perform euthanasia, turn down two-thirds of euthanasia requests. Euthanasia is legal from the age of 12. It cannot apply to children because they cannot take a free decision. But several moves are afoot to extend euthanasia beyond the current limits. … There is also a discussion about euthanasia for patients suffering from dementia, as well as about psychiatric and other cases involving patients unable to take a rational decision for themselves.

The whole “living will” issue has recently been discussed here as well - people are known to change their minds once they are faced with a crippling condition and a choice between that or death. Why are they even thinking of euthanasing people with dementia, who by definition cannot make decisions for themselves - this is just plain murder.

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