(First Things) – Once a society accepts the noxious notion that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering, the definition of “suffering” never stops expanding.
The history of euthanasia in the Netherlands proves that maxim. The Dutch have allowed doctors to kill sick patients since the ’70s, taking an approach of quasi-decriminalization. Euthanasia was formally legalized in 2002.
Over the decades, Dutch doctors “progressed” from euthanizing the terminally ill who ask for it, to the chronically ill who ask for it, to people with disabilities who ask for it, to the mentally ill who ask for it, and even to people with dementia who are unable to ask for it (as long as they left written instructions requesting it).
The Dutch have also conjoined euthanasia with organ donation, creating a utilitarian impetus for lethal injection for both despairing patients and society. There have even been joint euthanasia killings of elderly couples who don’t want to experience the grief of widowhood. CONTINUE