Dutch and Belgian Induced-Death Practices Are Out of Control

Euthanasia laws in the Netherlands and Belgium took effect in 2002. What has occurred since that time is alarming to many inside and outside those countries. The Netherlands: A judge in Utrecht ordered the euthanasia death of an 80-year-old woman with dementia despite her doctors’ objections that she was not capable of consenting to a lethal injection. It was her family who said she wanted to die. The judge reprimanded the doctors for not respecting the woman’s wishes. She was euthanized the next day. [Daily Mail, 5/18/15] The Dutch law states that only physicians can legally engage in euthanasia and assisted suicide. Yet a Dutch appeals court in Arnhem disregarded the law and cleared all criminal charges against Albert Heringa for assisting his mother’s suicide in 2008. The court said he had an “unwritten moral duty” to help his mother die. [AP, 5/13/15; Jurist, 5/14/15] In June, the Dutch Pediatric Association (NVK) called for expanding the law to allow euthanasia for children under 12-years-old if their suffering is unbearable and hopeless and they understand what a euthanasia request means. If they don’t understand, then it should be up to the doctor and the child’s parents to decide if the child lives or dies. [dutchnews.nl, 6/19/15, 7/3/15](Continued, see “Belgium” on below.) ………………….. News briefs from home & abroad . . . Belgium: As is the case in the Netherlands, Belgium’s euthanasia and assisted-suicide practices are out of control. A recent study, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, found that Belgian doctors are ending the lives of thousands of patients each year without those patients’ consent—in spite of the fact...

Dutch Doctors Hasten the Death of Sick Children (2005)

A new analysis of Dutch doctors by researchers in the Netherlands finds that they are more frequently using euthanasia to kill sick children, sometimes taking the country’s assisted suicide laws as far as they will allow. The European nation legalized euthanasia in 2002 and previous reports show Dutch doctors granting most patients’ request to be killed. The new study involves the deaths of 64 children during a four month period and finds that doctors hastened the deaths of 42 of them. The government-sponsored study gave the doctors immunity from having their names revealed or being prosecuted for their actions and their responses were kept anonymous. According to the Irish Examiner newspaper, the report finds doctors engaged in actions varying from withholding life support from patients doctors believed would die anyway to administering drugs such as morphine with the intent of hurrying a patient’s death. One case involved euthanasia in the strictest sense — a doctor making the decision to directly take a patient’s life because he believed the patient was beyond hope. Astrid Vrakking of Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam told the Examiner that, in other situations, the actions “take place at the boundaries of what is legally allowed.” “Whether or not these boundaries are supportive or rightful is, of course, a matter of debate,” Vrakking added. The report describes one case where physicians gave an 18 month old suffering from a progressive neuro-degenerative disease drugs & sedatives after the parents requested them. [Netherlands, LifeNews.com,...

October 2004: Euthanasia

Terri Shiavo’s Fight for Life Continues Royal College of Nursing Confirms Opposition to Assisted Dying Bill and Calls for Improved Palliative Care New Pain Drug From Puffer Fish May Nix Reason to Resort to Assisted Suicide:  Neurotoxin Could Revolutionize Treatment of Intractable Pain Child Euthanasia in Europe     FL COURT NIXES LAW KEEPING TERRI SCHIAVO ALIVE – The Florida Supreme Court struck down a law that was rushed through the Legislature last fall to keep a brain-damaged woman on a feeding tube against her husband’s wishes. The unanimous court said the law that kept Terri Schiavo alive violated the separation of powers. The decision cites the “right to privacy” and states that Terri’s Law “is without question an invasion of the authority of the judicial branch for the Legislature to pass a law that allows the executive branch to interfere with the final judicial determination in a case.” [Ed. i.e., the Court is miffed that someone instituted our “system of checks and balances” against them…][23Sept04, http://www.flcourts.org/sct/sctdocs/ops/sc04-925.pdf; http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040923/D859EPB00.html, AP; N Valko RN] NEW HOPE IN TERRI SCHIAVO CASE – GOV. BUSH WILL NOT END TERRI’S FIGHT FOR LIFE– In a dramatic new development, attorneys representing the parents of Terri Schindler-Schiavo have filed a memorandum of law establishing that depriving Terri of food and water would not only be against her wishes, but is also prohibited by the United States and Florida constitutions, as well as Florida statutory and common law.  The 28-page memorandum filed by Attorney Patricia F. Anderson along with new attorneys for the family, Deborah E. Berliner and Brett M. Wood of Washington, DC, cites a substantial change in...