Friday, April 08, 2011

They Love Death the Way that We Love Life

Yet another glance at that superior Euro-humanism.

An increasingly sterile and senile continent obsessing over more and newer ways to bring back the ham-fisted euthanasia of 20th century Europeans autocracies.

At a private conference in 1990 Els Borst, a well-known figure in the euthanasia movement, said that this progression was always the objective: "It was a matter of tactics: we could gradually win the field for the acceptance of euthanasia by starting with this category." By "this category" Borst, who later became minister of health and who saw to it that the Euthanasia Act was passed in parliament, meant the people who were able to ask for euthanasia. In other words: Borst started out presenting euthanasia as termination of life at the request of the person due to die, with the implicit aim of subsequently making it possible without request, for individuals who are unable to ask for euthanasia, for example people with dementia and babies.
Don’t forget that this all started with “strict conditions” caveats, etc.
What started with an appeal to self-determination ("if a person is in terrible pain and asks to be allowed to die, then that should not be a problem"), has led to termination of life in individuals who are unable to express their will and whose lives other people assume to be worthless ("it is better for him to be at peace now"). What happened to self-determination here? Is it not the ultimate act of paternalism to decide for a severely disabled individual that it would be better if they did not exist?
The imprint of the Nanny state will all over these notions that this is all “so humane”, and is the “dignified option. The fact is, it’s nearly cult-like in its’ motives.
Now the next step is under discussion. What if a baby can survive without treatment and is not suffering now, but will suffer in the future? Some physicians are deliberating whether termination of life is an acceptable option in this case. This future suffering does not need to involve physical pain; the Committee for Pediatricians, Ethics and Law of the Dutch Association of Pediatricians mention the inability to communicate, the burden of treatment and an anticipated long life-expectancy of the disabled or sick baby as suffering that could legitimise termination of life.
Soon, when people say that growing old is not for cowards, it will likely mean not just facing mortality bravely, but facing off with those dropping the idea in your head that you should take the “dignified option” that they will present repeatedly. After all, Europe will have warehouses of social liabilities to dispose of – and it seems to be increasing with the “death with dignity” campaign’s political timeline.
Is it possible to adequately organise such assistance for elderly people who feel they have lived long enough? Can it be done in such a way that we know what we are getting ourselves into and do not end up somewhere we never wanted to go? The people from Uit Vrije Wil are saying that this is for the elderly, that only people over the age of seventy should be able to get help to end their lives. But a meeting of Uit Vrije Wil and the Dutch Humanistic Union on 9 November 2010 in Amsterdam was attended by so many sympathisers, that a few individuals forgot that this was a public gathering. The famous neurobiologist Dick Swaab, one of the initiators, said: "The age limit is arbitrary. Just between you and me: this age limit was chosen for pragmatic reasons, so we would have a chance to obtain majority support in parliament."
The sad thing is that those who fight for their lives over this will probably face humiliation from caregivers or even from malicious and negligent relatives. Is this really the –social- humane, socialistic model of a society that they keep banging on about?