Thursday, 3 October 2013
Euthanasia in Belgium: Shhh... Don't Talk About It.....
In 2012, euthanasia accounted for a staggering 2% of all deaths in Belgium. Earlier this year, the Belgian parliament debated extending the right to euthanasia to minors. In the Netherlands, doctors can actually take the decision to end the life of a child without reference to the parents. I find that deeply disturbing, although I understand that there already are precedents here. There is a reason why you will very rarely have seen a Thalidomide victim in Belgium. Need I say more?
Am I the only one who can see where this is going?
This week there have been reports of an incident of Euthanasia involving a transexual who suffered 3 failed operations, and who in any case had some serious issues due to rejection by his parents. It is a sad case indeed, but it has drawn attention to the situation. Sadly, whilst the BBC and other British media have covered the issue, there has been very little comment in the Belgian press.
I find it desperately sad that as many as 2% of those who died last year did so because they wanted to. I understand that many of those folk were older cancer patients who were surely suffering great pain. But it is nonetheless a tragic statistic, and I cannot help linking it in my own mind to the fact that Belgium has the 2nd highest suicide rate per capita in the EU. Is there a connection between the two, I wonder?