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Doctor euthanizes twin brothers who were going blind

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 14th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pro-life advocates say that legalizing euthanasia for one group can lead to a slippery slope that could someday mean euthanasia for all. Commonly, debaters point out the logical fallacy of the argument, and discussion ends. However, in Belgium, it s really happening just as the pro-life advocates feared.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (Catholic Online) - Twin brothers living together in Belgium, deaf from birth, were told by a physician they would soon go blind. Supposedly unable to bear the thought of never seeing one another again, they chose euthanasia and were killed by lethal injection in a Belgian hospital on Dec. 14 of last year.

Doctors concluded the brothers were of sound mind and made the mutual decision fully aware of what they were doing, except perhaps from a moral standpoint.  Belgian law permits euthanasia to be carried out by doctors if the patients make their wishes clear and are suffering pain, which is unbearable.

According to national statistics, a full one percent of all deaths in the country are now the result of euthanasia. Most of those cases are for terminal cancer. The suicide of the twin brothers is unusual because neither man was dying and their pain was psychological rather than physical.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the brothers worked as cobblers. Neither of the men has been named.

RTL Television reported that doctor David Dufor "presided over the euthanasia." The doctor stressed that the men made the decision to end their lives "in full conscience." He also added that it was a "relief" to see them end their suffering.

Just prior to their euthanasia procedure, the brothers enjoyed cups of coffee, and spoke with their parents. Dufor described that conversation in positive terms, saying it was "rich."

Despite the sanitary description of the euthanasia being offered by the doctor and the media, the horror story does not end with the ill-advised decision of these brothers. Instead, it takes a twist for the macabre as the legislature considers an amendment to the law, which could open the floodgates and allow euthanasia of Alzheimer sufferers and children.

For now, the amendment, offered by the Socialists, is tabled. The law would allow euthanasia of minors on the condition "they are capable of discernment, or beset by an incurable illness or suffering that cannot be alleviated." Of course, one must wonder how often children are truly capable of appreciating the ramifications of their decisions.

The forecast is that parliament will take up and eventually pass the amendment.

Physician assisted suicide is legal in a number of places including the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and in the U.S. state of Oregon. These pockets of legalized euthanasia have given rise to a sick form of tourism, suicide tourism.

Most suicide tourists come from surrounding European countries.

Virtually everything is troubling about this outbreak of suicides, induced by the spread of postmodern culture across Europe. It is troubling that doctors who swear an oath to do no harm are carrying out these procedures. Sometimes doing the deed personally, and sometimes only assisting, based on the laws where they work.

It is troubling that a criteria for suicide exists and that an increasingly liberal method of calculus is being used to determine who dies.

It is troubling that we now consider life so cheap that we can end it not just in the womb, but after birth too - and that a distinction is even made between the value of a life wracked by terminal illness and pain and a life without suffering. Indeed, there should be no distinction drawn between the two - life is life, no further distinctions are necessary.

Unfortunately, the slippery slope is a real thing, logical fallacy or not. Once you begin assigning finite value to life, you become a participant in the culture of death, assigning life and death to people based on subjective value criteria.

Ultimately, it becomes difficult to avoid comparison between the Nazi officers who divided death-camp arrivals between those who could work and those who would die.

With plans to expand the program now before Parliament, it is only a matter of time before we report the story of the first child euthanized in Belgium.

Welcome to the future. How do you like it?

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