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Belgium's Disturbing Euthanasia Epidemic


In Belgium, death is more popular than ever. The BBC reports on Nathan Verhelst, a 44-year-old transsexual who recently opted to euthanize himself  after botched sex change operations. This case might seem like an outlier; the man in question clearly had psychological problems. But then you take a look at the overall numbers on the growth of euthanasia in Belgium:

There were 1,432 recorded cases of euthanasia in Belgium in 2012; a 25% increase on the previous year’s figure. They represented 2% of all deaths, the AFP news agency reported.

When legalized euthanasia first starting gaining political steam in the Western world, opponents predicted that a procedure pitched as a way of ending extreme suffering in end of life cases would rapidly become normalized, manufacturing a demand, preying on the confused and depressed, and creating opportunities for people to come under pressure from relatives or a social consensus. (“Her death does not bother me,” Nathan’s mom said, according to The Telegraph).

As you think about that, we’ll leave you with this one last detail from the BBC’s story:

Voluntary euthanasia for those over 18 is relatively uncontroversial in Belgium. Parliament is now considering expanding the law to under 18s as well.

[Glove image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • rheddles

    Won’t it be great when Boomers find out about this? Maybe we should pay for one way tickets to Brussels.

  • bigfire

    And then there are the unreported incidents of doctors just killing their patients. Hey, they know better.

    • Corlyss

      I expect it to make its debut in Obamacare in about 4-5 years if the system lasts that long.

      • Pete

        Yes, that’s how the progressives plan to solve the cost of SS and Medicare — kill off the recipients by hook or by crook.

  • Andrew Allison

    If a woman has the right (with which I agree) to determine whether a fetus lives or dies and to obtain medical assistance in implementing her decision, surely an individual is entitled to make the same choice regarding their own life.

    • rheddles

      I don’t agree with you, but your logic is impeccable. It’s just that pesky initial assumption that causes the problem.

  • Corlyss

    Says more about the vaunted Eurotrash health care system than it says about anything else. Obviously mental health care isn’t the universal free lunch health care system’s strong suit.

    • Enemy Leopard

      Please stop calling Europeans “Eurotrash.” You’ve done it more than once. It cheapens the experience of everyone who reads these comments.

      • Corlyss

        Sorry you feel that way. You are privileged to call them whatever you want to and I promise I won’t care.

        • Enemy Leopard

          My concern isn’t with your opinion of Europeans, because I’m sure that how you feel about them doesn’t affect me or, in fact, anybody else all that much. My concern is that you’re befouling one of the most decent places for commentary on the web. This site is a model for how one can stake out a strong position on a subject while remaining charitable toward those with whom you disagree.

          This is something of an understatement, but not all of your comments display that sort of charitable spirit, or the thoughtfulness evident in the writing of the host and his staff. I’m sure they turn off a number of readers who choose to remain silent. This isn’t because of your politics, but because your ad hominem is incredibly empty and uninteresting. It’s the stuff of children, which is surprising, given your apparent age.

          • Corlyss

            Right. So here we are having a principled disagreement. I haven’t been rude to you unless you’re a European elite. Don’t scream if you ain’t hurt.

      • Fred

        My favorite term is “Euroweenies.”

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