The Netherlands and Belgium keep charging into their "Brave New World" of state-sanctioned homicide but at least one bureaucrat has walked away from the practice.
Both countries have experienced a bigger push to kill people with dementia and other mental problems by lethal injection. The latest death involves a 29-year-old in the Netherlands who requested assisted suicide and has been euthanized – killed with the blessing of the State.
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition points out that Berna van Baarsen, who sat on a "regional assessment committee" as a medical ethicist, quit in protest over a surge of killing people with mental illnesses.
In an interview with a Dutch magazine, Baarsen compared people with dementia, who can be lucid at times, to someone dying of cancer who has slipped into a coma. She resigned because of a "major shift" that is killing more people with mental problems, she said.
Netherlands and its controversial dementia law made headlines last year when a doctor killed an elderly nursing home patient who was secretly drugged to calm her down then held down – by her family members - against her will while she was killed.
"At the same time," reports Schadenburg, "there's this other big push going on for child euthanasia in the Netherlands, and you might remember that in Belgium they extended euthanasia to children in 2014 and now there's a big push in the Netherlands to extend euthanasia to children."
Once euthanasia is legalized, he warns, the categories of those eligible tend to expand and expand.
"The culture accepted it based upon freedom of choice and autonomy, like who wouldn't want choice, who doesn't want autonomy," says Schadenberg. "And now that it's become central to the culture, that it's okay to kill people, it's got nothing to do with freedom of choice or autonomy."
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