EPC Europe director, Kevin Fitzpatrick OBE writes for CNN
(Paul: the title of the article is a slogan proposed by HOPE)
|Dr Fitzpatrick at the EPC Europe launch at the EU Brussels
(CNN) -- Disabled people, elderly people, adults made vulnerable by terminal and other illnesses, and now children are being told that their lives are not worth living.
For Vermeersch it seemed obvious that "a man with no arms or legs" would want to die.
Without conscience or insight into the discrimination of choosing only disabled people as examples, he shouted at a member of the audience "Just wait until you are paralysed." A paraplegic wheelchair-user for forty years, I was sitting directly in front of him, and had spoken before the debate.
His chilling and very final solution to suffering is to remove the sufferer. His zealous delivery caused a frisson in the room amongst most (though sadly not all) of the audience. With its clear echoes, this discourse from a government adviser was shocking.
- Nearly half (47%) of euthanasia deaths are not reported (according to a study carried out in Flanders in 2007): This is illegal.
- Euthanasia deaths should be carried out by doctors, butaccording to a 2007 study, nurses are doing them: This is illegal.
- Some euthanasia deaths are carried out without consent (according to a 2007 study in Flanders): This is illegal.
Dr. Jan Bernheim, a leading promoter of euthanasia, admitted that there are problems with Belgium's euthanasia law. But despite its "imperfections" he still believes it should be extended to children.
Bernheim argued euthanasia was necessary to remove suffering: yet pain is hardly ever the reason for seeking euthanasia. In fact, any palliative care specialist will say no-one should ever be in intolerable pain.
Anorexic Ann G
. also opted to have her life ended after being sexually abused by the Belgian psychiatrist who was supposed to be treating her for her life-threatening condition.
|The Verbessem twins
The core of good clinical governance is patient safety but under Belgium's euthanasia laws that is sacrificed in the name of individual choice. Verhelst, the Verbessems and Ann G. -- bereft of support -- felt they had no choice but death.
Killing someone by lethal injection is not an act of medicine: it comes when medicine apparently has nothing left to offer.
With a 500% increase in euthanasia in Belgium in ten years, it is crystal clear that the law in Belgium is not safe; we cannot stand by as they try to extend that law to children.