The Washington Post

Europe’s sinister expansion of euthanasia
The Washington Post

If you were a psychiatrist and a chronically depressed patient told you he wanted to die, what would you do? In Belgium, you might prescribe this vulnerable, desperate person a fatal dose of sodium thiopental.

Between October 2007 and December 2011, 100 people went to a clinic in Belgium’s Dutch-speaking region with depression, or schizophrenia, or, in several cases, Asperger’s syndrome, seeking euthanasia. The doctors, satisfied that 48 of the patients were in earnest, and that their conditions were “untreatable” and “unbearable,” offered them lethal injection; 35 went through with it.

These facts come not from a police report but an article by one of the clinic’s psychiatrists, Lieve Thienpont, in the British journal BMJ Open. All was perfectly legal under Belgium’s 2002 euthanasia statute, which applies not only to terminal physical illness, still the vast majority of cases, but also to an apparently growing minority of psychological ones. Official figures show nine cases of euthanasia due to “neuropsychiatric” disorders in the two-year period 2004-2005; in 2012-2013, the number had risen to 120, or 4 percent of the total.

Next door in the Netherlands, which decriminalized euthanasia in 2002, right-to-die activists opened a clinic in March 2012 to “help” people turned down for lethal injections by their regular physicians. In the next 12?months, the clinic approved euthanasia for six psychiatric patients, plus 11 people whose only recorded complaint was being “tired of living,” according to a report in the Aug. 10 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

In 2013, euthanasia accounted for one of every 28 deaths in the Netherlands, three times the rate of 2002. In the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, one of every 22 deaths was due to euthanasia in 2013, a 142 percent increase since 2007. Belgium has legalized euthanasia for children under 12, though only for terminal physical illness; no child has yet been put to death.

Au Québec, vous pouvez déjà parier qu’on verra ce genre de dérive un jour ou l’autre… Le désir du gouvernement de diminuer les coûts du système de santé, combiné à une population docile qui trouvera normal qu’au nom du bien commun on tue au lieu de soigner, rend cette réalité inévitable.