Belgium is considering a significant change to its decade-old euthanasia law that would allow minors and Alzheimer's sufferers to seek permission to die.
AFP - Belgium is considering a significant change to its decade-old euthanasia law that would allow minors and Alzheimer's sufferers to seek permission to die.
The proposed changes to the law were submitted to parliament Tuesday by the Socialist party and are likely to be approved by other parties, although no date has yet been put forward for a parliamentary debate.
"The idea is to update the law to take better account of dramatic situations and extremely harrowing cases we must find a response to," party leader Thierry Giet said.
The draft legislation calls for "the law to be extended to minors if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate."
Belgium was the second country in the world after the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia in 2002 but it applies only to people over the age of 18.
Socialist Senator Philippe Mahoux, who helped draft the proposed changes, said there had been cases of adolescents who "had the capacity to decide" their future.
He said parliamentarians would also consider extended mercy-killing to people suffering from Alzheiner's-type illnesses.
Euthanasia was allowed to an Alzheimer's patient for the first time in the Netherlands last year.
Exactly how does a minor or an person with Alzheimer's disease make an informed request to be killed?
Apparently ordinary comfort care-- love and analgesia and human dignity-- are not adequate responses to "dramatic situations and extremely harrowing cases."
France is getting impatient with the weak and dying, too:
AFP - France should allow doctors to "accelerate the coming of death" for terminally ill patients, a report to President Francois Hollande recommended Tuesday.
Hollande referred the report to a national council on medical ethics which will examine the precise circumstances under which such steps could be authorised with a view to producing draft legislation by June 2013.
"The existing legislation does not meet the legitimate concerns expressed by people who are gravely and incurably ill," Hollande saidThe French report sounds a bit less-- how to say it-- Teutonic than the Belgian snuff-fest. The authors of the report explicitly condemn active euthanasia, but such condemnations, in my view, are often a patina of humanism that covers a much darker agenda. The report does endorse 'withdrawal of nourishment', which is just murder by starvation and dehydration of a handicapped person.
And precisely what starving someone to death has to do with a report on 'medical care' is not specified. I must have missed the classes on "how to deliberately starve patients" in med school. Glad I missed it. The practical exam would have been particularly unpleasant.
Connecticut. Belgium. France. 2012 is closing out to be a banner year for the Culture of Death.