BRUSSELS – Dying with dignity: what is the role of law and politics when it comes to shaping a culture that values life at all stages? On 28 November, the Brussels office of ADF International launched the campaign “Affirming Dignity”. It features a short documentary and a series of videos raising this and other questions concerning euthanasia laws in Belgium and the Netherlands.
“A fair and just society cares for its most vulnerable. Once we open the doors to intentional killing, there is no logical stopping point. According to the recently published government report, never before have more people died at the hands of doctors in Belgium than in 2015. Since its legalization in 2002, euthanasia cases have increased a hundredfold, including for psychological reasons. Because of the proliferation of euthanasia, we also see a new openness to question the practice of intentional killing, even by those who once promoted it,” said Sophia Kuby, Director of EU Advocacy and head of the Brussels office of ADF International.
Continuing expansion of euthanasia laws
In Belgium and the Netherlands, euthanasia is not only permitted in cases of terminal illness. The law also allows it for patients with non-terminal conditions and for those who suffer with depression and other psychiatric illnesses. Children, with no lower age limit, can be euthanized in Belgium, and so can minors over 12 years of age in the Netherlands. The documentary produced by ADF International features experts, medical staff, and others affected by euthanasia. They share how they have personally experienced the increasingly slippery slope of euthanasia laws in Belgium and the Netherlands, and warn about their detrimental effect on society.
“Wherever euthanasia has been legalized, it has spiraled out of control. Countries that have permitted euthanasia now allow the intentional killing of children, of those who are physically healthy, and those who have not given their consent,” said Robert Clarke, Director of European Advocacy for ADF International. “Modern medical care allows people to live their final moments in true dignity. Palliative care can control most physical pain. Patients have better options than euthanasia.”
Find more information and watch the video here.