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Continent Death: Euthanasia in Europe

Wesley J. Smith

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Holland fast becoming Europe's center of death.

December 23, 2003

Too many people think with their hearts instead of their brains. Wanting the world to suit their desires, when faced with hard truths to the contrary, they refuse to face facts they don't want to believe. This common human failing has a name: self-delusion.

Self-delusion is rampant in the euthanasia movement. Most proponents recognize that it is inherently dangerous to legalize killing. But they desperately want to believe that they can control the grim reaper. Thus, they continue to peddle the nonsense that "guidelines will protect against abuse" despite overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary.

Euthanasia has been around long enough and practiced sufficiently enough for us to detect a pattern. Killing is sold to the public as a last resort justified only in cases where nothing else can be done to alleviate suffering. But once the reaper is allowed through the door, the categories of killable people expand steadily toward the acceptance of death on demand.

The classic example is the Netherlands, where doctors have been allowed to euthanize patients since 1973. Dutch death regulations require that euthanasia be strictly limited to the sickest patients, for whom nothing but extermination will alleviate overwhelming suffering -- a concept in Dutch law known as force majeur. But once mercy killing was redefined as being good in a few cases rather than being bad in all circumstances, it didn't take long for the protective guidelines to be viewed widely as impediments to be overcome instead of important protections to be obeyed.

Wesley J. Smith is an attorney and consultant for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. His most recent book is the revised and updated "Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope From Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder"

Read this article on the National Review Online website.

Posted: 12-24-03



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