"Today it seems that euthanasia is the only right way to end life."The death of twin brothers by euthanasia (reported here) has caused an international stir that is damaging to the pro-euthanasia movement because it brings into focus the reality that euthanasia laws in both Belgium and The Netherlands are not safe. It's not a rosy garden as we are lead to believe.
A follow up report in the London Telegraph adds to the concern.
The hospital local to where the twins lived have now spoken out about why they refused their requests for euthanasia. They 'did not accept that the twins were suffering unbearable pain, the criteria for legal euthanasia under Belgian law.'
"There is a law but that is clearly open to various interpretations. If any blind or deaf are allowed to euthanise, we are far from home. I do not think this was what the legislation meant by 'unbearable suffering'," doctors at the first hospital said.
Chris Gastmans, professor of medical ethics at the Catholic University of Leuven, has criticised the decision and has concerns over the wider implications for the welfare of disabled people.
"Is this the only humane response that we can offer in such situations? I feel uncomfortable here as (an) ethicist. Today it seems that euthanasia is the only right way to end life. And I think that's not a good thing. In a society as wealthy as ours, we must find another, caring way to deal with human frailty."
Clearly Belgium does have problems. Problems that stem from the human inclination to push at the boundaries of law and problems from the growing erroneous acceptance of the right to die.