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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dutch move to legalize killing children

The Associated Press is reporting that the Dutch government wishes to set up guidelines for permitting doctors with the consent of parents to put terminally ill newborns to death.

As the article notes, this is likely to also begin the slipperly slope toward the execution of any who are not able to speak a voice in their defense or to offer consent, such as those with mental disabilities or the elderly suffering from dementia.

Under the protocol, euthanasia would be permissible when a child is terminally ill with no prospect of recovery and suffering great pain, when two sets of doctors agree the situation is hopeless and when parents give their consent.

Any cases involving the execution of a child will be brought before a vetting committee to decide whether euthanasia is permissible. However, as the article notes, so far none of the doctors who apparently violated the legal prohibitions against killing the voiceless has faced any prosecution.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

When the killing becomes justifiable as a means of ending pain, no one is safe because no one can quantify when pain become "too severe". No one can quantify whether physical pain or emotional pain or spiritual pain are significant enought to justify death. All that is left are doctors who are supposed to make an emotional decision unemotionally. The whole notion of ending unendurable pain is that one should feel sympathy with the patient, however the whole notion of making an objective medical decision is to operate free from emotions which might lead to an improper diagnosis or decision.

What you are left with is the killing of patients who don't suffer from unendurable pain but instead cause an unendurable inconvenience upon those who hold the instruments of death in their hands.

As the article notes, there are medicines and means available to mange pain - unfortunately, science can't create a conscience.


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