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Dangerous Step on the Slippery Slope

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by the fall of of 2017. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE [2].

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[5]COMMENT: We have dis­cussed eugen­ics and euthana­sia in numer­ous pro­grams, includ­ing Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Shows M12  [6]and M60 [7], as well as FTR #‘s 117 [8], 124 [9], 140 [10], 141 [11], 534 [12], 664 [13], 908 [14], and 909 [15], 995 [16]. In Bel­gium, there has been a dan­ger­ous step forward–one that should sound alarm bells for both advo­cates and oppo­nents of physi­cian-assist­ed sui­cide.

A Bel­gian with demen­tia was euth­a­nized after his fam­i­ly gave the green light to end his life. 

” . . . . A row has bro­ken out in Bel­gium after a demen­tia patient who nev­er asked to die was euth­a­nized at the family’s requestThe case is described in a let­ter writ­ten by a doc­tor who resigned from Belgium’s euthana­sia com­mis­sion in protest over the group’s actions on this and oth­er cas­es. It has raised con­cerns about weak over­sight in a coun­try with some of the world’s most lib­er­al euthana­sia laws. Some experts say the case as doc­u­ment­ed in the let­ter amounts to mur­der; the patient lacked the men­tal capac­i­ty to ask for euthana­sia and the request for the bedrid­den patient to be killed came from fam­i­ly mem­bers. . . .”

[17] [18]With the Trump admin­is­tra­tion gut­ting fed­er­al agen­cies such as the EPA and turn­ing oth­ers over to cor­po­rate inter­ests seek­ing to re-brand them as rub­ber stamp bureaus for their prod­ucts, regard­less of their safe­ty for the con­sum­ing pub­lic, Amer­i­cans are going to be exposed to dra­mat­i­cal­ly-increased muta­gens and car­cino­gens in their envi­ron­ment and prod­ucts they con­sume.

Even­tu­al­ly, this expo­sure will trans­late into height­ened inci­dence of degen­er­a­tive dis­ease and seri­ous birth defor­mi­ties. With wealth grow­ing ever more con­cen­trat­ed and eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty result­ing from that phe­nom­e­non, the pres­sure on those who can­not afford the med­ical bills and spe­cial­ized care required for the sick and birth-dis­abled to elim­i­nate the source of finan­cial dis­tress will increase.

The Third Reich’s exter­mi­na­tion pro­grams stemmed from their euthana­sia pro­gram and the eugen­ics phi­los­o­phy under­ly­ing both had a vibrant intel­lec­tu­al foun­da­tion in the West. Will the same thing hap­pen here?

“Out­rage as Demen­tia Patient who Nev­er Asked to Die Is Euth­a­nized at Request of Fam­i­ly in Bel­gium” [AP]; Dai­ly Mail [UK]; 2/16/2018. [19]

A row has bro­ken out in Bel­gium after a demen­tia patient who nev­er asked to die was euth­a­nized at the family’s request.

The case is described in a let­ter writ­ten by a doc­tor who resigned from Belgium’s euthana­sia com­mis­sion in protest over the group’s actions on this and oth­er cas­es.

It has raised con­cerns about weak over­sight in a coun­try with some of the world’s most lib­er­al euthana­sia laws.

Some experts say the case as doc­u­ment­ed in the let­ter amounts to mur­der; the patient lacked the men­tal capac­i­ty to ask for euthana­sia and the request for the bedrid­den patient to be killed came from fam­i­ly mem­bers.

The co-chairs of the com­mis­sion say the doc­tor mis­tak­en­ly report­ed the death as euthana­sia.

Although euthana­sia has been legal in Bel­gium since 2002 and has over­whelm­ing pub­lic sup­port, crit­ics have raised con­cerns in recent months about cer­tain prac­tices, includ­ing how quick­ly some doc­tors approve requests to die from psy­chi­atric patients.

The AP revealed a rift last year between Dr. Willem Dis­tel­mans, co-chair of the euthana­sia com­mis­sion, and Dr. Lieve Thien­pont, an advo­cate of euthana­sia for the men­tal­ly ill.

Dis­tel­mans sug­gest­ed some of Thienpont’s patients might have been killed with­out meet­ing all the legal require­ments. Prompt­ed by the AP’s report­ing, more than 360 doc­tors, aca­d­e­mics and oth­ers have signed a peti­tion call­ing for tighter con­trols on euthana­sia for psy­chi­atric patients.

Euthana­sia – when doc­tors kill patients at their request – can be grant­ed in Bel­gium to peo­ple with both phys­i­cal and men­tal health ill­ness­es. The con­di­tion does not need to be fatal, but suf­fer­ing must be ‘unbear­able and untreat­able.’

It can only be per­formed if spe­cif­ic cri­te­ria are ful­filled, includ­ing a ‘vol­un­tary, well-con­sid­ered and repeat­ed’ request from the per­son.

But Belgium’s euthana­sia com­mis­sion rou­tine­ly vio­lates the law, accord­ing to a Sep­tem­ber let­ter of res­ig­na­tion writ­ten by Dr. Ludo Vanop­den­bosch, a neu­rol­o­gist, to senior par­ty lead­ers in the Bel­gian Par­lia­ment who appoint mem­bers of the group.

The most strik­ing exam­ple took place at a meet­ing in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber, Vanop­den­bosch writes, when the group dis­cussed the case of a patient with severe demen­tia, who also had Parkinson’s dis­ease. To demon­strate the patient’s lack of com­pe­tence, a video was played show­ing what Vanop­den­bosch char­ac­ter­ized as ‘a deeply dement­ed patient.’

The patient, whose iden­ti­ty was not dis­closed, was euth­a­nized at the family’s request, accord­ing to Vanopdenbosch’s let­ter. There was no record of any pri­or request for euthana­sia from the patient. . . .