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COMMENT: For decades, we have discussed the relationship between eugenics, euthanasia, the Nazi T-4 program and the genocide that grew out of these.
Actualizing eugenics thinking that predominated in powerful elite circles in the West, the T-4 program began with the state-authorized killing of a badly deformed infant named Knauer. Economically and emotionally stressful for his parents, “baby Knauer” became the test case and prototype for the Third Reich’s extermination programs.
Baby Knauer’s parents and family petitioned Hitler for permission to have him eliminated and Hitler, in his beneficence, granted that permission. This test case became institutionalized.
The professionals who staffed the T-4 killing centers graduated to staff the extermination camps such as Auschwitz.
Recent legislative proposals in Belgium and the Netherlands are disturbingly reminiscent of what happened in the 1930’s and thereafter.
In the Netherlands, authorities are considering the euthanasia of children to relieve the emotional suffering of their parents! This is unnervingly reminiscent of the Knauer case.
With austerity the order of the day in Europe and sure to be implemented in the United States when the Nazified GOP regains control of the White House and both houses of Congress (which will happen at some point), the economic pressure to accelerate the termination of inconvenient and economically burdensome individuals will surely accelerate.
It is beyond the scope of this post to fully delineate this dynamic. Please check the tags and access the information presented on this website.
The Knauer case is set forth in a number of shows, including FTR #32, Part I, side a.
EXCERPT: Of all the social/moral questions facing us, euthanasia is one of the toughest to draw a conclusion on. On the one hand, nobody likes to think of a patient being left to suffer. As individuals we have a right to control our own way of living and, by that logic, our own way of dying. On the other hand, there’s a worry that legalizing euthanasia encourages a culture of death. Sadly, the news coming out of Belgium and the Netherlands confirms the critics’ worst fears.
Belgium adopted euthanasia in 2002, one year after the Netherlands, and its laws were designed to help adults riddled with “unbearable physical or mental suffering”. Today, roughly one per cent of all deaths in Belgium are due to euthanasia – and the grounds on which it is carried out are becoming looser and looser. As the Telegraph recently reported, two deaf brothers opted to die after they started to go blind. They were young and their condition wasn’t terminal. They couldn’t bear the thought of living alone and in darkness, which is entirely understandable – but the case bends the spirit of the original law.
Now Belgium is weighing up some changes. One would allow patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other diseases leading to dementia to sign an agreement permitting a doctor to allow them to die when the condition enters an advanced stage – even if they appear perfectly happy and physically stable. Another reform is to allow Belgians under 18 to choose euthanasia, too. This means that children who can’t drive, marry, vote or drink alcohol will be regarded as competent enough to decide whether or not they can die.
There’s an even more troubling development in the Netherlands. Since 2005, the Dutch have permitted doctors to euthanize minors so long as they act in accordance with a set of tight medical guidelines – 22 babies with spina bifida have been given lethal injections. But now the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) is advising that a new test be established for euthanizing the newborn: if their suffering distresses the parents. In a recent policy document, the KNMG states that a lethal injection might be appropriate if “the period of gasping and dying persists and the inevitable death is prolonged, in spite of good preparation, and it causes severe suffering for the parents.” . . . .
. . . . This is killing justified not by relieving the suffering of the patient but by relieving the suffering of those around them. It is another step down that slippery slope towards making euthanasia far more common and easier to obtain than even many of its supporters would wish it to be. . . .