The slippery slope of assisted suicide and euthanasia is no longer a slope but a steep and hazardous cliff in several European countries. One fifth of nurses in Belgium admitted to researchers that they were involved in euthanasia deaths of patients who had not consented. The nurses “assumed” the patients would want to die. Nearly half (120 of 248) said they had taken part in “terminations without request or consent.” Of course, this is against the law but apparently that doesn’t matter as the rules are ignored.
In Holland, the world’s leader in administering death by lethal doses of drugs, euthanasia cases rose an alarming 13% in one year. Reports indicate that 2,636 euthanasia deaths occurred in 2009 compared to 2,331 in 2008. As in Belgium, there are charges that some patients do not consent to death by euthanasia. Dr. Els Borst, the former health minister and deputy prime minister who helped guide a law to legalize euthanasia through Parliament, is now uneasy about how the law is being used. Borst believes that euthanasia has destroyed palliative care, noting that there are only two tiny hospices left in Amsterdam, the nation’s largest city.
The rise in euthanasia deaths has prompted an inquiry by the health ministry in Holland. I am a cynic who believes that Holland has fallen so far off of the cliff that it will be nearly impossible to stop the march towards forced death for Dutch citizens.