Making Progress

Thanks to Lois for this article about a recent development in euthanasia practice in Belgium.  

For me the most chilling part of the article was the last paragraph, where it was noted that lawmakers are considering extending the right of euthanasia to patients of dementia as well as children.  In other words, the law that now requires that the person being killed be in their right mind and legally recognized as able to make (at least in theory) a rational choice could be basically thrown out.  This would allow other people to decide when someone else ought to die.  
Why should this make you nervous?  Once other people are deciding that you should die, who controls the criteria as to what would warrant such a decision being made?  What if the child doesn’t want to die?  Would the law still protect the parents’ right to euthanize the child?  How strong does dementia need to be before someone else could decide that you shouldn’t be alive any longer?
Ultimately, this serves to increasingly narrow our definition of what it means to be human, what it means to deserve to live regardless of your condition.  Yes, it’s Belgium now.  But it could be Oregon tomorrow.  

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