Thursday, 13 February 2014

Updated - The creeping culture of death

Reports indicate that Belgium is likely today to be the first country in the world to pass legislation extending 'the right to die' to everyone regardless of age - in other words to children. [See the report here in The Guardian; the BBC has a report [here] with - for some reason - an online form asking for views on the issue - please take time to complete it.] 

Make no mistake, this is a perfectly coldly 'logical' step to take when the once universally accepted moral prohibitions on the taking of life are dispensed with in the cause of an ill-defined, even well-intentioned 'compassion' and a dangerously sentimentalised view of human life itself which , wilfully and deliberately, takes no account whatsoever of continuing advances in palliative medicine and the relief of pain.
There will be those who will tell you that the Judeo-Christian tradition's prohibition on direct and intentional  killing [restated eloquently here] causes heartless and unnecessary suffering; however, its relegation to the history books of the future ( just look what these primitive superstitious people actually believed! History is written by the victors) will produce a moral and ethical wasteland where the most vulnerable in society will be robbed of security, dignity and life itself. Sometimes, our instinctive feelings of moral revulsion are more significant than the empty reassurances of  those whose reductionist and entirely this-worldly  view of human life will result in consequences which will not just be unChristian but barbarously and brutally sub-Christian.

These words of Fr Richard John Neuhaus in relation to the sinister circularity of the arguments of those who advocate so-called mercy killing spring to mind:  
“...In legal parlance, that is called 'the rational person test,' ... That's where somebody else says, 'Even though we have no idea what this person would want in this circumstance in which they cannot themselves tell us what they want, a 'rational' person -- meaning, myself -- in that circumstance would want to die.' So you move very quickly from so-called voluntary euthanasia to involuntary euthanasia. These legal and medical developments are not simply hypothetical: They're in the courts right now.” 
And, we could now add, well represented in our governments and legislatures.

As predicted, the legislation has been passed - in fact, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions [see here] 
There is now a petition being organised and to be presented to King Philippe of the Belgians urging him not to sign the law [here]

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