In May 2003, the “International Trade and Business Law Annual,” of which I was founding editor-in-chief, published an nonfiction connected Belgium’s caller euthanasia laws, which were passed connected May 28, 2002.
Written by Prof. Walter De Bondt of the University of Ghent, it provided an overview of 1 of the earliest iterations of voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law—only the Netherlands’ authorities preceded the Belgian law.
The Belgian Act connected Euthanasia, which entered into unit connected Sept. 22, 2002, defines euthanasia successful Article 2 arsenic “intentionally terminating beingness by idiosyncratic different than the idiosyncratic concerned, astatine the latter’s request.”
Article 14 explicitly states that a aesculapian practitioner whitethorn not beryllium compelled to execute euthanasia.
Article 15 indicates that “A idiosyncratic who dies arsenic a effect of euthanasia performed successful accordance with the conditions specified successful the Euthanasia Act, is considered to person died from a earthy origin with respect to the execution of agreements to which helium was a party, and notably, the security agreements.” The Act past goes connected to picture the euthanasia process successful detail.
Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, erstwhile it is adopted and implemented, becomes nigh intolerable to repeal.
Indeed, the lone treatment surrounding specified authorities is apt to woody with however the instrumentality could beryllium further liberalised.
The Belgian instrumentality illustrates the validity of this view: the Act has since been amended adjacent to let children to use for euthanasia. This amendment was passed connected Feb. 13, 2014, and it legalised euthanasia by lethal injection for children, removing immoderate property obstruction to this practice.
This civilization of decease has present been elaborate successful a thoughtful caller book by Australian Reverend John Fleming, entitled “To Kill oregon Not to Kill: Euthanasia successful a Society with a Cultural Death Wish.” This publication is simply a meticulous defence of the sanctity and inviolability of beingness and a almighty statement against society’s adoption of a civilization of death.
The publication is simply a veritable treasure trove, which offers an in-depth treatment connected a scope of applicable issues against which the adoption of euthanasia laws is considered and assessed.
Fleming aptly notes that “euthanasia arsenic an contented is conscionable a part, but a typical part, of the determination of definite élites to de-Christianise Western societies, to escaped nine of the astir important ingredients of civilian society.”
He argues that VAD laws make a slippery slope that frustrates immoderate attempts astatine reversing the signifier and, successful turn, stimulates “demand” for euthanasia. As William Tighe writes successful the foreword, the book explores the full expanse of “legal, medical, philosophical, spiritual and societal contexts successful which advocacy for legally-permitted euthanasia has go a wide and palmy world successful the satellite today.”
Tighe’s admittance of however “successful” the signifier has dispersed assumes it is besides popular.
There is nary uncertainty that galore successful Belgium favour the adoption of specified a law. Whenever I talked to household members successful Belgium, they each displayed indignation erstwhile I adjacent dared to question the morality of euthanasia. They see VAD to beryllium a ineffable right, enabling them to presume full power implicit their bodies and determine however and erstwhile to die.
In the play 2002 to 2020, around 24,000 people person been officially euthanised successful Belgium.
In section 9 of his book, Fleming compellingly describes the slippery slope generated by the adoption of the Belgian authorities successful 2002.
He says the occupation is compounded erstwhile lethal doses are often administered without an explicit petition from the patients, and erstwhile doctors neglect to study euthanising an idiosyncratic to the overseeing Federal Commission connected Control and Evaluation due to the fact that they bash not judge they person carried retired the practice.
The close to dice is not recovered successful planetary quality rights instruments, which successful contrast, emphasise the close to life.
Article 6 (1) of the United Nations’ International Covenant connected Civil and Political Rights stipulates accordingly that, “Every quality being has the inherent close to life. This close shall beryllium protected by law.”
VAD besides efficaciously destroys the Hippocratic Oath successful medicine.
Disturbingly, the spot that so indispensable beryllium betwixt patients—especially older oregon susceptible patients—and their doctors volition beryllium severely tested, due to the fact that it tin nary longer beryllium assumed that doctors volition enactment to prolong the beingness of a diligent with palliative attraction options.
Timothy Costelloe, archbishop of Perth, asked successful a letter whether it was “ever ethically permissible to deliberately extremity one’s ain life, to inquire different idiosyncratic to assistance you bash so, oregon to intentionally assistance different idiosyncratic to bash so?”
In this context, Fleming reminds readers that the close to beingness is an inalienable close and that the endurance of our civilisation depends connected maintaining the motivation regularisation that 1 does not kill. The slippery slope created by the governmental people is simply a harbinger of the motivation illness of Western civilisation.
Since the 1970s, determination has been a relentless march to permanently alteration the motivation standards that for hundreds of years held our societies together. This march is exemplified by the termination industry, transgender rights, and VAD legislation—now enacted everyplace successful Australia, but New South Wales and the territories.
These developments presume that radical person the close of afloat autonomy implicit their bodies, portion astatine the aforesaid time, defying centuries of contented that sought to sphere the sanctity and inviolability of life.
Social commentator Paul Collits, successful his review of Fleming’s book, said it was a enactment of “immense scholarship, wide interdisciplinary research, governmental consciousness and razor-sharp focus, leavened with a practitioner’s worldly contented and governmental nous. Fleming’s conviction, supra all, is that bully arguments substance successful captious debates, adjacent successful this property of superficial soundbites, clichés, and focus-group-driven politics.”
A speechmaking of the publication confirms the veracity of Collits’ assessment.
Indeed, the work of Fleming’s publication is an important and timely lawsuit that highlights the devastation wrought by the de-Christianisation project.
The publication should beryllium promoted and work widely. It is simply a timely reminder that Western civilisation, scarred by galore decades of continuing motivation decay, has created a slippery slope that generates an irreversible request for the concern of assisted dying.
Views expressed successful this nonfiction are the opinions of the writer and bash not needfully bespeak the views of The Epoch Times.
Professor Gabriël A. Moens AM is an emeritus prof of instrumentality astatine The University of Queensland, and served arsenic pro vice-chancellor, dean, and prof of instrumentality astatine Murdoch University. He has published a caller astir the origins of the COVID-19 disease, “A Twisted Choice,” and precocious published a abbreviated story, “The Greedy Prospector,” successful an Anthology of abbreviated stories, “The Outback” (Boolarong Press, 2021).