Patients Euthanized Without Consent in Belgium

Euthanasia and government involvement in healthcare are both slippery slopes. Where they converge, the slippery slope steepens:

A study published this month in the Journal of Medical Ethics examined the “deliberate” euthanasia of patients in Belgium without their explicit, voluntary consent as required by law.

The study’s author, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the United Kingdom’s Hull University, found that life-ending drugs were used “with the intention to shorten life and without explicit request” in 1.7 percent of all deaths in Belgium in 2013.

The real numbers are worse.

A 2010 research study conducted in Flanders revealed that only one out of every two euthanasia cases was reported to Belgium’s Federal Control and Evaluation Committee because most non-reporting physicians did not view the active hastening of their patients’ deaths as euthanasia.

Belgian authorities don’t even count terminal sedation as euthanasia. Often the death blow is delivered by a nurse rather than a doctor.

Don’t worry; for now they mostly only do it to older folks:

In 52.7 percent of these cases, the patients were 80 years of age or older. The decision to euthanize was not discussed with the patient in 77.9 percent of the cases because he/she was comatose, had dementia, or “because discussion would have been harmful to the patient’s best interest,” according to the study.

It’s hard to imagine what would be more harmful to a patient’s best interest than his hospital being run by progressives, who do not see people as individuals and consequently have a history of undervaluing their lives, even to the point of killing them by the millions.

Belgium passed the Euthanasia Act in 2002, which states that only voluntary euthanasia is legally permissible.

That’s nice. But the more laws there are, the more lawless the authorities become (as Charles Murray explains well in By the People). Technical proscriptions will not stop ever-expanding government from deciding who lives and who dies. When healthcare is centrally run by faceless bureaucrats in distant capitals, people inevitably become statistics. Their lives become expendable.

Socialized Medicine

On a tip from artfldgr. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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