Els Borst, the former Dutch Health Minister (1994-2002) who was instrumental in making the Netherlands the first nation to legalize euthanasia, now regrets the haste with which she pushed through the legislation. Euthanasia was legalized in 2001 to make it easy for the terminally ill to end their lives, if they chose to do so. Ms. Borst, in an interview with author Dr. Anne-Mei The for The’s book Verlossers naast God (“Redeemer Under God”), said the government (herself included) was so much in a hurry to get the law passed because of political and societal pressure that they took no thought on how to give the severely sick the best treatments possible or to supply the dying with proper support for their comfort in life. “Obviously, this was not in the proper order,” said Borst.
According to statistics kept by Dutch doctors, 2331 euthanasia cases, 400 assisted suicide cases, and 550 deaths without request took place in 2008. For 15 years Dr. The has studied euthanasia and agrees that the lack of care for the sick as perceived by other nations about the Netherlands is a true perception. She also claims to personally know plenty of doctors in the Netherlands who struggle morally and emotionally with euthanasia.
The executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg, stated in response to Borst, “It’s all good to say that, but what are they doing now to protect the vulnerable?” Schadenberg says that nothing so far has been changed to have effective care for the severely ill.
The Netherlands’ laws are used as a model for policymakers and legislators in other nations who support euthanasia, so Borst’s comments should be seen as a wake up call. Schadenberg pointed out that Canada is one of those nations looking to the Netherlands as an example and claims they are headed down the same road of not caring for the sick that is shown in the Netherlands.
As for politicians in the Netherlands, Schadenberg says they are involved in a systematic cover-up about these problems. “How can you say there is no slippery slope in the Netherlands—knowing that you now allow euthanasia for newborns, and you went from originally just the terminally ill, [and] now it’s also for those who are mentally ill? You have allowed your definitions to wander so wide that you haven’t even noticed it,” said Schadenberg concerning Netherlands politicians.
So once again the Netherlands have failed in upholding their ultra-liberal policies that others have looked to as the utopian example. Their marijuana policies have failed them in recent years and now their euthanasia policies are coming apart at the seams. This is what happens when a society like the Netherlands embraces unfettered sinful behavior in lieu of the righteous boundaries proclaimed in God’s word which he established for our good.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–