([London] Times) Peter Franklin–If we don’t care, we will legalise euthanasia

We can…make a direct comparison to the experience of other countries. For instance, Belgium legalised the practice in 2002. In 2003, the official figures show that 235 Belgians were euthanised, but since then the numbers have grown every year and now stand at around 1,400. Next door in the Netherlands, the number of cases has doubled over the past decade ”” and now accounts for about 1 in 30 deaths. Crucially, these don’t just include people with terminal illnesses. Definitions of unbearable suffering now extend to mental and emotional distress. Psychiatric patients are among those helped to die by Dutch physicians.
The lesson from the Low Countries is that if we legalise euthanasia then step by step it becomes normalised. Definitions will be stretched, restrictions will be reinterpreted and safeguards will be lowered.
Unfortunately there really are greedy people who”˜ll hint to vulnerable relatives that they’re becoming a burden but the greater danger is this: What was once unthinkable will become just one of many medical options ”” and probably the cheapest.

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