………resigned his post as medical Director of Fraser Health Palliative Care, sacrificing his prestigious job rather than follow the dictates of the liberal left, who have decreed that care now equates to killing the sick and elderly.

My mother loved Holland.  No one could make chocolate like the Dutch.  Only Dutch herring were edible.  KLM was the only nice airline.  Wilhelmus van Oranje stirred her soul.  Queen Juliana ruled!!

But our family emigrated to Canada in 1950, so Mom could only see her beloved homeland every few years, for a short trip.  As the years went by we heard disturbing stories from other Dutch people,…….about this new and terrifying thing that had crept into the Dutch liberal mindset,…….euthanasia.

My Mom got older.  It was her intense desire to stay in her own home.  I had moved out West, but my wonderful brothers and sisters, and Mom’s grandchildren honoured her longing.  They came daily to check on her and helped her take care of things, right until a stroke took her to the hospital.  She died a week later with all of us surrounding her with love.  I never knew such grief and love could merge with such intensity.

In Holland, the ‘healers’ would probably have killed her.  I am so thankful my father and mother took us all to Canada, and that they could die a natural death.

Euthanasia is a terrible evil.  Kill the inconvenient infants in the womb.  Dispose of the burdensome sick as they get old and helpless.  After all, there is no Creator, Sustainer and ultimate Judge,…………………………..is there?



The ideal candidate for activists’ promotion of euthanasia or assisted suicide is a pain-tortured or disabled individual (or one about to become so) whose mind is crystal clear, and who demands the right to die on his own terms. Activists see these individuals as courageous, those who would refuse to help them as cowards, and their “right” to die as self-evident. Such activists often point to the Netherlands as their model for euthanasia progressivism.

In fact, the law endorses a species of medical “paternalism”

But the Netherlands’ euthanasia law does not recognize any such right. In 1984, the country’s Supreme Court accepted euthanasia, but rejected self-determination as the driver. The law in fact focuses on the right of the physician to exercise his compassion in what is deemed a “situation of necessity.” Citizens “may request,” but cannot demand, euthanasia. So in fact the law endorses a species of medical “paternalism.”

One of van Loenen’s settled convictions is that what begins in compassion invariably creeps over to the dark side. Up to 1,000 Dutch citizens are killed every year without express consent, according to van Loenen, either because they are incompetent (dementia) or in comas, or too young. In 14% of the without-consent cases, people are actually competent, but not consulted. Typical reasons given for euthanasia by doctors in such cases are “consultation would have done more harm than good,” or “this course of action was clearly the best one for this patient,” or it was “the request or wish of family” — a far cry from the self-determination principle debate began with.

These doctors have acted outside the law, but are rarely convicted, as judges are reluctant to call “termination of life without request”… murder. Indeed, van Loenen says, cultural acceptance of euthanasia has progressed to the point that it is no longer the physician who ends someone’s life without request who must justify his actions; rather it is the physician who decides to prolong a life perceived as meaningless who feels societal pressure.

For me the most unsettling aspect of this fascinating and informative book is the marginalization of the central actor — the “better-off-dead” person — as the discussion turns more and more to the sensibilities of those who are affronted by his continued existence.

In a disturbing illustration of this shift, van Loenen describes an award-winning 2006 Dutch documentary film about resuscitation, I Don’t Ever Want to Be Famous, ostensibly featuring former cellist Tobias, disabled after a cardiac arrest and difficult post-resuscitation recovery. Van Loenen observes that Tobias seems content enough, and far less troubled by his straitened condition than some of his relatives, who candidly state they wish he had died.

At issue is whether Tobias should be resuscitated in a future incident. The family is shocked to discover that Tobias’ anthroposophic care facility has a policy of resuscitation. The distraught mother complains, “Nobody told me … that there are so many taboos.” His sister says, “I am sure this is not what he would have wanted. I am sure he would have said: euthanasia!” Whereupon Tobias says, very clearly, “I don’t want to die.” Nobody responds. This film is not really about him, or his wishes, or his rights.

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