The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

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Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

12.02.2004

The Groningen Protocol

One small step for man, one giant leap down the slippery slope for mankind.

Hugh Hewitt has been posting for several days about this horrific story. You can find many informative and thoughtful links through Hugh's blog and further all the blogs he links to in the initial and subsequent posts, especially from Mark D. Roberts. I've read many of these links, but still have much more to go, as I haven't been online much the past few days.

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - A hospital in the Netherlands - the first nation to permit euthanasia - recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.

The announcement by the Groningen Academic Hospital came amid a growing discussion in Holland on whether to legalize euthanasia on people incapable of deciding for themselves whether they want to end their lives - a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates.



I just don't know what to say. There is not a thing in this world that horrifies me, and angers me, and saddens me, as much as abortion. And it is not the act itself that disturbs me so, although that is bad enough, but the philosophy behind it, the intellectually lazy and selfish moral relativism, the devaluation of human life and the embrace of a culture of death.

But this goes far beyond abortion in just these respects, all the way into the realms of eugenics and übermensch. Apparently from the first paragraph of the story, such killings aren’t (yet) legal, but don’t hold your breath waiting for any action against these doctors. Others have commented on the legal, moral, and political implications more completely and more originally than I could, have made the comparisons with Nazi Germany and lamented the complicity of socialized medicine in the process; I can only say again to go read all the links that Hugh and others have provided.

They've admitted to 4, and the number may indeed be "small" (as if even one isn't the most disgusting of tragedies!), but if they are willing to admit to 4, how many more are there? They say they expect the protocol to be applicable only in 10-15 cases a year, and that there hasn't been a large increase in general euthanasia since it became legal, but over time? How long before this practice spreads, in geography and in scope? It’s an Orwellian world out there, folks.

Another story on the matter says:

Under the Groningen protocol, if doctors at the hospital think a child is suffering unbearably from a terminal condition, they have the authority to end the child's life. The protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, but it covers any child up to age 12.

and

A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors.


And lest you think it's just the Netherlands and couldn't happen to us, the recently re-elected Senator Barbra Boxer, among other prominent people, has said similar things in the past about how the killing of children up to a certain age should be permissible (I will try to find a link, although my own computer, along with the research for a position paper I did in college a few years back, is in storage). And the Supreme Court has become disturbingly more and more comfortable in citing foreign law as the basis for decisions.

The Greeks may have left unwanted children on a hill to die, but even then they at least had the chance of coming back and killing their fathers and marrying their mothers...maybe that's not the best example; let's take the proto-Romans, who may have left their children to die, but at least they had the chance of being raised by wolves, and founding the greatest empire in the history of the world. Perhaps humor, even black humor, is not appropriate in regards to such a story, but without it I might start cursing, this makes me so mad. And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the motif is so frequent in mythology and folk tale. Stories are pedagogical, but it is clear some haven’t learned the lesson.

And Hugh's right, the very name is creepy. It makes a great title for a story. I think I'm inspired...

Although I'm not a Catholic, I suggest December 28 as a protest day for Groningen - The Holy Innocents. Mark D. Roberts and others have also made this connection. I've already been kicking around the idea for an anti-abortion short story, perhaps in the form of a diary and perhaps simply called "December 28," and more recently one dealing with stem-cell harvesting, and this outrage I think has finally inspired me to write them, and more.

Sometimes I despair over whether the culture war can be won, whether we can only slow the inevitable death spiral and not reverse it. Liberals have (quite deliberately, I think) made careers in and taken over the fields of education, the arts, journalism and politics over the last generation or two, by which they have pressed their evil agenda to dangerous lengths while conservatives have for too long been relatively quiet. It is on these battlefields that we must push back if we ever hope to save the world.

So for my part in this fight, at least for now, I think it’s time to dust off the old pen (or keyboard, or something) and see where it leads me, as I feel I'm better at expressing myself through "fiction" (would that it were so) than papers or opinion pieces.

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