Wes Roth just e-mailed me to let me know that Pope John Paul II made an appeal to end the Groningen Protocol:
The Pope has urged doctors and authorities in the Netherlands to think again about their increasingly far-reaching decisions on euthanasia.
He issued his appeal as it emerged that a group of senior Dutch doctors had formally reported themselves for killing 22 terminally ill newborn babies. Their admissions were intended to force the authorities to agree to regulate the practice.
Pope John Paul II said on Saturday: “I urge the authorities and medical personnel and all those who exercise an educative role to weigh the gravity of these questions.”
The Pope expressed his objections while receiving the new Dutch ambassador to the Vatican, Monique Frank.
He said: “For several years Dutch society, marked by the phenomenon of secularisation, has set in motion a legislative policy concerning the beginning and the end of human life.
“The Holy See has not failed to lay out its clear position and to invite Catholics in the Netherlands always to bear witness to the most absolute respect of the human person, from conception to natural death.”
I’m glad he’s speaking out. But for all the effect he’ll have on today’s Dutch, the Pope may as well shout into the wind.
I’ve commented on the Groningen Protocol before (here, here, and here). I’ll be gone most of tonight so I’ll be blogless, but my initial observation is straightforward: what more do we expect from a radically secular society? A callous disregard for human life flows predictably from a worldview that denies the existence of objective moral standards, much less any obligation to obey them.
Do the Dutch see the well-worn path they’ve started on? They don’t … and this road bends ever downwards. It’s doubly disappointing to see this banal form of evil sprouting in a place that once was a center of Calvinist thought and reformation. For once, the often over-used Nazi comparison applies.
We in America would be wise not to keep following the Dutch.
OpinionJournal weighs in on the finger-pointing after the tsunami in Asia:
It is preposterous to blame the inexorable forces of nature on the development of industry and infrastructures of modern society. The more sensible response to natural disasters is to improve forecasting, put in place efficient communications and evacuation procedures and, should the worst arrive, conduct relief efforts and rebuild what nature has destroyed. Those cautionary measures, as is now clear, cost money. The national income necessary to afford them is made possible only by economic growth of the sort too many of environmentalists retard with their policy extremism.
Rich countries suffer fewer fatalities from natural disasters because their prosperity has allowed them to create better protective measures. Consider the 41,000 death toll in last December’s earthquake in Iran compared with the 63 who died when a slightly stronger earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989.
The principal victims of the tidal waves in Sri Lanka and elsewhere Sunday were the poor people living in coastal shanty towns. The wealthier countries around the Pacific Rim have an established early-warning system against tsunamis, while none currently exists in South Asia. Developing countries that have resisted the Kyoto climate-change protocols have done so from fear that it will suppress their economic growth. These countries deserve an answer from the proponents of those standards. How are they supposed to pay for such protection amid measures that are suppressing global economic growth?
Makes sense to me.
Click on these links and tell me if you notice what’s missing from the search results:
What’s missing is any mention of the Groningen Protocol on the major liberal blogs. Why are the self-styled Champions of The Downtrodden™ so silent? Do they really have no opinion about a system of government-sanctioned killing of children under age twelve?
In his newest column for The Weekly Standard, Hugh Hewitt looks at the Groningen Protocol for non-voluntary euthanasia of children in the Netherlands. He wonders if the 21st Century will be even bloodier than the 20th:
This is either a low point, or a point of no return. The establishment of “independent committees” to dispatch non-consenting humans is nothing but a death penalty committee for innocents. Once begun, it is impossible–simply impossible–to limit the concept with any bright line. Abortion, of course, has always been limited by the physical act of birth, and once out of the womb, only the most extreme “reproductive rights” advocates have argued that the baby’s natural right to live can be compromised by the mother. But now the Netherlands has gone farther–much, much farther. If the “severely retarded” may be killed upon appropriate motion, second, debate, and majority vote, why not the moderately retarded? Why not the mildly retarded? Why not, in fact, anyone the “independent committee” deems as usefully dispatched.
Incredibly, the nation’s elite media has turned a collective blind eye to this story, though the Los Angeles Times did, on the day following the Drudge headline, find time to put on the paper’s front page, above the fold, the story that Salmon and Steelhead May Lose Protection, but not a column inch of ink for a radical leap past Kevorkian land into the regions of Mengele.
Lest anyone bring up Godwin’s Law, kindly remember that this is actually how the Nazis desensitized German culture in preparation for the Final Solution.
Since The Weekly Standard is read by the heavy hitters in the White House, you can bet this will show up on President Bush’s radar. Watch for references to the Groningen Protocol in upcoming presidential speeches on the partial birth abortion ban, and maybe even in speeches on judicial nominations in general.
I heard something frightening on Hugh Hewitt’s show yesterday. Low-key news coverage reveals that systematic euthanasia of children has begun in the Netherlands:
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 Groningen Protocol, as the hospital’s guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities.
The guideline says euthanasia is acceptable when the child’s medical team and independent doctors agree the pain cannot be eased and there is no prospect for improvement, and when parents think it’s best.
I recoiled from this news as soon as I heard it, but some of you reading this are thinking “what’s the big deal?” Let me illustrate the big deal with a hypothetical situation.