If you believe in abortion on demand for any reason at all, on what grounds do you condemn a woman who chooses to abort her unborn child because the child is a girl, and she wants a boy? I’ve always wondered how liberals deal with that question. But here’s a more up-to-date one: a gay Belgian man has requested euthanasia to escape the mental self-torment of his unwanted homosexuality. More from the BBC:
Each death as a result of euthanasia in Belgium is reviewed after the event by a committee of lawyers and doctors.
For Gilles Genicot, lecturer in medical law at the University of Liege, and member of the euthanasia review committee, Sébastien’s case does not fulfil the legal criteria for euthanasia.
“It’s more likely he has psychological problems relating to his sexuality. I cannot find a trace of actual psychic illness here.
“But what you cannot do is purely rule out the option of euthanasia for such patients.
“They can fall within the scope of the law once every reasonable treatment has been tried unsuccessfully and three doctors come to the conclusion that no other option remains.”
Sébastien’s request for euthanasia has been accepted initially, he now faces further assessments to determine whether his case fits within the law.
Asked whether there is any chance he will reconsider, or take a different path, he is sceptical.
“If someone could give me some kind of miracle cure, why not? But for now, I really don’t believe it any more. And I’m too exhausted also, whatever may be out there.”
The reader who sent in this link, writes:
What most troubling though, as far as I’m concerned, is that Belgium will be damned either way. If he is denied euthanasia, we will be portrayed as a nation of horrible savages for having denied someone the realization of his project of the willed self. If they grant his request for euthanasia, we’ll be even more horrible savages for having implicitly condoned a person’s view of his homosexuality as a mental illness, since in the hard-leftist view of things condoning speech is active speech.
Whether “Sebastien” ought to be mentally tormented by his sexuality to the point of wanting to die is beside the point. Of course he should not be. But that’s not how things work in Belgium. From a chilling story about Belgian euthanasia in The New Yorker:
In the past five years, the number of euthanasia and assisted-suicide deaths in the Netherlands has doubled, and in Belgium it has increased by more than a hundred and fifty per cent. Although most of the Belgian patients had cancer, people have also been euthanized because they had autism, anorexia, borderline personality disorder, chronic-fatigue syndrome, partial paralysis, blindness coupled with deafness, and manic depression. In 2013, Wim Distelmans euthanized a forty-four-year-old transgender man, Nathan Verhelst, because Verhelst was devastated by the failure of his sex-change surgeries; he said that he felt like a monster when he looked in the mirror.
De Wachter believes that the country’s approach to suicide reflects a crisis of nihilism created by the rapid secularization of Flemish culture in the past thirty years. Euthanasia became a humanist solution to a humanist dilemma. “What is life worth when there is no God?” he said. “What is life worth when I am not successful?” He said that he has repeatedly been confronted by patients who tell him, “I am an autonomous decision-maker. I can decide how long I live. When I think my life is not worth living anymore, I must decide.” He recently approved the euthanasia of a twenty-five-year-old woman with borderline personality disorder who did not “suffer from depression in the psychiatric sense of the word,” he said. “It was more existential; it was impossible for her to have a goal in this life.” He said that her parents “came to my office, got on their knees, and begged me, ‘Please, help our daughter to die.’ ”
De Wachter told me, “I don’t want to kill people—I don’t think psychiatrists should kill people—but when the suffering is so extreme we cannot look the other way.” When he gives lectures, he tries to appeal to Christian audiences by saying, “If Jesus were here, I think he would help these people.”
So there is precedent for Sebastien’s politically incorrect request.
The Sebastien case is easy for people like me who oppose all euthanasia. But what about people who believe in euthanasia?
UPDATE: I should have anticipated this before I posted, but I didn’t, so let me say in this update: I’m not interested in you using your answer to complain about how the evil, evil Catholic Church is responsible for this man’s self-hatred. It could well be that his mother was a religious fanatic, in which case, shame on her. Or not. We don’t know. Answer the question I pose if you want to, but spare us all the anti-Christian polemics, or I will spare us myself by not approving your comment.