Report: Euthanasia Is Being Practiced With Disregard To
July 6, 2004
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS--Euthanasia is being practiced around the world -- with little or no regard for laws prohibiting it or protecting certain groups -- according to a report in Saturday's edition of Zenit.org, an international news service related to the Catholic Church.
Euthanasia, the act of killing a person whose death is "preferable to their suffering", is illegal in most of the world. Those governments that do allow euthanasia, or assisted suicide, often have legal protections in place to make sure people's lives are not taken if they are not in the final stages of terminal illnesses, or if they want to take their own lives because they are depressed.
Disability rights groups have opposed euthanasia because of a long history of people being killed because others believe they are "suffering" from their disabilities, and of people with disabilities being pressured to chose to die because their lives are considered a "burden" to themselves, their families, or society.
The Zenit report cited articles in major medical journals which show that doctors who legally assist in euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium are failing to report the numbers to authorities.
Even in countries that do not allow euthanasia, a number of doctors are admitting that they have helped "hasten death" or have referred people to "euthanasia clinics" outside their own borders. Those who are discovered rarely face charges.
Other high profile cases are coming to light, many of which have been featured by Inclusion Daily Express, which show that several people who have been "assisted" in their suicides were not in the final stages of a terminal illness. One of the most recent was Australian euthanasia campaigner Nancy Crick, who took her own life last year while surrounded by dozens of supporters, even though she and others knew she did not have cancer.
"Legal or Not, Euthanasia Moves Ahead" (Zenit.org)