Euthanasia in the Netherlands

I understand euthanasia for those who have an irreversible terminal illness and are experiencing excruciating pain that cannot be treated. But my concern always was and has been that something which starts of as a drip, then feeds into a larger drop.

When I have discussed totalitarianism measures or acting like Nazis in my novella, Once When We Were Human, I was looking at those aspects of the personality that feed into these despicable thought systems, and ask if they can happen in modern times?

It took a supreme act of cruelty and viciousness to exterminate the Jewish people, and those who considered themselves as humans, at the time, may have appeared that way, but would have lost the standard faculties that most of us consider normal, when we think of what it means to be human.

It took time for the German’s to build up a hatred so solid that they could no longer see the people of Israel as humans, but just saw them as animals, even less than. Hence the ability to coldly exterminate six million Jews, because they considered them not human.

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This brings me to the recent execution by the The Dutch State of an alcoholic called Marcel Langedijk. I never knew that alcoholism was a terminal illness and I know a lot of people die by their own hands of alcoholism. But it is an illness of addiction and I don’t doubt that with the right facilities, this illness of the mind can be cured.

Let’s be clear that in the most richest and advanced societies services for mentally ill people are rudimentary to say the least. Once these societies become rich, their minds should focus on helping the most vulnerable. What happens in the richer societies is that the richest become solely consumed with entertaining themselves, and when it comes to the most vulnerable, as we can see, they just want to get rid of them. How dare the poor and sick ruin their sense of fun and self-centred notion happiness.

Apparently, a younger girl suffering from PTSD was also killed because she too ‘did not want to live.’ Had the state and society seriously put in all effort into helping these people recover? Did they offer them access to not just the services in the Netherlands, but maybe reach out to better and more humane services around the world?

Let’s be clear when a young person or anyone for that matter is struggling with a mental health illness or any other illness they are not in control of their faculties and need assistance. I wonder what was the conversation that led to these people being killed by the state. Alcoholism and PTSD are both treatable conditions.

Of course, when we are struggling in life we all may feel down, and want to take our lives. But only time should take our lives, and society has too much to learn from helping the vulnerable and ill. Isn’t that what compassion is about?

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