“It was not I who gave you the breath of life” – death merchants at the door

Upon my daily browsing of various websites and social media, always with an eye on what might be used to fill these digital pages, I came across the daily tweets of Bishop Christopher Coyne about the day’s readings. Today he wrote:

“There is a section of the reading from 2 Maccabees that catches our eyes, as regards the gift of human life. As the story offers an episode of the Maccabean revolt, we hear the words of the mother describe God’s gift of her sons: “I do not know how you came into existence in my womb; it was not I who gave you the breath of life, nor was it I who set in order the elements of which each of you is composed. It is the Creator of the universe who shapes each man’s beginning, as he brings about the origin of everything …” [2 Macc 7: 22-23]. God as the author of all human life as one comes into existence in the womb. Powerful words to ponder as we continue to work to protect the sanctity of all human life.” [6 tweets on Wednesday 16 November 2011]

That work, of protecting the sanctity of all human life, becomes all the more desperately needed in the Netherlands, as I read about plans to establish ‘ambulatory euthanasia teams’, teams of doctors and nurses who will bring death to your doorstep. This, of course, coming after the proposed establishment of ‘suicide clinics’. The Dutch Society for a Voluntary End of Life (Nederlandse Vereniging voor een Vrijwillig Levenseinde – NVVE), from where the plan originates, estimates that this’ll allow about 1,000 more people to die every year.

The Royal Dutch Medical Association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Geneeskunst – KNMG) questions this plan, but does not outright denounce it. Instead, it points out that euthanasia requires a lengthy relationship between doctor and patient. That, it says, is an impossibility with these ambulatory teams, which come in after a intake process and consultation with a second doctor, and commit euthanasia.

A very disconcerting development which further strengthens the flourishing culture of death in this country.