Friday, February 14, 2014

Right to Death, Left to Life?

The purpose of this blog is to resuscitate the conversation at your Shabbat table. Please print and share.

Belgian Parliamant / ReutersTo the left is a photo of the world's newest Death Panel.

The photo illustrates this Reuters article on the Belgian Parliament's action this week to permit a terminally-ill child to request euthanasia (with parent consent of course).

Forget the slipperly slope (unless you've been in the South or NE this week).

Forget the long-term implications.

Quite simply: According to every Jewish ethical writing with which I am familiar, euthanasia is a euphemism for murder.

(Granted there may be some gray-area cases, the basic ethic remains.)

So now a Belgian child who is suffering and terminally ill may request that doctors murder him.


Here's the question for your table:

Which is more disturbing:

1. The law itself

2. The following comment in the Reuters article:

The vote has attracted more attention abroad than in Belgium, where none of the major newspapers carried the news of Thursday's vote on their front pages, and television news concentrated on Belgium being in the international spotlight.

3. The apologetic line that "In practice, supporters of child euthanasia say, there are likely to be few minors who will be allowed to die."

The comment from a nurse who has cared for some 200 children in the final stages of their lives that, "In my experience as a nurse, I never had a child asking to end their life. But requests for euthanasia did often come from parents who were emotionally exhausted after seeing their children fight for their lives for so long.

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Euthenasia is currently legal in three countries; assisted-suicide in three as well, but not in Belgium!

PPS - Want to make your Table Talk rabbi happy? Like it, tweet it, or just send it to someone who might enjoy it.

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