One of the gentlest rants I've ever put up on this blog was from quite some time ago:
But the Revolution was indeed a revolution, and blood was spilled. People were killed, killed dead. The Declaration explains - offers facts to a candid world - why the founders felt obligated to spill blut onto the boden.There's quite a lot more, so click through if you want a rant without a lot of, well, ranting. But this story is back in the news, as a basic human decency may be stirring in Europe:
I've wondered what it might take to make me feel willing to do this - to declare that I and my fellows are, and of Right ought to be, free of the political bands that connected us with the old order. It might be something very like this:
The Belgians have ramped up their organ harvesting campaign from euthanasia cases in Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology (15: 38-48, 2011) to discuss the harvesting of lungs. I reported on this before, but there is more to add.When I read this, my first thought was this cannot be true. But the magic of blogosphere linkage led me to the source, an article by Dr. D. Van Raemdonck et al. in the journal Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology:
Note that one of the four killed and harvested had a mental illness, described in the paper as self mutilation.
The highlighted line is the epitaph for a mentally ill woman who was killed by the Belgian Government for her organs. Like an animal put to death so that her body parts could sustain some other creature, she was disturbed enough to hurt herself and so was condemned to death. She was just about exactly my age.
And Belgium, that historical exemplar of humanity, sent doctors to dissect her. All for the greater good of society, don't you know.
Once prohibited — indeed, unthinkable — the euthanasia of people with mental illnesses or cognitive disorders, including dementia, is now a common occurrence in Belgium and the Netherlands.Sigh. Europe may be having an outbreak of basic human decency. Or maybe not. Perhaps the rant is still current, although if there's only a single lesson from this recent election it is a rejection of the guiding hand by an isolated and insular intellectual ruling class. As I wrote then:
This profoundly troubling fact of modern European life is confirmed by the latest biennial report from Belgium’s Federal Commission on the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia, presented to Parliament on Oct. 7.
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for patients suffering “unbearably” from any “untreatable” medical condition, terminal or non-terminal, including psychiatric ones. In the 2014-2015 period, the report says, 124 of the 3,950 euthanasia cases in Belgium involved persons diagnosed with a “mental and behavioral disorder,” four more than in the previous two years. Tiny Belgium’s population is 11.4 million; 124 euthanasias over two years there is the equivalent of about 3,500 in the United States.
Recent newspaper articles and documentaries focused on cases in which psychiatrists euthanized or offered to euthanize people with mental illnesses, some still in their 20s or 30s, under dubious circumstances.
In December, 65 Belgian mental-health professionals, ethicists and physicians published a call to ban euthanasia of the mentally ill.
And so maybe the people who will say that this sort of atrocity could never, never, never, ever happen here actually know what they're talking about. Maybe they're not just a bunch of Statist Pricks drunk on their ideology of control. Maybe they are, as they tell us, nicer than we are.Maybe they are looking at it twice, but maybe not. The Post article is full of quotes from the Powers That Be justifying everything. All is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds.
But here's the sticking point for me:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.Life. My credo tells me that it's an unalienable right. That means that any contract I might make that would terminate that is null and void, just like any contract I might make to sell myself into slavery is null and void. Unenforceable, by the terms of our credo.
And so I watch with nauseated fascination as the Europeans once again tread on forbidden soil. Blut-soaked boden, you might say, but that would describe the better part of that unhappy continent. So much for Belgium, and for a Europe that would not look twice at this.
And so the lesson remains that America has little of substance to learn from Europe, morally speaking. At least for now.