The Groningen Protocol

December 1, 2004

The Netherlands is the first nation to permit euthanasia. One hospital there has proposed guidelines, now known as “The Groningen Protocol” on when terminally ill newborns may be killed. But, according to Brainshavings blog this hospital has already begun these “mercy killings.”

Brainshavings provides a very lucid analysis of the horrors involved in this seductive and insidious practice (so many bad things are wrapped in promising, pleasant-looking packages). Here’s the intriguing lede paragraph of that analysis, to which I can relate completely:

I recoiled from this news as soon as I heard it, but some of you reading this are thinking “what’s the big deal?” Let me illustrate the big deal with a hypothetical situation.

Read the analysis, which addresses such questions as “What happens when parental consent is not required to make such a decision?” And, such a question is not merely hypothetical, as the article points out, citing a link to an article in the Weekly Standard.

The moral implications of this practice are obvious. Less so are its implications for individual liberty.

In speeches I give around the country I always emphasize the relationship between faith and freedom. Perhaps the most important foundational pillar of our society, based on our faith — or at least the framers’ faith — has been our awesome respect for human life created in God’s image. It is what gives rise to the notion of inalienable rights and is that one inviolable barrier that stands between government tyranny and our individual liberties.

That’s why, from a liberty standpoint alone, it is so imperative that we preserve, as a society, a commitment to respecting human life and according it the dignity it was given by our Creator. To the extent we chip away at that absolute pillar, we will see our society and our liberties begin to unravel. With abortion and an increasingly relaxed attitude toward euthanasia in this country, we are already on that perilous path.

As Brainshavings so cogently ends its post:

My progressive friends, can you at last begin to see why so many of us who believe in the sacredness of human life are so alarmed? When a society allows a person’s “quality of life” to become the criterion for deciding whether they deserve to live, then that society has crossed a terrifying frontier.