Leon J. Podles :: DIALOGUE

A Discussion on Faith and Culture

Leon J. Podles  :: DIALOGUE header image 2

The Slippery Slope in a Formerly Catholic Country

October 31st, 2013 · 26 Comments

Any resemblance to the Nazi program of killing people whose lives were in terrible condition and suffering from illness and dementia is purely accidental.

From the National Post:

Should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?

In Belgium, where euthanasia is now legal for people over the age of 18, the government is considering extending it to children — something that no other country has done. The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.

Advocates argue that euthanasia for children, with the consent of their parents, is necessary to give families an option in a desperately painful situation. But opponents have questioned whether children can reasonably decide to end their own lives.

Belgium is already a euthanasia pioneer; it legalized the practice for adults in 2002. In the last decade, the number of reported cases per year has risen from 235 deaths in 2003 to 1,432 in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. Doctors typically give patients a powerful sedative before injecting another drug to stop their heart.

Only a few countries have legalized euthanasia or anything approaching it. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is legal under specific circumstances and for children over the age of 12 with parental consent (there is an understanding that infants, too, can be euthanized, and that doctors will not be prosecuted if they act appropriately). Elsewhere in Europe, euthanasia is only legal in Luxembourg. Assisted suicide, where doctors help a patient to die but do not actively kill them, is allowed in Switzerland.

In the U.S., the state of Oregon also grants assisted suicide requests for residents aged 18 or over with a terminal illness.

In Belgium, the ruling Socialist party has proposed the bill expanding the right of euthanasia. The Christian Democratic Flemish party vowed to oppose the legislation and to challenge it in the European Court of Human Rights if it passes. A final decision must be approved by Parliament and could take months.

The principle of euthanasia for children sounds shocking at first, but it’s motivated by compassion and protection,” said John Harris, a professor of bioethics at the University of Manchester. “It’s unfair to provide euthanasia differentially to some citizens and not to others [children] if the need is equal.”


And Dr. Gerlant van Berlaer, a pediatric oncologist at the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussels hospital, says the changes would legalize what is already happening informally. He said cases of euthanasia in children are rare and estimates about 10 to 100 cases in Belgium every year might qualify.

“Children have different ways of asking for things but they face the same questions as adults when they’re terminally sick,” van Berlaer said. “Sometimes it’s a sister who tells us her brother doesn’t want to go back to the hospital and is asking for a solution,” he said. “Today if these families find themselves (in that situation), we’re not able to help them, except in dark and questionable ways.”


The change in the law regarding people with dementia is also controversial.

People now can make a written declaration they wish to be euthanized if their health deteriorates, but the request is only valid for five years and they must be in an irreversible coma. The new proposal would abolish the time limit and the requirement the patient be in a coma, making it possible for someone who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to be put to death years later in the future.

In the Netherlands, guidelines allow doctors to euthanize dementia patients on this basis if they believe the person is experiencing “unbearable suffering,” but few are done in practice.

Tags: Uncategorized

26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom // Oct 31, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    What can you say? That’s an absolute horror for this Halloween day. I know someone from Belgium who is down to earth, he is French-speaking for the record. Also, their latest football/soccer National Team has been doing very well. Also, there are a lot of Muslims there.

  • 2 Judith Steinhoff // Nov 1, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Cardinal Danneel’s tree is bearing its fruit.

  • 3 Mary // Nov 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Another sign of the times when the love of many grows cold.
    When we have the audacity to call murder love. Having worked in palliative care/hospice I can say I knew many families in these situations and there are far better options in line with loving Christian moral principles. The long term financial costs of caring for the ill are behind this agenda.
    Perhaps we are being challenged to demonstrate our own love as individuals towards the poor and the infirmed?

    Meanwhile in this country, while pretending to represent the higher moral ground, the Libertarian Free Market views of tv stations like Fox who capture the attention of the wealthier Republicans, have been pushing to cut services for the poor at a time when the global economy is crashing down around the middle class and impovershed.
    The elderly are next, to be followed by the long term debilitated as in Belgium.
    Wonder if they will bring back the slogan of being the “Moral Majority” for the next election?

    Fox recently featured a Stossel presentation on the wasteful EBT card food program.
    Extremely one sided, the entire show revolved around a singular youthful individual who was taking advantage of the system to pursue his goal of becoming a rock star.
    Not one example from the millions of working poor who depend on assistance to feed their families was even mentioned.

    I am sure the likes of Megan Kelley and John Stossel will continue to be held in high esteem by those who think they are pro life and pro family Republicans while their Party pushes to curtail services and ssi for the same as a means to save the financial deficit inflated by the so called “just wars” for which we owe communist China trillions.
    “That burden will come amid growing concern about the federal government’s debt, with cuts to popular programs such as Medicare (USBOMDCA) and to national defense being debated. Spending so far on the war and related interest payments make up about a tenth of the U.S. Treasury’s $10.4 trillion in publicly held debt. ”


  • 4 Joseph D'Hippolito // Nov 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Mary, it’s not just a Republican or Libertarian problem. In fact, the Democratic “progressives” who support ObamaCare are more to blame because ObamaCare is nothing but a stalking horse for single-payer government insurance. Just read the following article about what single-payer has done in Britain:


  • 5 IllinoisCatholic // Nov 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    The euthanasia fanatics are the very cream of the crop in the Low Countries and in Britain and the US. They pursue their policies from every political angle possible - libertarian, progressive, socialist, conservative, you name it. Eugenics pretty much became the religion of the Anglo-American establishment in the early 1900s. Something so deeply held doesn’t go away easily. Nazism never died. It just changed names. What are Warren Buffett and Bill Gates? God save the world from these Satanists…

  • 6 IllinoisCatholic // Nov 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm


  • 7 Father Michael K // Nov 1, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    IllinoisCatholic, I agree that Nazism never really died. It’s proven more successful than Communism by far. Perhaps because it appeals less to high sounding ideals and more to dark but powerful instincts and emotions. Also, it combines the advantages of a centralized planned economy with the appeal to the rich that they can keep their money and property.

    In Communism, the government seizes the wealth and assets of the rich and exiles or kills the former elite. In Nazism and Fascism the elite, military and government combine.

  • 8 Mary // Nov 2, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Joeseph by using the example above, in no way am I endorsing the other major Party.
    As I have said before,”… we are surrounded.” Both appear to be working for the same goals, only with different marketing campaigns.

    In fact just today a friend, whose cousin is a Physician, mentioned that she recalled her speaking about a memo of some kind that went around a few years ago to the Docs explaining the purpose of the nationalized health care bill that was being constructed.
    In it, in so many words, it was explained that medicine will be concentrated on those who represent our future. The inference was that they were eliminating some of the wasteful spending in medical field on those who did not gainfully contribute to society. That was a big red flag in her mind.
    Again I refer you to these tapes made by another Physician.
    “Tapes one and two were recorded in 1988 and are the recollections of Dr. Lawrence Dunegan regarding a lecture he attended on March 20, 1969 at a meeting of the Pittsburgh Pediatric Society. The lecturer at that gathering of pediatricians (identified in tape three recorded in 1991) was a Dr. Richard Day (who died in 1989). At the time Dr. Day was Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. Previously he had served as Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Dunegan was formerly a student of Dr. Day at the University of Pittsburgh and was well acquainted with him, though not intimately. He describes Dr. Day as an insider of the “Order” and although Dr. Dunegan’s memory was somewhat dimmed by the intervening years, he is able to provide enough details of the lecture to enable any enlightened person to discern the real purposes behind the trends of our time. ”

  • 9 Another Voice // Nov 2, 2013 at 1:19 am

    In another formerly Catholic Country

  • 10 Dupree // Nov 2, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I don’t see the big deal about the John Stossel documentary, he’s a known Libertarian. This is merely one person. Past documentaries he has done include one I watched where it showed how hard it was to get taxi licenses in Washington DC and New York. Guess what?? Those high fees hurt the working poor. Wonder where Mary was when that was discussed??

    Also watched a Stossel show where, let’s see if I can remember it, it was where there was something on one’s property, we hear these stories, think it had something to do with water but was a rather harmless situation, the man fixed it and the Government Officials came out and fined the man exorbitant amounts of money where he could not keep his property, exorbitant fines daily or monthly.

    Mary’s style is really good now, now we see Megyn Kelley broadbrushed as well. Seems to be very selective in what is being criticized. Good for John Stossel.

    Yeah, let’s hope the party that is a puppet for Planned Parenthood that clearly endorses infanticide is criticized as well. Planned Parenthood Clinics are 80+ percent in minority areas and if one checks out the blackgenocide.org website, about 1 in 3 black babies are aborted yet, they are only around 13% of the population. Yet, this is a big sacred cow to the Democrats.

    And you know what else, most people don’t mind helping out the poor, even having the government watch over those funds but just as giving to the church, we don’t want to see those funds used in a wasteful way when only half the population pays income taxes. Good for Stossel.

  • 11 Joseph D'Hippolito // Nov 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Mary, is there any way you can get a hold of the actual memo your friend talked about? If you can, please let me know. I’ve done some writing on this subject (as you can tell) and I’m trying to warn people about ACA/ObamaCare.

    Thanks much.

  • 12 IllinoisCatholic // Nov 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    The Dunegan report is just standard “establishment” goals…to create a nation of controlled perverts who don’t breed or expect economic growth.

    The 60s saw a widespread and largely successful attempt to prepare younger generations for global fascism. Of course, the youth movements operated under left cover. Most of the left has gone fascist since that time, it seems.

  • 13 Mary // Nov 2, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I believe I clarified what appeared to be a one Party view over the other in my comment. Yes Stossel IS a Free Market Libertarian ,the same as the very influential ‘fr’ Robert Sirico who heads up the Acton Economic ( free market Libertarian) Think Tank minus any real educational background in economics!
    A guest host featured on what has become a Republican pundit tv News show on EWTN hosted by one Raymond Arroyo, Sirico is the oft time guest co host appearing as the authoritative priest presence to view “catholic” News opinions around the world from a “Republican free market ” Libertarian perspective.
    The Sirico Brief - US Coalition for Life

    Fox hosts Stossel’s Libertarian Free Market Documentaries from a Republican perspective also. And just like those who praised Limbaugh , men who choose not to think , read or see beyond what they hear have bought into it all. Especially Catholic men!

    I know because I asked many of them how it was they could pass Limbaugh off as having the good catholic opinions of the so called Republican
    “moral majority’ that he espoused so many years back . Huh?
    According to the news reports he alledgedly used his Hispanic undocumented maid as I recall, to pick up his illegal narcotics that he was addicted to and was on his third or fourth wife at the time! Then after his next divorce ,he allegedly entered the country with a quantity of medications for erectile dysfunction that he had no scripts for.

    Yesterday, the Food Pantry’s were complaining on all the local radio channels obviously panicked because they have been stretched to the limit already and have had to turn countless away who support children while working minimum wage jobs that replaced their decent manufacturing and corporate jobs that were outsourced or relocated to foreign countries.
    ( Like to Communist China which Sirico once endorsed everywhere including in Rome)
    The Libertarian Free Market policies espoused on all the Republican News and radio sites continue to spout the same thoughts quoting opus dei Senator Paul Ryan on cutting the deficit by cutting “entitlements”.
    Meanwhile, the Dem Progressivist News outlets, whose agenda is to repay the immoral agendite financiers of the last two Campaigns , appeal to the masses by reporting the truth about the affects of these policies and the current state of the economy breaking the backs and bank accounts of the poor and elderly.
    Since when is SSI an “Entitlement “as Paul Ryan states ?
    I was under the impression we have paid into it as an insurance program for most of our lives. SS -I= Insurance.

    The Republicans capitalize on the outrage of the globally economic financially clueless religious moral citizens, while the Dems capitalize on appealing to the shrinking middle class the poor and the marginalized who have lost their decent paying jobs .
    CNN c-Span ( if anyone bothers to trudge through the Congressional Hearings as I do ) is one place where this all collides and it certainly is not a pretty picture of how the Two Party system is working! Russia Today News Mind tv, Pravda and Aljazeera are eating this up and attracting the youth.

    If there was any “fair and balanced” News left it is sure missing from radio and television!
    That is why Gerald Celente’s Trends Research site and newsletter is garnering popularity.

    Sorry Joseph I could not link to your article but would love to read it.
    I think you also know it is about embracing this NWO after most of us become totally disgusted and awake to the contrived dysfunction.

    As far as the Catholic Slippery Slope is concerned click on the red hyperlink in this article to read a Declassified State Department Document that demonstrates just how long the US has been interested in dictating what goes on in the Catholic Church.

  • 14 Mary // Nov 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    The News is NOT investigative or unbiased anymore. Many people are digging deeper reading multiple outlets digitally to get a better sense of the full story. People want the truth and do not trust the television media outlets to them the complete story. They also want to hear and read what other people think who are not part of any political agenda.
    You Go, Leon!

    “In 2012, a continued erosion of news reporting resources converged with growing opportunities for those in politics, government agencies, companies and others to take their messages directly to the public.”

    “This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands. And findings from our new public opinion survey released in this report reveal that the public is taking notice. Nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to.
    At the same time, newsmakers and others with information they want to put into the public arena have become more adept at using digital technology and social media to do so on their own, without any filter by the traditional media. They are also seeing more success in getting their message into the traditional media narrative.
    So far, this trend has emerged most clearly in the political sphere, particularly with the biggest story of 2012—the presidential election. A Pew Research Center analysis revealed that campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans. That meant more direct relaying of assertions made by the campaigns and less reporting by journalists to interpret and contextualize them. This is summarized in our special video report on our Election Research, only about a quarter of statements in the media about the character and records of the presidential candidates originated with journalists in the 2012 race, while twice that many came from political partisans. That is a reversal from a dozen years earlier when half the statements originated with journalists and a third came from partisans. The campaigns also found more ways than ever to connect directly with citizens. ”
    “Hearing about things in the news from friends and family, whether via social media or actual word of mouth, leads to deeper news consumption. A majority of Americans seek out a full news story after hearing about an event or issue from friends and family, a new Pew Research survey released here finds. For nearly three-quarters of adults (72%), the most common way to get news from friends and family is by having someone talk to them—either in person or over the phone. And among that group, close to two-thirds (63%) somewhat or very often seek out a news story about that event or issue. Social networking is now a part of this process as well: 15% of U.S. adults get most of their news from friends and family this way, and the vast majority of them (77%) follow links to full news stories. Among 18-to-29 year-olds, the percentage that primarily relies on social media for this kind of news already reaches nearly one-quarter. And the growing practice of dual-screening major news events adds more opportunity to share news electronically. Friends and family are still just one part of most consumers’ news diets –and a smaller part than going directly to news outlet themselves, as an earlier Pew Research study revealed.”

  • 15 Mary // Nov 2, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    One more note, lest I be shot as the messenger for linking to a site that does not believe in the validity of the present Pope. While I do not endorse the premise of the article as to the state of the papacy on this site, the PDF copy of the declassified filed State Dept telegram from Rome certainly appears to be valid . See red hyperlink

  • 16 Another Voice // Nov 3, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Sirico and Mark Shea and the “curious”habits of Raymond Arroyo’s Catholic News Show on EWTN.
    The “conservative” Megyn Kelly once believed to be the Republican’s darling Newser on Fox.
    “Pushing Sean Hannity out of the 9:00 p.m. slot, to make way for pro-homosexual advocate Megyn Kelly, is another sign of the channel’s left-ward drift and decline,” ASI President Cliff Kincaid said in a press release, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    ASI will detail a study its conducted on Fox’s allegedly gay-friendly drift on Aug. 20 at a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C.
    The study cites remarks made by Kelly during 2012 interview with a “conservative evangelical pastor” as evidence that the anchor’s pro-LGBT leanings.
    In the interview, Kelly alluded to America’s “long history of discrimination against certain groups” and ultimately wondered what made “gay marriage any different” from previous civil rights struggles.
    ASI’s report can be viewed here.”
    The “Moral Majority” is not so moral anymore and continues to convince the majority of Americans to go along to get along with the planned agenda.

  • 17 IllinoisCatholic // Nov 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Fr. Sirico’s worst nightmare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_School_(economics)

    I don’t doubt the Wall Street/aka East Coast “establishment” has tried to influence the outcome of conclaves and the public image of the pope, just as it has directed the decline of Protestantism in the US through the Federal/National Council of Churches.

  • 18 Another Voice // Nov 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    When researching educational changes take note that the then communist soviet system under Gorbachev signed an agreement with Reagan (prior to the alleged fall of communism) in 1985 to merge the two systems.

    Remember Sirico at one time said he was a,”Soft Marxist”. Afterwhich, like his other activities ,both personal and religous he claims to have changed.
    “Father Robert A. Sirico, founder and president of the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, is the intellectual author of this new collaboration. Acton applies market principles to such hot button topics as overpopulation, welfare reform and economics on what it calls “a foundation of religious liberty, economic freedom and personal moral responsibility.”
    “Father Sirico has a colorful background. According to Jerry Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Project Tocsin, in the 1970s, “Sirico was a roll-em-on-the-floor Pentecostal boy preacher, who was packing 1,500 people into a Seattle theater every week.” He then turned up in Los Angeles, where he became a minister in the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. He later served as executive director of what is now the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
    Sirico has called this his “soft Marxist” period. After a political transformation to libertarianism, he returned to the Catholic Church. “I heard homilies preached that inevitably insulted business people,” he says. He was determined to turn that around.
    In 1997, 94 percent of the Acton Institute’s $1.8 million budget came from conservative foundations like the Scaife Family Foundation ($100,000), the [Amway-derived] Richard and Helen deVos Foundation ($50,000), the John M. Olin Foundation ($50,000) and the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation ($40,000).”
    - See more at: http://www.emagazine.com/magazine-archive/seeking-dominion#sthash.1xlwtbWd.dpuf

    Sirico and his “think tank’ advised Congressional representatives during both the Bush and the Reagan Administrations .

    “(The merger of the KGB and the FBI has been in the works since 1985 when President Reagan signed numerous agreements with Gorbachev, one of which was the infamous education agreement which merged our two education systems. Another agreement was signed between the Soviet Police and New York City Police which allowed Soviet policmen to assist in the arrest of fare beaters in the New York City subway system.These activities, unknown to most Americans, represent just the tip of the U.S.-Soviet exchange agreements iceberg. )”

    No wonder the American public is disgusted and confused by Congress and now Sirico is working on the Papacy to “cure the poor”.
    Father Robert Sirico presents Pope Francis with PovertyCure DVD

    It remains to be seen how much better things get for everyone! Or will the big corporations and their subsidiaries connected with the names of entrepeneurs and politicians be the primary fianacial beneficiaries of the cure? Will the corporations of the privatized mercenaries still profit from wars, as in Iraq?
    Are the Iraqi people happy with our interventions to topple their brutal leader?

    Communist China and the one percent here have benefited finacially but has middle class America?

  • 19 Tom // Nov 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Say what you want on Megyn Kelly, it may be correct. All the same bing search “pro-life Megyn Kelly” and see what you get?

    http://www.jillstanek.com/2013/06/pro-life-vid-of-tday-foxs-megyn-kelly-interviews-pro-life-attorney-on-irs-scandal/ There are other links but I don’t care to delve into those too much no matter which side they are on.

    Unfortunately, portraying the gay rights “same-sex marriage” issue as a “civil rights” issue has worked especially for younger people it seems to me. I think Kelly is swayed on this unfortunately.

    In reality, I certainly don’t approve of any definition changes per the family like Parent 1 and Parent 2, that is revolting and repelling. That said, despite what we hear, my own personal observation is that there are not many same-sex parents families or couples around. They are a very small minority. I would hope any effect on society is almost nonexistent as well.

  • 20 Mary // Nov 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Tom ,
    You are wrong. They are lining up for marriage licenses in every state whether it is legal or not.
    There are ssi “entitlements” to be won! it is not all about making it legal for legality sake.

    Lots of single and long time divorced people are looking to marry another who makes or made more money in their lifetime whilst the economy is sinking and the decent pay job market is shrinking.

    Pro Life is a misnomer having been used by the neo conservatives as a political maneuvre.
    Kelly, like so many others , is a political pundit and not really a reporter in the true sense of the word. There IS a difference!
    Greater financial gain when you climb on the political bandwagon. Just ask Limbaugh or look at the career of the deceased Paul Weyrich a neo conservative who coined the phrase ,”moral majority ” Like Rush, he started out a political pundit on the radio and then convinced Reagan to run and wound up one of the most influential men in DC when he used religion to make his case.
    When Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty with the Pope as an agnostic he was surprised to find hebecame popular with the Italians and so he allowed crucifixes back up in the classrooms and even had his children Baptised but he still hated the Church. Read,
    Nino Lo Bello - The Vatican Empire (1970)
    An American finance reporter who was assigned to live in Rome.

  • 21 Mary // Nov 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    correction……It is not all about making it legal for “True LOVES” sake.

  • 22 Tom // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Mary; Abortion clinics are being shut down. Who cares about the politics of the matter, people stand up for life not caring about the party. Your view is reprehensible.

  • 23 Joseph D'Hippolito // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Judith Steinhoff, here’s another fruit from Cardinal Daneels’ tree:


  • 24 IllinoisCatholic // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm


    The Catholic establishment and the Muslims mentioned in your article have a common hatred of the West. The eco-nuns and eco-priests want to return to a pre-modern society just like their jihadist brethren in the Islamic camp.

  • 25 Mary // Nov 13, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Tom ,
    Facing the truth can be reprehensible.

    The slaughterhouses for the unborn are poorly regulated and are closing by in large because the truth is being reported by grass root prolifers and abortionist victims and their families, most of whom used cell phone cameras and access to the internet to get the message out.
    Haven’t you noticed where most of these stories originated that eventually make their way to the tv News?
    Then ask yourself why politicians want to monitor the internet and regulate more of what average folk are allowed to say!
    You should care!

  • 26 Joseph D'Hippolito // Nov 15, 2013 at 3:55 am

    IllinoisCatholic, that’s why both must be destroyed!

Leave a Comment