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Sat May 6, 2017, 03:58 PM


Belgian Catholic group explains switch on euthanasia

by Raf De Rycke | 6 May 2017

Last week marked an important step in the integration of euthanasia into the Belgian healthcare. A religious order in the Catholic Church, the Brothers of Charity, which is responsible for a large proportion of beds for psychiatric patients in Belgium announced that it will allow euthanasia to take place in its facilities.

This has been an extremely controversial move because the Catholic Church is unequivocally opposed to euthanasia. In 1995 John Paul II declared that “ euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person”. And Pope Francis described it earlier this year as a symptom of a selfish “throwaway culture”.

The local organisation has clearly split from Rome on this issue. The superior-general of the order, Brother René Stockman, has described the decision as “a real tragedy”.

Euthanasia for psychiatric patients has already happened dozens of times in Belgium. But from now on it will be hard to find an institution in Belgium where euthanasia is not being offered as an option.

In the email interview below, the chairman of the board of the Brothers of Charity in Belgium, Raf De Rycke, an economist who has worked with them for years, explains the point of view of the dissidents.


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Reply Belgian Catholic group explains switch on euthanasia (Original post)
rug May 2017 OP
OnDoutside May 2017 #1
rug May 2017 #2
OnDoutside May 2017 #3
rug May 2017 #4

Response to rug (Original post)

Sat May 6, 2017, 04:08 PM

1. Two points on that.

1 I've worked in Brussels for a year and I have to say they're a strange lot.... Especially the Flemish.

2 This Church against euthanasia is a load of crap. My own mother passed away in a Church run hospice and I am convinced they finished her off. She was completely conscious on the Wednesday afternoon, then they pumped her full of morphine, stopped feeding her and she was dead by the Friday night. Something similar happened my mother in law. They can tell you the time they will pass away. They do it already. Bunch of fecking hypocrites.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #1)

Sat May 6, 2017, 04:52 PM

2. Was your mother capable of consent?


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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sat May 6, 2017, 06:30 PM

3. I spoke with her on the Wednesday afternoon, and when I came back to the hospice in

the evening, she was under sedation. Before I left, she very clearly had asked me to bring her back home, but a senior nun had talked me out it, something I will always regret. Between me going and coming back, she was pumped with morphine.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Sat May 6, 2017, 07:56 PM

4. That's murder.


We had an infant daughter in an Episcopal Hospital in NY. We decided to cease the extraordinary medical services she was receiving, but not euthanasia. We met with an ethics committee the size of a grand jury, who agreed. She died a week later. Those are unimaginably sorry times. I'm sorry for your loss.

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