Essay / Culture

Taking Innocent Human Life in Holland

My Way News: “The Groningen Protocol, as the hospital’s guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities.The guideline says euthanasia is acceptable when the child’s medical team and independent doctors agree the pain cannot be eased and there is no prospect for improvement, and when parents think it’s best.”Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for pointing out this story. Hewitt is right to be horrified. It is difficult to think of the brave Dutch, traditional Calvinists and Catholics historically, becoming what they have become. For those opposed to “slippery slope” argument, the Netherlands stands as a warning. Holland has become worse than any conservative could have predicted. It is impotent in the face of terror, is rapidly losing any national identity (including its language), and is morally bankrupt. However, moral horror is not enough. As Hewitt points out, we must give reasons for our horror. Why is this wrong? First, it allows human beings to make a decision that is inappropriate for them to make. If there is a creator God who gives life, humans may not have the ability to take it. Theists believe that governments and men cannot take away certain rights, even in difficult situations, from innocent human beings. As Socrates argued, this is why suicide is wrong. You cannot take a thing that is not yours. Americans have always held it to be self-evident that there is a right to life that comes from their Creator. Giving humans the ultimate power to decide who has a life worth living, is inappropriate. Second, it sets a dangerous precedent. Unlike executing the guilty, who have decided to give up their right to life by their own actions, the government has been placed in the power of deciding what life is worth living with folk who cannot consent to their decision. Humans are deciding with no consent that an infant should die. It is not hard to imagine that this is a power that can easily be abused, even if early steps seem innocent. Does anyone want the organization that runs the Post Office to making life and death decisions? Third, the medical profession should be about saving life. It changes the focus of medicine if it becomes involved in taking life. This cannot help, but change how doctors view their practice. Do we really want doctors to learn how to kill? Does anyone requiring expensive medical care, in a state with socialized medicine, want the state to begin to decide who should get medical care? Europe has bad experience with governments who make such decisions. Finally, one must ask what kind of things will come from such decisions. Does anyone believe a secular society is capable of protecting life? The most secular nations in the history of humankind, the only atheist states, have been the greatest mass murderers in history. It is not Christian fundamentalists, so feared by our media, that have killed tens of millions of people. This was the work of secularists. I do not blame American secularists for this, but I have no desire to see secularism become the majority position in a culture. Over time it tends to become horrific ways. With the Founders, most Americans believe their rights come from God, not government. I can imagine that some people might look at Holland and find it attractive. However, Holland is a society that does not work. It might be comfortable to an aging population now, but it cannot even reproduce itself. It is hostile to making babies. Any society that cannot sustain its own population, which has embraced a culture of death, is doomed. It also does not protect itself. Like most of Old Europe, it survives in a tough world under the American shield. If it had to pay for its own defense, it would have to doom much of its vaunted social welfare program. Who are those foes? Holland is discovering the answer to this. It cannot even protect itself from an aggressive minority of its minority Islamic population. The next time an advocate of Old Europe or Canada argues for the superiority of their system ask if it could be sustained if they did not have the American defense.Phillip E. Johnson has written about this in his crucial book Reason in the Balance. Get it and read it. There is a nightmare world that is possible, if we do not resist this change in our own land.

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