SHOCKING: Dutch woman’s euthanasia horror story and what this means in our death culture
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DISTURBING ASSISTED-SUICIDE SHOCK RAISES RED FLAGS
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, Breakpoint recently ran an article that was highlighting a piece by Washington Post columnist Charles Lane. Lane has once again turned his attention onto the issue of euthanasia. The lead in his latest column is the story of a 74-year-old Dutch woman referred to in Dutch records as simply “2016-85.” The woman, who’d suffered from dementia, had an ambiguously worded advanced directive requesting euthanasia. By the time she was placed in a nursing home, she was no longer able to clarify her wishes so her husband requested it for her. That still left the problem of whether she really wanted it.
Well, that’s not a problem for the Dutch euthanasia machine. The doctor concluded her suffering was unbearable and incurable, though there was no terminal physical illness. He therefore prepared a lethal injection. What followed is rather horrifying: to ensure the patient’s compliance, the doctor gave her coffee spiked with a sedative. When that proved insufficient and the woman recoiled from the looming needle, he asked family members to hold her down. Finally, after 15 minutes were spent by the doctor trying to find a vein, the lethal infusion flowed.
DR. REEDER: Yeah, it’s almost a horror story — some kind of a movie out of Hollywood developed on this. It almost takes the place of Bates Motel in “Psycho.” Charles Lane — just a little bit of context — this has been an issue that’s been on his mind. In fact, he did some articles on this a couple of years ago and continues to raise the yellow flags where he said this movement, “passive or requested euthanasia,” he pointed out that it has an inevitable train wreck. And, in this particular article, he says, “I’m not waving a yellow flag — here’s the red flag for you.”
In Europe, where euthanasia has been functioning for some time now and is a place that you can see the inevitable downward spiral of this movement, how passive requested euthanasia becomes active and mandated and enforced euthanasia. Here’s a prime example: It was so obvious that it caused some concern among Dutch political and health officials.
WHAT LED TO THIS POINT AND WHAT’S NEXT?
The selling point on doctor-assisted suicide, you got to make the first leap over the Hippocratic oath which says “Do no harm,” so now doctors are called to do no harm, and yet they are actually becoming paid agents to take the life of someone.
Well, we were told, “These are people that are terminally ill and they want to die on their own terms. They want to request it. It’s passive — it’s not mandated, requested — not enforced, and it gives people a chance to die with dignity.”
Tell me, in this particular case, how this is, No. 1, dignified and, No. 2, requested and No. 3, non-mandated. It’s very clear that this woman, who in her statement made some vague statements about requesting end-of-life treatment, if, in certain cases, she has dementia — there’s nothing wrong with her ongoing biological, physical, essential health metrics — she has dementia, her life has become difficult, it has become costly and it has become a matter of inconvenience for people, including her husband.
Therefore, he then appeals to this and the doctors read this and then he then takes her place — not because he is instructed to do so in her “end-of-the-will” statements, but because he’s her husband — but, instead of what most husbands do where they have attempted to appeal for the life of their spouse, he becomes an advocate for the ending of her life and his advocacy is well-received by the medical profession.
THIS ISOLATED EXAMPLE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
You have a woman who is now strapped down, she is given a spiked coffee sedative — that doesn’t work. What does that tell you? What do you mean it doesn’t work? It means she’s telling them, “Don’t do this.” And so, what they then do is hold her down, and then they get members of the family to hold her down, and every time the needle comes, according to the story, she’s pulling back.
What is this “You’ve got my permission”? What is this request? This is clearly enforced, this is clearly being mandated against her, she’s clearly pushing away at it and then, finally, they search for her vein with such difficulty — and maybe ineptness — that it takes them 15 minutes of the needle moving around in her that she is recoiling from until they finally found it and then they can give the lethal injection that goes into her bloodstream and she dies.
This is where we’re headed and that is active, mandated euthanasia. Of course, we were told, years ago when this was introduced in Europe and now introduced in America, “Things like this will never happen. We’re only going to use this when requested by the patient and it will always be done so that people die with dignity.”
FIGHTING DEATH IS NATURAL AND FORCING IT IS UNNATURAL
This is what happens in a culture of death and that’s why we’re taking the time on this program to talk about it, Tom. We’re in a broken world — there are terminal diseases, there is death — but, in a sane, civilized society, particularly when impacted by a Biblical world and life view, life is seen as sacred.
Unless there are mental and emotional issues, why do people fight for their life? Why do they fight for their breath? Biblical world and life view says we were made to live. Death is not seen as a friend — death is an enemy — and so we fight against death. A believer realizes there’s nothing natural about death. There’s no death in Genesis 1 and 2. Death is the result of sin in this world, therefore, it’s an intruder and it’s an enemy.
DEATH CHANGES IN CHRISTIAN’S LIFE AND WORLD VIEW
However, in a Biblical world and life view, not only is there the sanctity of life, not only is death seen as an enemy that we fight against, but we have a way to deal with death in the truth of the Gospel, which tells us that Jesus has overcome death.
I want to tell everyone here, “Please come to Christ. You not only have eternal life, you not only have a changed life, but death, itself, has changed.” That’s why the Bible says in Psalm 23 that, “The Lord is my shepherd and that he is with me, and that he goes with me, not only in the presence of all my enemies, including death, but he walks with me in the valley of the shadow of death.”
Tom, if you and I were sitting in a car and a truck pulled up beside us and the shadow fell over the car, it would be a matter of inconvenience and maybe noteworthy, but it would not be horrific and that’s the way it is for a believer. Now, if the truck hits you, that’s another story. Jesus got hit by the truck. Jesus overcame death, sin, hell, the grave and Satan. He defeated our enemies.
CHRISTIANITY IS LIFE SUSTAINING — AND GIVING
Finally, in a Biblical world and life view, we always treat people to live. That does not mean that a doctor has to prolong someone’s death, but it does mean that we do not promote death or inflict death, and that is exactly where the euthanasia movement always ends up — the infliction of death and the destruction of the moral fiber of the medical society so that now the euthanasia culture becomes an instrument in the hands of the state, the medical community and those who have been inconvenienced by someone’s end-of-life illnesses and difficulties so we can get rid of them. No dignity, no passivity — an active mandated euthanasia — that’s the unvarnished truth.
Let me give you another piece of unvarnished truth. Jesus has won the victory over death and we can live life with this confidence: as long as we breathe, God’s got a purpose for us and your life is dignified. You not just simply have a death with dignity as a believer, but you have a life with dignity. Death, for the believer, becomes the step of promotion as you go through the valley of the shadow of death. “When it’s for me to live as Christ, then death becomes gain,” not for those who are left behind, but for those who go to be with their Lord.
We love life. God’s image is upon it. It is sacred, so we live life and there is triumph at the grave.
SEXUAL REVOLUTION AND ATHEIST CULTURE HITS TEENS AND CHURCHES MUST RESPOND
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Friday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to an article out of Christianity Today by Kate Shellnut, in which she cites findings from Barna and from Gallup which tell us that Generation Z poses new challenges for the church when it comes to identifying as atheist or LGBT.
DR. REEDER: The LGBTQ culture has so penetrated that it’s actually become a part of the adolescent journey that, “I am almost supposed to have those issues.” Now what do you do in the church when children surface an active interest in the LGBTQ culture and the current militant atheistic culture as well? Let’s talk about that tomorrow.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.