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Belgium's lawmakers are debating a bill which would extend the "right to die" to those under the age of 18 who are terminally-ill and in intolerable physical pain. The bill cleared a senate committee vote on Wednesday; it must clear several other hurdles before becoming law.
Click above to see Christiane Amanpour's interview with Jean-Jacques De Gucht, a member of Belgium's parliament who backs the law.
Belgium lawmakers can make laws about euthanasia and the right to die. BUT given the traditional view of the Hippocratic Oath it’s extremely hard to see how euthanasia could be generally defined as a legal medical practice. The sharp focus is on the medical duty of care and the ethical relationship between patients and doctors. With this perspective, if there is a legal place in society for euthanasia it must be a specially defined duty outside of normal medical care. I would warn Belgium lawmakers not to take shortcuts that could make the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde a Belgium reality.
In my opinion, allowing euthanasia for terminally-ill childeren who suffer untolerable pain, is one of the most humane things to do. The Hippocratic Oath was written in the 5th century BC. At that time it was impossible to prove that someone was terminally-ill and it was more difficult to estimate how much someone is suffering. Therefor the oath should be modernized.
If this progressive law passes, it is something to be proud of as a Belgian!
It's a pity to find out that Amanpour's knowledge of this theme is so very limited. If she or her staff would have done some proper research about belgian legislation, a much more nuanced point of view would have been possible. This interview-technique is similar to what Fox news and the likes are doing. Now certainly Amanpour and her staff were thinking: oh, its Belgium, a small, mediocre country, no need to find out what they are really thinking. This legislation is a good thing, unless we still feel everyone should lay their fate in the hands of God. Wich God? I would have loved a better ethical discussion than the one with a clearly religious inspired professor.
I can agree with most of what you say. Please don’t be too quick to judge Amanpour because she surly has to answer to her director and chief editor. CNN has changed over the years and they no longer follow Ted Turner’s lead. CNN is just a brand name, it’s a Time-Warner news production.
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