Roman Catholic Charity in Belgium Continues To Offer Euthanasia Despite Papal Orders to Stop

The Roman Catholic church has long been an institution that has opposed cultures of death, but as time goes on it seems that the Roman church is slipping into myriad corrupt ways at the lower and upper levels.

Though there are many issues on which we condemn the Roman Pope, such as his inherently Statist views on government action to stop climate change and on economics, credit will be given where it is due. Regarding this particular Roman Catholic charity organization, Brothers of Charity, we will appropriately credit the Roman Pope for condemning the practice of euthanasia.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that the charity organization has 16 psychiatric hospitals, and that euthanasia is offered for those with psychiatric suffering. The Pope personally signed an order for the organization to cease offering euthanasia in their facilities at the end of August. But alas, euthanasia is still an available “treatment” at these hospitals.

“The organization Brothers of Love remains behind her vision statement about euthanasia in psychiatric suffering in a non-terminal situation,” the Belgian branch’s statement reads.

As for the question of whether or not their stance is in line with Catholic doctrine, the brother’s statement reads “We emphatically think so.”

The Belgian branch’s current policy allows for doctors to euthanize non-terminal mentally ill patients upon request, so long as the doctor determines that the patient’s suffering is “unbearable” and that there is no reasonable chance of improvement with treatment. Belgian law has no definition of unbearable suffering, however, which opens the door for mentally ill patients with a chance of improvement being euthanized instead, according to Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Chair of Politics at England’s Hull University.

It’s unclear how exactly this kind of policy is in any way consistent with the Roman Catholic church’s doctrines. The church has remained a vocal supporter of the right to life since its earliest days and generally continues to do so.

Regardless of potential loopholes in Belgian law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church remains clearly, opposed to euthanasia as evidenced in paragraph 2277, which states:

“Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.”

The charity appears to be exploiting loopholes in Belgian law to offer euthanasia. But the loopholes leave out several kinds of criteria that are normally used for euthanasia cases (not to justify euthanasia, but to show that this organization’s form of euthanasia is especially egregious and dangerous).

“Requests for euthanasia will be approved only if the patient is in a hopeless medical condition and complains of constant and unbearable physical or mental pain which cannot be relieved and is the result of a serious and incurable accidental or pathological condition,” Cohen-Almagor wrote of Belgian law.

“Thus, the law opens the door for physically healthy persons to request that their lives be ended because they are tired of life. Does a person who finds no meaning in life suffer unbearably? It would be very difficult, almost impossible, for an assessment committee to judge whether the criteria for euthanasia are satisfied, if the symptoms cannot be interpreted in the context of the physical condition,” he added.

Even those who have psychiatric conditions and mental illnesses have a right to life. By opening the door to killing those who have “unbearable” psychiatric suffering, it starts a country down a nihilistic path from which there is no retreat. Anyone who has mental disorders may eventually be determined by an outside source to have an “unbearable” condition, and that person will be euthanized.

Similar things happened under the Nazis, and there is nothing precluding the European continent from sinking back into the horrendous ways of that regime. Only this time, it will be met with applause rather than trials for crimes against humanity.