This past week in Belgium, a person died. By choice, aided by physicians. The loss of life, and the reasons for it, bother me.
Nathan (born Nancy) Verhelst, 44, was killed by voluntary lethal injection. Euthanasia, the act of a doctor directly killing a patient, is controversial, though legal in three countries, according to the International Business Times "... the Verhelst case is set to ignite a firestorm in Belgium, which is one of three European countries where euthanasia is legal, the other two being the Netherlands and Luxembourg."
Nancy decided to become Nathan, giving an explanation in interviews:
... I was the girl that nobody wanted ... While my brothers were celebrated, I got a storage room above the garage as a bedroom. ‘If only you had been a boy', my mother complained. I was tolerated, nothing more.
Nathan decided to die when surgery did go well, physical additions facing rejection and expectations were not met:
My new breasts did not match my expectations
Six months of consultations with doctors ended in legal euthanasia.
The article closes with:
… there were 1,432 cases of euthanasia in 2012 in Belgium, a 25 percent spike from 2011. The country is in the midst of deciding whether to allow euthanasia for children.
Did no one ever direct Nancy/Nathan to:
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (Psalms 139:14-15 KJV)
That book is available in most countries, though banned in several. The words are spoken in churches around the world, along with:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. (Jeremiah 29:11-12 KJV)
Is it a question of not hearing? Or, not heeding? I grieve for this person whose life was deemed disposable, even by doctors who are taught to heal. Attention was given to physical, then emotional but no mention is made of spiritual.
Euthanasia remains illegal in the United States. However, the same results are accomplished in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Vermont with PAD - Physician Aided Death. The only difference between euthanasia and PAD is who administers the lethal dose.
Why do we look upon suicide as being illegal, change the name and toss in doctors then and call it legal?
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:23-24 KJV)
As explained in a commentary regarding these two verses:
Worthless are all outward observances when the moral precepts are neglected. … The gnat and the camel, which were alike unclean, stand at the extremities of the scale of comparative size. Our Lord uses a proverbial expression to denote the inconsistency which would avoid the smallest ceremonial defilement, but would take no account of the gravest moral pollution.
What are the foundations of our moral precepts? When and how do they allow the taking of human life?