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Belgian nurses give up their jobs to avoid having to euthanize patients

Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

January 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- A stunning new book about the impact of euthanasia in Belgium reveals that nurses are choosing to quit their jobs rather than kill people.

In Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Lessons from Belgium, Professor Benoit Beuselink, a cancer doctor, reported that personnel are leaving palliative care departments, saying the wards are at risk of becoming “houses of euthanasia.”

“Some Belgian palliative care units that have opened their doors to patients requesting euthanasia have seen nurses and social workers leaving the unit because they are disappointed that they could no longer offer palliative care to their patients in an appropriate way,” Beuselink wrote. “There were upset that their function was reduced to preparing patients and their families for lethal injections.”

Beuselink, a professor of oncology at the Catholic University at Leuven, painted a dark picture in his essay “2002-2016: Fourteen Years of Euthanasia in Belgium.”  Palliative care units, meant to make dying patients feel more comfortable, are used as dumping grounds for people who want to be killed. Hospital doctors who are uncomfortable with their requests simply send them to the palliative care wards, where euthanasia has become “a normal way of dying.”

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2003, and permits the voluntary killing of people who are terminally ill, suffering from psychiatric illnesses, have dementia, or believe their mental  suffering is unbearable. In 2014, the law was amended to permit the euthanasia of dependent children.

The number of doctor-assisted deaths doubled within five years, up from 954 in 2010 to 2,021 in 2015.

The transformation of palliative care wards into death factories has some doctors fighting back.

“As a result of this evolution, some palliative care units have decided to no longer admit patients if they have an active euthanasia request to prevent their palliative care units from becoming the executing unit of all demands of euthanasia in the hospital,” Beuselink wrote.

A review of the book appeared this week in the Catholic Herald.

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