Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Groningen Corollary...


Pastor Niemoeller was a victim of the Nazis. His famous quote reads as follows:

First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me - and their was no one left to speak for me.

After a brief respite from external reality attending to personal matters, nothing jolts one back to blogosphere like the knowledge that Western Civilization is crumbling around us. Some physical traits are genetically recessive. So to, it seems that both stupidity and insanity are recessive among generations of humanity. Little more than 70 years ago, one of the most progressive nations on the planet pursued a ‘just’ system of genetic filtration in league with an alliance for world domination. What evolved was the greatest nightmare the world has yet known, as millions of men, woman, and children were terminated in line with a protocol of enlightened hubris.

As with any inverted philosophy ( conceptualizations of existence that begin with ‘I think’ before ‘I am’), Nazism sought to focus on manifesting a reality to fit its perception, even if that meant irradicating all ‘inconsistent’ perceptions. The primacy of life being the most fundamental precept, it was naturally the first to go by way of incremental devaluation. Ultimately there was a rationalization that... its not alive if we don’t think its alive. That concept lends itself quite easily to a judgment of... its not alive if we don’t want it to be alive. Sound familiar? It should. The American Left has been paving a similar road with regard to human conception and moral relativism. But, it is their mentors in progressive Europe that have taken the logical and subsequent step in line with those beliefs, adopting a new name for an old atrocity…
The Groningen Protocol.

"Death by Committee" (as Hugh Hewitt notes) has become the practice of at least one hospital in the Netherlands. Selective euthenasia is being administered to "very sad cases" meant to aleviate " the small number of infants born with such severe disabilities that doctors can see they have extreme pain and no hope for life." And while "the protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, ... it covers any child up to age 12." These are the reported words of a Groningen Hospital spokesman who went on to note that, the "parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors."

With the parent's role limited and the individual's choice forfeit, the Committee has thereby assumed complete authority over those subject to its jurisdiction. Given the choice of care, avoidance of the Groningen Academic Hospital would clearly be warranted. And yet the government's legalization of adult euthanasia and refusal to prosecute ongoing infant 'terminations' has institutionalized the practice of managed murder. Other hospitals have followed suit, ensuring eventual consensus. In a State with socialized healthcare, the choice to avoid exposure to the protocol under such conditions would seem remote. Agape Press reports that Dutch residents have begun wearing bracelets informing doctors of their request not to be euthanized in the event of a serious injury, for whatever influence that will have with the 'Protocol Committees.' It is clear that people in Holland, therefore, exist by the leave of their government, in league with its compassion tempered by convenience... at the mercy of elites and bureaucrats and conditional imperatives. Other nations are sure to follow.

Bill R. has a comprehensive discussion of this issue at the Fourth Rail that is a must read. The Dutch protocol - as morally depraved as it is - has an even more insidious corollary. When those charged with the responsibility for the maintenance of life, become the 'arbiters' of death, a moral contradiction is introduced within the relationship that undermines human respect. Existence is no longer a fundamental individual condition, but is reduced to a valuation of choices in social context. When a government sanctions the action, that contradiction is manifested in law. The notion of justice abandons inalienable precepts in favor of preferential necessity.

Matthew H. at Froggy Ruminations notes the dangers inherent with the prospects of increasing nationalization of healthcare systems as it relates to managed euthenasia. While compassionate intentions may seem a noble origin for progressive solutions, bureacratization begets corruption. And the suspension of ethical constraints is an invitation for accelerated degeneration. This fact can be witnessed in every type of bureacratic system; from legislating, to education, judicial activism, and even the United Nations. In the beginning, managed euthenasia may be guided by commisserate intent to relieve the suffering. Later, children may be culled by progressive environmental policy and racial parity. One community might be deemed to have too many caucasian children for the desired demographic, while another may have exceeded it's population quota as established by amendments to the Environmental Protection Act.

"I'm sorry Mr. and Mrs. Jones, but your baby girl was terminated after birth because infant 100 was born seven minutes before her. It is the law. The decision was out of my hands." ...What if?

To date, the ostensible ramifications of modern Socialism and its collective co-dependence have been limited to dimishing quality and monetary sacrifice. Ayn Rand once argued that there was no difference between a man's money and his life; the ownership of the product of one's mind and its efforts being a fundamental imperative of freedom. Her prescience is being demonstrated now with profound ratification. The thugs of Europe have abandoned the robber's request of "your money or your life" for a despotic declaration of "your money and your life." Moral principle was the first casualty when secular humanism replaced ethics. Man himself is its final sacrifice.

One might think that none would be more vigilant against brutality than the Dutch. Afterall, it was the written log of a young, frightened, yet hopeful girl, hiding with her family for years in an Amsterdam attic that has come to immortalize the extreme consequences of moral contradiction.
Anne Frank did not survive that previous protocol. Let’s hope that it won’t take the posthumous record of frightened families hiding their children in attics and giving birth in sewers to finally put to rest the notion that life and freedom is bestowed by the consent of men.

Perspective: From the perspective of one who just welcomed a new son into the world, the idea that some other entity might take command of that sitution is both horrifying and infuriating, Even with medical science as it stands, there are no assurances during a delivery. Any of a number of factors can command the situaion toward a tragic solution. The greater fear by far (next to the ultimate loss) is extreme birth defect. No one can be certain of their reaction in that situation. But it is both one's right and responsibility to attend those decisions and acccept their consequences. No committee has the moral authoriy to bestow life or rights nor should they be relinquished the decisions that humans must make in their pursuit of sentience and wisdom. In the confusion and misery of a moment, humanity can be lost... and three lives destroyed. If existence by committee is to be the legacy of Mankind, then the silence of our lambs today may yield the soylents of necessity tomorrow.

UPDATE: 12.11.04:07:21

The blogosphere will continue to stir the issue surrounding the Groningen Protocol and its moral implications: Professor Bainbridge, Got Design, E-Nough, Hugh Hewitt, OKIE on the Lam-in LA, Evangelical Outpost, Brain Shavings (has a great index for links on this story), Pseudo-Polymath, ProLifeBlogs, The Write Wing Conspiracy

And media links: CNN:Dutch ponder 'mercy killing' rules, WS:Now They Want to Euthanize Children...

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