I’m shocked. I live in the Netherlands, I am pro-life, and yet I was not aware of this until now: infant euthanasia was legalized here in 2006! It doesn’t make a real difference in a sense, in that the so-called Groningen protocol – by which children under age twelve years with severe disabilities can be euthanaized with parental consent -, had already been officially tolerated (a procedure by which the doctor’s murder charges will be dropped by the prosecutor) since 2004. In fact, the way I found out about the legality, is through a report that claims no infants have been euthanized in 2007 – which obviously isn’t saying that it really doesn’t happen, cause passive euthanasia is not counted.
However, what strikes me is that in other cases of crimes that are officially tolerated, like selling soft drugs at so-called “coffee shops”, there’s lots of media coverage whenever a politician calls for legalization. In fact, soft drug sales have been officially tolerated for thirty years, and politicians are still falling over each other in the debate over whether the practice should be legalized. Now I happen to support the legalization of soft drugs, so it feels nonsensical to me that politicians are still fighting over it after this long and the media is grossly overemphasizing the subject, but it really points out how careless our people are about disabled life, if infant euthanasia can be legalized with hardly any media coverage or political outcry two years after its officially being tolerated. Maybe the issue would’ve gotten more attention if the legalization attempt had been done in 2007, because the Christian Union, one of only two pro-life parties in the Netherlands, came onto the government then. It’s still a very small party, so unless the party had made it a “breaking point” during government agreement negotiations, the practice would still have been legalized. But then still, how can it be that the Dutch people are not notified through the mainstream media that euthanasia on children is about to be legalized. We are, unfortunately, not a pro-life country at all, so maybe the media don’t care about the ten or so children each year of whose euthanasia authorities are notified.
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Today is my hospitalization anniversary. Oh well, it could be yesterday, since I had my crisis on November 2, but hours on the police station waiting for the community physician and then the psychiatric crisis service people to see me and then more hours waiting for transportation, delayed my hospitalization to around 2:30 AM November 3. So, what have I learned in this year? Depending on my mood, I would word them all differently, but I’m mostly somewhat bitter these days.
- Train station employees are not as judgmental as you might think: after I’ve had many meltdowns while there, they still let me go onto the train now that I don’t have meltdowns.
- If life sucks for you, don’t say it out loud, because it can always suck more.
- Time spent in psychiatric hospitals is not life experience deductable, even though everyone else thinks it is.
- It is acceptable to tell a 22-year-old person that whatever they don’t like, is “temporary”, despite the fact that one’s entire life is temporary.
- A patient’s level of supposed stability is determined more by what suits the doctor’s plans best than by their actual mental state.
- It is useless to believe in any plans for your treatment or placement before they’ve been executed.
- It doesn’t matter whether an intervention makes logical sense or whether it’s a significant threat to your freedom, if it supposedly “works” in shutting you up.
- Threatening time-out or giving sedative medication always “works”, no matter the actual outcome.
- Social workers need to base their respectability on their age.
- Doctors need to base their respectability on their tone of voice.
- Clarity means that your doctor tells you in an authoritarian voice that they can’t give you more clarity.
- Joking, even cynically, is punishable by being told you’re fine no matter what else you say or do.
- If your problems don’t fit the care mold, it’s perfectly okay to decide your problems were different anyway.
- Everything you say or do can always be interpreted as a way in which you purposefully bother other people.
- Not treating you like you are “handicapped” means telling you that melting down is not acceptable and expecting you to have no more meltdowns, despite the fact that you’ve had meltdowns for fifteen years and have been told they’re unacceptable for at least a million times. Maybe you’re just unwilling to change?
- When patients act up, they’re supposed to take responsibility for their behavior; when staff act up, the patient called for it.
Now, my one big resolution for the second year in hospital is that it isn’t going to be a year again.
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