Moves in Belgium to allow euthanasia for children deemed to be afflicted with "constant and unbearable physical suffering" are akin to the practices of eugenics in Nazi Germany, former two-time GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes says.
In an article for his magazine headlined "HitlerCare," the chairman of Forbes Media says proposals to allow doctors, with parental consent, "to kill children" on the grounds of "compassion"
will also be a "slippery slope" to other forms of unjustified killing, such as cost-saving calculations and determinations about the relative value of human life.
"We are on the malignantly slippery slope to becoming a society like that envisioned by Nazi Germany, one in which 'undesirables' are disposed of like used tissue," Forbes writes in a piece posted online Monday. "While the Nazis carried this ideology of death to its ghastly logical conclusion, the belief that it would be good for the human race to improve itself — as breeders do with horses, dogs, cows and other animals and plants — was also widespread in numerous other countries before WWII, including the U.S.
"It was called eugenics, and under its banner countless hundreds of thousands of people, particularly those deemed mentally handicapped, were forcibly sterilized to prevent them from fathering or birthing children. Before the war Nazi Germany killed upwards of 8,000 children judged to be 'mentally deficient' or incurably ill."
Forbes says that in countries that have legalized euthanasia, the number of adults euthanized has soared. He points out that in Holland, a country that allows adult euthanasia, it has been suspected that doctors and hospital administrators were occasionally killing patients to free-up hospital beds. Britain has its own version of a "death panel," Forbes writes, because it has a formula for determining who gets expensive treatment and who doesn't.
"And now we're on the way to killing children in the name of compassion," he adds. "As euthanasia becomes more accepted — and we become more numb to the horror of murdering people like this — we'll descend to the next abomination: pressuring the sick to discontinue treatment for a likely fatal illness in the name of 'saving scare resources' for people who have more years ahead of them."
Forbes concludes by saying, "Let's be clear. We're not talking about adults deciding they don't want 'heroic' methods applied when they're suffering a fatal illness; we're talking about the conscious taking of a life by people who are trained to cure us of illness.
"The true mark of a civilization is in how it treats its most vulnerable members."
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