The place where, when Francis and Anna were young teenagers, the Nazis began the Belgian part of their atrocities known collectively as the Holocaust almost immediately upon conquering it.
You know. The Holocaust. The Jews being rounded up and enslaved and exterminated. The Holocaust, meaning the Jewish experience, is the largest part of the Nazi atrocities. Nazi euthanasia of undesirables began first, then Jews were determined to be undesirable, and it continued with Catholics and other Christians when Jews became scarce.
Nazi euthanasia is based on the notion of the right to death. Of course, they believed that the State owned the right to kill. But even pro-euthanasia and pro-assisted suicide laws today show that it is the state that governs the right to kill. It is the state who decides, among those who kill innocent people, who are to be prosecuted for murder and who are to be allowed to kill with impunity.
Francis and Anna are old, but basically in good health. They each fear living in loneliness should the other one die first, and so have decided to die together. They will be euthanized voluntarily even though there is nothing wrong with them except fear of something that might not happen.
You would think their loving children would step up and say, Hey Mom and Dad, don't worry! We'll all miss whichever of you should go first, but the other should not fear loneliness because you still have us and your grandchildren! We'll take care of you!
No, they said, in effect, You know what, we can't take care of either of you should one of you die, so we're totally behind your decision to kill yourselves.
The kids, in fact, have done the legwork and found a practitioner willing to kill their parents.
My God, if Belgium were a sane nation, the children and practitioner would be considered murderers. This is murder-for-hire. The doctor is a hit man. In another age, this would be a plot line for Columbo or Kojak or Murder She Wrote.
But, those old fashioned shows are long gone in 2014, and now it is the State in Belgium that owns the right to kill, and has decided that such children and practitioners are not to be prosecuted.
Francis and Anna are, basically, cowards. They fear living alone. They fear living alone and wiping out their savings on staying alive alone. They would commit suicide but "it takes courage," they say, to jump out a window or into a river or hang yourself. But getting a doctor to give you a lethal injection "does not take courage."
Don't Francis and Anna remember the Nazis? They were 15 and 12, respectively, when the Nazis conquered them, and 20 and 17 when the Nazis were defeated. Only 5 years later, with the Nazi atrocities still fresh on everyone's minds, they would be married.
What were they doing during the occupation? Were they Nazi sympathizers? Resisters? Colluders? What? Given that they're cowards, I would expect they're the kind that ratted on their neighbors out of fear of the Germans.
And their kids were oh so eager to help their parents. The parents can't wait for their death day. And who could blame them, with kids like that?
Hey, I wonder... if Francis and Anna's savings are not used up on living alone, who gets the money? Just wondering.
The Brits are looking at this aghast. One politician said, "This is an example of a very dangerous use of euthanasia in entirely inappropriate circumstances. What it demonstrates is that the most stringent safeguards would be needed if this was going to be legalised in the UK."
No, M'Lord, what it demonstrates is that the definition of appropriate circumstances cannot be limited by cruel people who want to limit other people's autonomy and take away the right to kill innocent people for money and the right to be rid of burdensome relatives for a fee. Cruel people like yourself, M'Lord.
A British celebrity has noted that the casual practice of euthanasia in Belgium had developed from a law designed initially for hard cases. She said, "'Once you allow a doctor to assist you to end your life when the patient defines when they are suffering I think you are opening the door to an extension of that law."
"It may be everyone's intention that initially it will be only for a small group of people but how you monitor that and how you enforce that is practically impossible."
"It is terrifying where this could go," she added.
Well, that just depends on your perspective. I think it might be exciting to someone who is a kid with a burdensome relative with a savings account you'd inherit, a coward facing some common hardship, or a doctor who charges a fee for the service.
Or a Nazi.
I think the Nazis never relinquished control of Belgium.