Nathan Verhelst was euthanized in Belgium this past Monday afternoon (September 30) by lethal injection. Nathan was born Nancy. She didn’t like being a girl, so decided to undergo a sex change. She began the process in 2009 with hormone therapy followed by a mastectomy then surgery to construct a penis. At that point, Nancy became Nathan.
Unfortunately, none of the operations worked as desired and Nancy/Nathan became distraught. Based on her/his assertion of “unbearable psychological suffering,” she/he got permission to have her/himself legally euthanized.
Euthanasia is legal in Belgium – and it is, seemingly, a booming business. In 2012, they had a 25% year to year increase in these legal killings up to a record 1,421 cases. That is nearly four a day. There have been just about 4,200 cases in the ten years since it was legalized. The country’s legislature is currently even debating whether they should extend “mercy killing” legislation to children. This would be for those who are born with various kinds of illnesses or deformities that the families think would cause problems for the child if allowed to live.
The doctor who carried out the euthanasia of Nancy/Nathan was a man by the name of Professor Distelmans. This is the same man who euthanized 45 year old twins Marc and Eddy Verbessem last year. They were both born deaf and asked to be euthanized after leaning they might both go blind. This was another case of claiming “unbearable psychological suffering.”
This is the kind of thing which easily happens when a naturalistic worldview becomes the dominant belief of a nation. Life, to Naturalists, is not sacred. Human beings are merely one natural animal among many. In America, the door has already been kicked open for this same thing to happen. “Doctor assisted suicide” is already legal in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Vermont. I wonder how many years it will be before what we see in Belgium is also commonplace in America.
This is not just a tragedy for these individuals. It is a horrific indictment on Western culture which has stepped up to replace God with human representatives. It is right for Christians to fight against this, but we must not do it by merely passing new laws (though that is a part of the process). The real key is to bring Christ to the world. Only changed hearts bring forth a truly changed culture.