Euthania's big issue in Belgium
Christian and conservative circles in Flanders have expressed their dismay at the manner in which the Flemish media have reported on the death of Flemish author Hugo Claus.
Christian and conservative circles in Flanders have expressed their dismay at the manner in which the Flemish media have reported the death of Flemish author Hugo Claus. Mr Claus died on Wednesday by means of euthanasia.
Brother René Stockman of the Congregation of Brothers of Charity, interim Christian democrat leader Wouter Beke and Hans Gijbels, spokesman of Cardinal Godfried Danneels all denounced the way in which the media seemed to approve of Mr Claus’s demise.
“The press spoke in one tongue,” Mr Gijbels says. “The headlines spoke of “Time he went” and “It was his own decision and a good one”.
Mr Gijbels regrets that other parties who don’t approve of euthanasia haven’t been interviewed by the media. In an open letter, Brother René said that “only God can decide on matters of life and death”.
Mr Claus suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and applied for euthanasia. The author is said to have been deeply distressed by the fact that he could no longer find the words to express himself properly.
Critics of euthanasia say that to other people that suffer from the disease, the media reports seem to suggest they should do the same and that therefore these reports are highly confusing.
Alzheimer and dementia patients face the difficult task of having to decide at the beginning of their disease whether they want to undergo euthanasia or instead opt for palliative care during the last days of their life.