Euthanizing the Unhappy: The Urgent Need for Love

By November 7, 2013 Recent News

Public Discourse 7 November 2013
The recent physician-assisted suicide of a deeply depressed Belgian woman made worldwide headlines. But the headlines didn’t say a thing about depression. The headlines read, “Belgian killed by euthanasia after a botched sex change operation.”
This is not a story of medicine gone wrong. It is a story of a world where the light has gone out.
Everything about this headline is a euphemism or half-truth. The author couldn’t figure out whether to describe the individual as a man or a woman. So, in keeping with GLAAD guidelines, the author used the gender-neutral term “Belgian,” to describe a generic person, and later describes the individual as “Nathan, born Nancy, Verhelst.” The story never tells us exactly what was “botched” about the operation, except that Nancy was unhappy with the result. And the term “euthanasia” obscures the fact that a physician killed a perfectly healthy woman who happened to have been extremely unhappy for a long time.
Let’s read past the headline and consider the story more deeply.
Nancy was the daughter of a mother who wanted sons.