The Catholic Medical Quarterly has carried an important article by Theo Boer, a professor of health care ethics at Kampden Theological University. I am grateful to Fr John Fleming PhD, SPUC’s bioethics consultant and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, for the following analysis and review:
In a remarkable volte face, Theo Boer, a former supporter of legalised euthanasia in the Netherlands, has changed his mind about legalised euthanasia.
For years I supported the Dutch law on assisted dying. But as we speak, I have more concerns now than ever before. I am worried that the liberty of some may lead to a loss of freedom of others.(1) Theo Boer is the Lindeboom Professor of Health Care Ethics at Kampden Theological University.(2) In 2005 he was appointed to one of the five “regional review committees” established by the Dutch government to assess, after the event, whether reported cases of euthanasia were in accordance with the law. If cases meet all legal criteria the “dossier will be closed”. If not the matter is referred to the public prosecutor and the Health inspector general and prosecution may follow.
Why, then, did this prestigious scholar and public servant change his mind about legalised euthanasia or legalised “assisted dying” as they call it in the Netherlands? Professor Boer provides four major concerns that he has about the law as it is practised daily in the Netherlands.