For most of the world, a visit to the Auschwitz death camp is a stark reminder of mass murder, racial hatred, and the evils of eugenics. For Belgium's “Dr. Death,” Wim Distelmans, who led a trip in November to the camp, it was “an inspiring venue for organizing a seminar and reflecting on these issues so that we can consider and clarify confusions.”
Approximately 70 people joined Distelmans in his five-day November tour. Most were Belgian medical professionals who work in euthanasia, including an activist described as “instrumental in introducing Belgium's euthanasia 12 years ago,” Colette Vandevelde.
The tour, titled “Death with Dignity,” has been heavily criticized by many across Europe, most especially by Jews. The group of euthanasia tourists defend themselves by saying that the evils of Auschwitz are actually the opposite of their goal, which they claim is to “kill out of humility and love.”
Anti-euthanasia activist Alex Schadenberg told LifeSiteNews that Distelmans' visit to Auschwitz was a stark reminder of the eugenics movement's foundation in Nazi Germany.
“In 1920, Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche wrote a book titled, Allowing the destruction of life unworthy of life,” explained Schadenberg. “This book became very popular and led to the creation of the German euthanasia program.”
Authors of this book justified the ending of life of people with or without consent as a way of providing mercy to them and to society,” he said. “When reading this text, it is clear that the concept was that certain life is not worth living.”
According to Schadenberg, Distelmans' “ideology is false, dangerous, and disturbing. The reality is that there are many reasons that a person will ask to die in their time of need; that is not new. What is new is that doctors are now reacting by agreeing that your life is not worth living and actually killing them.”
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“This is where Distelmans and eugenics become one, that there are human lives that are not worth living and that he will decide to end them,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Since the legalization of euthanasia in 2002, Belgium has seen more than 1,800 people euthanized. Terminally ill children with parental consent who are dealing with “constant and unbearable physical suffering” are also able to be killed, after a debate on the removal of age restrictions earlier this year.
“Wim Distelmans continues to extend euthanasia to many more groups of people who are not otherwise dying,” Schadenberg said. “Many of these people are experiencing depression or require social support, not death.”