This article is from
Creation 15(1):17, December 1992

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Euthanasia ‘out of control’ in Holland

An interview with Dr Karel Gunning

by Robert Doolan

The death revolution taking place in Holland through its toleration of euthanasia is a tragic warning to the world, a leading Dutch physician has warned. Dr Karel Gunning is spearheading a world-wide fight against euthanasia. He said Holland had ‘crossed the border’ of ethics into a territory where there are almost no limits on medical killing any more.

‘What Holland shows is that once you start making euthanasia possible, it becomes completely out of control’, he said.

Dr Gunning is president of the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life. He visited Australia in July and August as a guest of Right to Life Australia.

Dr Gunning said that when abortion becomes tolerated it inevitably leads to euthanasia. ‘And if you start with voluntary euthanasia, then you end with its being compulsory.’

He said that each year in Holland there are about 20,000 cases of intentional killing from a total of 130,000 patient deaths. There were even many cases where a doctor ended a patient’s life without discussing euthanasia with the patient.

Dr Gunning said he could see a link between the problem of euthanasia and the evolutionary ideas of ‘survival of the fittest’ and eugenics (breeding an improved race).

He said that patients who felt they were a burden to their children may be almost forced to ask for euthanasia.

‘They may be put under pressure by their own kin. That’s why it’s so dangerous.’

Dr Gunning said he believed that the creation and taking away of human life was God’s domain, and that governments needed to protect the lives of their citizens.

He said evolution by pure chance was impossible. He had written a paper titled ‘Is Spontaneous Evolution Possible?’, in which he described the impossibility of the genetic code’s arising by chance evolutionary processes.

He did not believe that God used evolution as His method of creation. ‘We do not use parts of an existing car to build a new model’, he said. ‘We conceive the new model in our minds and then build it from new materials. Why then should the Creator use an ape-like creature’s DNA to create man?’

Dr Gunning said he was disturbed by the whole attitude which regarded killing through abortion and euthanasia as normal.

He said that when doctors are allowed to kill, ethics ‘become elastic, and allow what you want to be allowed.’

Holland’s tolerance of killing should sound a warning for the world, he said. ‘Holland has indeed become a dangerous country.’

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