Stand by for some excommunications – or not.
The Belgian Brothers of Charity – a Roman Catholic charity that runs 15 psychiatric hospitals in Belgium, with 5,000 patients – has decided to defy the Vatican and carry on helping chronically depressed patients to commit euthanasia.
In August the Vatican wagged its finger and told the Brothers to cease the practice. The Brothers don’t actually carry out the euthanasia; any patient who requests it is transferred elsewhere
The Brothers are likely to be sacked – at least – if they don’t knuckle under.
The Belgian law on euthanasia was passed in 2003. The law protects doctors from prosecution so long as they abide by specific criteria.
Picture source: Jeroen Bennink