They legalized prostitution, across the counter drug trafficing and euthanasia. The Netherlands have done it again — a hospital there has been talking about euthanasia for children and in a “surprise revelation”:http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20041130/ap_on_re_eu/netherlands_child_euthanasia declared today that it has *already* put this into practice in some cases.
Back at IITK I had done a course on philosophical problems, with Dr. R. S. Mishra and we had discussed euthanasia at that time. There was this really good paper, which categorized euthanasia in 2 planes — active vs. passive and voluntary vs. involuntary. The meaning of the latter plane is obvious (I don’t want to die!!). The first plane basically makes the distinction between giving someone an injection to end their life or just letting them die and doing nothing about it. The paper reasoned out all the 4 possible combinations and concluded that only the active-voluntary combination *could* be allowed, the rest having a shade of doubt that no third party has the right to decide.
But with this child euthanasia thing, where do we stand? A new born baby clearly can’t make voluntary decisions. Should its parents be allowed to make the decision? Hell the baby can’t even tell you if it wants to live or not, but that doesn’t mean you don’t even give it a chance. Somehow, I feel sick about this. I mean how off is this from the practice of female-infanticide in India (though the reasons were quite different there).