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On Euthanasia In The Netherlands

WHEREAS, On April 10, 2001, The Netherlands became the first democratic country in the world to legalize active euthanasia; and

WHEREAS, According to the Dutch government, in 1990, 11,800 patients were killed or helped to die by their doctors, and in 1995, euthanasia was performed in at least 3,600 cases; and

WHEREAS, In 1995, Dutch physicians terminated the lives of over 900 of their patients without the explicit request of those patients; and

WHEREAS, According to the British medical journal, The Lancet, in 1997, 8 percent of infants who died in The Netherlands were killed by their physicians; and

WHEREAS, Western medicine has been governed for over 2,500 years by Hippocratic consensus, that it is always wrong to intend to harm one’s patients, including killing or assisting a patient to kill himself or herself; and

WHEREAS, There are sufficient pain management techniques to relieve a patient’s pain without intending to kill the patient; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have affirmed historically that human life is sacred from conception through natural death (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13; Proverbs 6:17; Romans 13:8-10); and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have moral, spiritual, and social concern for all of the nations of the globe; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 12-13, 2001, affirm our belief that every human life, including the life of the terminally ill, disabled, or clinically depressed patient, is sacred and ought to be protected against unnecessary harm; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we find legalized euthanasia immoral ethically, unnecessary medically, and unconscionable socially; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we plead with the Dutch government to re-examine and overturn the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide as soon as possible; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge the nations of the world to resist the legalization of active euthanasia and assisted suicide; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage people of compassion in The Netherlands to establish hospices where dying patients can die in dignity without having to worry that their lives will be ended prematurely; and be it finally

RESOLUTION NO. 6 (continued)

RESOLVED, That we call upon all nations of the world to express moral outrage at the Dutch practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and that those nations take all appropriate actions to urge the Dutch to change their policy to one that protects the sanctity of human life.