Euthanasia is only as limited as the consciences of doctors willing to kill. In other words, given that the supposed limits are wholly unenforced — and mostly depend on self-reporting — the only limits to euthanasia and assisted suicides are those doctors impose on themselves.
As we have seen with with Jack Kevorkian and Phillip Nitschke, there are always ghoulish doctors out there with no brakes. In Belgium, that doctor is named Wim Distelmans. From the National Post story:
In September, the 60-year-old physician gave a lethal injection to Nathan Verhelst, 44, depressed over a failed sex-change operation. Last year, he oversaw the double euthanasia of Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45-year-old deaf twins who chose to die after learning they would lose their eyesight. Also last year, he euthanized a despondent Godelieva De Troyer, 64, whose children learned of her death after the fact. And he acknowledges there are many more “borderline” cases that the public never hears about.
Nothing will be done about this man’s radical death-on-demand absolutism. Hence, he — and others like him — rather than the law, control the limits of euthanasia. He essentially has a license to kill anyone wanting to die who he thinks has a life not worth living.
That is the only real limit on euthanasia — the farthest extent to which the most radical death doctor is willing to go.