Catholic Nursing Home Fined for Refusing to Carry Out Euthanasia

In July 2016 a Catholic nursing home in Diest, Belgium was fined for refusing to euthanize a patient. It was 74 years old Mariette Buntjens who was suffering from lung cancer. She decided with her doctor that she should be euthanized by lethal injection because of her disease. But, the St Augustine rest home where she lived refused to carry out the procedures of euthanasia because of its Catholic mission.
So, she moved to a private property where she soon died. After her death, family of the patient sued the Catholic rest home for “causing unnecessary mental and physical suffering” to Mrs Buntjens. Although, one would say that it was the disease and not the rest home which caused her suffering.

Nevertheless, a civil court in Louvain fined the home 3,000 euros. This decision has an impact on all Catholic facilities because the fact that according to catholic beliefs euthanasia is a murder was not taken into account by Belgian courts.

This decision is even more surprising considering that there is an ongoing research about new methods of treatment of cancer. Besides, there is palliative care possible where patients can receive medications easing pain.  

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