As the media arm of the anti-choice movement, Fox News supports efforts to take away choice from those who wish to terminate a pregnancy and, as we saw in the Fox media circus surrounding Terri Schiavo, opposes choice for those who don't want to prolong their lives by "extraordinary means." Thus, it's no surprise that Fox & Friends would take up the newest "pro-life" source of apoplexy; i.e. the new Belgian law that allows euthanasia for "terminally ill children who are close to death, experiencing 'constant and unbearable suffering' and can show a 'capacity of discernment'." Those who support the law consider it "humane." But no so for on this morning's Fox & Friends which, in its opening graphic for a "fair & balanced" discussion on the issue, described it as "legal insanity." Get the message?
After the graphic, Elisabeth Hasselbeck opened: "Giving children the right to die." She scrunched up her face, in a look of disgust, and continued "it sounds like legal insanity, right; but Belgium is now the first country in the world to allow euthanasia for terminally ill children of all ages." In pimping the "pro-life" message she asked "is this a slippery slope and will it become a new destination for death tourism for families with kids who are suffering." (And if so, what business is it of Fox News?) The side chyron had the visual, as Fox fact, just to remind you of the message: "Legal Insanity."
Hasselbeck asked her guests, lawyer Arthur Aidala and bizarro right wing world psychiatrist Keith Ablow, "how is this possible, is this ethical, is this just democracy?" Aidala explained the steps required before a decision is made. Hasselbeck, slightly agitated, asked "does it stop there" and referenced, for the second time, the "slippery slope." Ablow responded that "we know this is a slippery slope" and suggested that some unscrupulous doctors could lead the parents into the decision rather than "fight another week, another month" because there could be a new drug. He repeated that this is a "slippery slope" (fourth time phrase used) akin to - drum roll please - Nazi Germany.
When Aidala talked about the suffering of these kids, Ablow brushed it off as no big deal because "we have plenty of pain medicine" and opiates. Hasselbeck asked "how easy" would it be for Americans, with a sick child, to travel to Belgium in order to access euthanasia. When Aidala started to cite laws which prohibit assisted suicide, Ablow asserted that "tourists should shun Belgium." The chyron reinforced what appears to be Fox's newest fear factor: "Death Tourism, Will Belgium Become Destination for the Sick." (Notice, the use of the word "sick" when the reality is that this pertains to those who are terminally ill.)
Ablow, who loves his guns but hates abortion (thinks that men should be able to prevent those whom they impregnate from having an abortion) preached that “These people are at the leading edge of caving in to saying that human life is not that valuable.” He accused the Belgians of not being "the kind of people to stand up to Russia, they're not the people who would have stood up to Germany, we are." (WTF? Belgium was invaded by the Nazis who had far superior weaponry and troops than the Belgians.)
Hasselbeck asked if "doctors are healers or the ones to call it when it supposedly is the end." Ablow said "healers" and, after Aidala said that lawyers are realists, Ablow launched some ad-hominems against lawyers.
So sex tourism (we're looking at you Rush Limbaugh) is fine but the Belgian law is a "slippery slope" that will lead to Americans rushing off to Belgium (a beautiful country, BTW) to casually off their kids. And who needs advice from physicians who have been caring for terminally ill kids. "Dr" Keith Ablow says if the child is in pain, parents should just suck it up until new magic drugs can be developed at which point the child will magically recover. Used to be we needed to be scared of death panels. Now it's "death tourism." Okaayyyy....
This is another example of miserable little people making rules about things they know absolutely nothing about. Hell is too good for them.
Well, here’s a bit of news for Elizabeth: The majority of parents of the kids who are suffering so badly CANNOT afford to take a “vacation” anywhere (due to the medical bills they’re racking up caring for their suffering children) much less to Belgium. Travel to Belgium requires a passport (for each adult—I believe children are now required to have passports as well, if they’re over a certain age) and, of course, reservations for somewhere to stay and, of course, the plane or boat tickets to get there and back in the first place. You’re not talking cheap.
On the other hand, this would be much like abortion was in the 1950s. The RICH could afford to send their daughters overseas to “finishing schools” or “special resorts” or an expatriate “relative” when the girls’ clothes started becoming a bit snug and their figures started to expand in ways that Daddy and Mumsy found a bit embarassing. The poor, on the other hand, either sent their daughters to stay with out-of-town relatives or dealt with the consequences directly (sometimes even going to the same kind of extreme that Jack Nicholson discovered about his own family—“Mom” was actually his grandmother and “Big Sis” was actually his mother). With this Belgium deal, it’s the rich who can afford to take the trips and, OOPS, little Johnny who’d been suffering a debilitating illness suddenly has an “unfortunate accident” and comes home in a coffin.