Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Belgium's Most Acclaimed Writer "Dies Through Euthanasia"

From AGI News in Italy

Hugo Claus, the Belgian writer considered the greatest in Dutch-Flemish, has died through euthanasia: his publisher 'De Bezige Bij' announced this from The Netherlands, quoted by the Belgian press. Claus suffered from Alzheimer, and he announced his desire to die this way a long time ago, even specifying the precise hour of his death: today, in the clinic of Antwerp. He was 78 years old. Born in Brussels, writer, poet, dramatist but also scriptwriter and painter, anti-conformist, Hugo Maurice Julien Claus obtained his biggest success in '83 with what is considered his masterpieces: "The sorrow of Belgium", on the Nazi occupation of his country.

While it's not exactly shocking that a post-modern angst-filled writer would opt out of existence this way in a country where it is legal, I found the language interesting. "Died through euthanasia" sounds so innocuous, doesn't it? The reality is of course Minheer Claus was incapable of ending his own life so he went to a clinic and some medical staffer was apparently happy to assist him. For some [and perhaps a diminishing number] this would present a moral problem with more consequences for society than can be reliably foreseen by mortals. But this isn't a concern for most of Europe. We are accustomed to phrases like "died after a long illness" and "passed away quietly at home" in the obituaries. Expect "died through euthanasia" to be making more frequent appearances in the future...
papijoe 1:21 PM