“In A Separate Category From Almost Any Other Nation”

I borrowed the title for this blog from The New York Times article covering the proposed child euthanasia bill in Belgium. They’re now covering this story and probably because it’s passed through another hurdle of approval. Woah. It became real news on someone’s radar at The New York Times.

The bill is still not law yet and it now awaits yet another vote, which may not happen for months. And then there’s King Philippe’s approval to be attained, because Belgium has a monarchy. It’s still a waiting game but all signs point to the right to euthanasia in Belgium, which I believed to be true in my initial blog post What Would Whitney Houston Say?

In The New York Times article Andrew Higgins writes, that if and once this bill is approved into law, it:

“…would put Belgium in a separate category from almost any other nation when it comes to allowing the terminally ill to choose to die.”

Well, this week another country announced a creation of its own separate category. Uruguay. Uruguay’s going all Nancy Botwin on us, but legally.

(North Korea should overthrow Kim Jong Un and reinvent itself in marijuana trade. I hear that North Koreans are actually huge potheads anyway so…)

I believe sooner or later other countries will catch on to Uruguay’s business plan and in my wildest imagination I see world debt being solved by weed. Surely weed is better than crystal meth, which has only made its way over to Europe recently. Then there’s the “new” flesh-eating killer drug like Krokodil, that literally eats away at the poorest of junkie bottom-feeders from Russia to Greece and now to England and Mexico.

There’s a lot of bad shit going on out there in the world and there’s lots of good happening too, and then there’s this child euthanasia bill being passed through Belgium? And even though Denmark and The Netherlands put themselves in their own separate categories years ago as the first countries to recognize same-sex relationships and marriages, respectively, these rights are still being fought for elsewhere or maybe in the country you live in now? Yes.

Belgium is a small country with an old soul wrapped in beer and chocolate and pride. It’s far from perfect but I stand by my assertion in my Belgium versus The United States blog post: “America looks different every day from here but Belgium is no better or worse in a grand way, just different.”

Every country that has ever before put itself in its own separate category, if nothing else, shares a place in history. Some countries have used their separation for good and some for bad. We can’t change history but we can strive to pull back and see the bigger picture more often instead of jumping to volatile conclusions, which helps nobody.

I’m honest when I say that had I not married my husband Davy and moved to Belgium, I’d probably be sitting in my old apartment in New York reading Andrew Higgins and shaking my head at Belgium’s push to legalize child euthanasia. I probably would have cracked some “Belgians should stick to waffles and leave kids alone” joke. But I’m not in New York. It’s taken me nearly three years now to settle into the rhythm of marriage and motherhood and expat living in Belgium. Even though I spend most of my days at home I’ve never actually felt more free than I have in Belgium. There’s less censorship and sugarcoating and more nitty gritty too bad if it’s shitty news and documentaries about realities that would never make it to American television broadcast. That’s just me though.

It’s easy to sit back and pass judgment about drugs and euthanasia and gay rights and all rights. It’s harder to stay informed or better-informed. We should all take the harder route sometimes and create our own separate categories for ourselves.

Always dishing,



  1. vivi howe

    Funny, how I, who grew up in the netherlands and my family lives there still would not ever want to live there again. Talking about cramped living and that so called freedom comes at a high price. Nope. Give me the USA anytime.


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