Think of them like ice-cream trucks playing a tune as they ply the neighborhood on a summer day, except they’re not selling ice cream – they’re “euthanasia vans” offering curbside service to rid the world of “far too many old people.”
That’s the vision of Katie Hopkins, columnist for the U.K. tabloid, the Sun, and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant on British television, reported Britain’s Guardian.
Hopkins, no stranger to controversy, was criticized last April for using “racist” language comparable to “pro-genocide propaganda” by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, after she criticized immigrants to Europe as “cockroaches” and “feral humans” in a column entitled, “Rescue boats? I’d use gunships to stop migrants.”
Her latest controversial comments on end-of-life care for the elderly came in an interview with Radio Times magazine.
Hopkins, who is launching her own show, “If Katie Hopkins Ruled The World,” next month told the interviewer, “We just have far too many old people.
“It’s ridiculous to be living in a country where we can put dogs to sleep but not people.”
So, if she indeed did rule the world, how would she resolve the problem?
“Easy,” said Hopkins. “Euthanasia vans – just like ice-cream vans – that would come to your home. It would all be perfectly charming. They might even have a nice little tune they’d play. I mean this genuinely. I’m super-keen on euthanasia vans.
“We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do,” she added.
Shock may be Hopkins’ stock in trade, but originality is not. America’s “Dr. Death” – the late Jack Kevorkian – had his “Deathmobile,” the Netherlands has been operating a fleet of euthanasia vans since March 2012 and, of course, the Nazi regime operated a fleet of “gas vans” credited with killing 500,000 – 600,000 people.
The Dutch euthanasia vans – dubbed Levenseinde, or “Life End” – were the initiative of the 130,000-member Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life. Employing doctors and nurses, the half-dozen mobile house-call units offered their services to individuals who had not been able to be euthanized under the country’s already liberal laws, instituted in 2002.
“The Life End clinic will have mobile teams where people who believe they are eligible for euthanasia can register,” Walburg de Jong, the group’s spokesman, told the Guardian in 2012.
“If they do comply, the teams will be able to carry out the euthanasia at patients’ homes should their regular doctors be unable or refuse to help them,” he added.
To minimize the psychological burden on the teams, each is limited to one home vist per week.
If the team determines the patient is a candidate, another doctor is brought in to administer the life-ending drugs.
“They will first give the patient an injection, which will put them into a deep sleep, then a second injection follows, which will stop their breathing and heart beat,” De Jong said.
The German SS used gas, not injections, to kill their victims in the early years of WWII, but like modern advocates for hastening the end of life, they packaged their operations as “euthanasia.”
First deployed in 1940, the mentally ill or retarded, the chronically ill and criminals were the first victims. The altered vehicles were usually designed to look like ordinary furniture vans and could hold 50 to 70 persons at a time, depending on size. Once the compartment was loaded and the doors closed, carbon monoxide was pumped in until the sound of the victims screaming and pounding ended.
When Germany invaded Russia, the euthanasia vans followed, no longer targeting the infirm and insane, but the Jews of Byelorussia and the Ukraine. An estimated 250,000 to 300,000 were killed in the mobile units.
Jack Kevorkian, who earned the name Dr. Death for his advocacy of euthanasia and his extra-legal assistance in helping several people end their lives, conducted his first mercy killing in an old Volkswagon van. Following his death in 2011, his “Deathmobile” played a starring role on the reality-TV show, “Hardcore Pawn.”