Friday, March 23, 2012

Quebec in danger of radical euthanasia

Wesley Smith
Wesley Smith, a bio-ethicist who promotes human exceptionalism and rejects the killing of human beings published a very interesting blog posting today under the title: Quebec in danger of radical euthanasia.

Smith states:

This is the strategy: We have to have a “conversation” about euthanasia. Commissions are appointed. If it comes to the conclusion that assisted suicide or euthanasia should not be legalized, we have to continue the conversation. Another commission might be appointed. Repeat, as necessary. But when a commission concludes that some form of doctor-hastened death should be permitted, the conversation is over and it’s implementation time. And if anyone tries to revoke the law, they are accused of “taking away rights.”

I suspect that is the plan for Quebec, in which a commission has not only supported legalizing euthanasia, but recommended a radical license. From the recommendations of Mourir dans la Dignite` (Google English translation):

The Commission recommends that the relevant laws be amended to allow medical aid in dying as a proper end of life option if requested by the person and meets the following criteria, as assessed by the physician
  • Is a resident of Quebec under the provisions of the Act on Health Insurance;
  • The person is an adult and able to consent to treatment under the law;
  • The person expresses herself, after taking a free and informed decision, a request for medical help to die;
  • The person suffers from a serious and incurable disease;
  • The medical situation of the person is characterized by forfeiture of its advanced capabilities, without any prospect of improvement;
  • The person experiences physical or psychological suffering which is constant and unbearable which can not be resolved under conditions he or she considers tolerable.
This opens euthanasia up to anyone with a non transitory death desire doesn’t it? Serious incurable disease could be non symptomatic HIV, bi-polar disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or implacable grief over the deaths of children or other family. Psychological suffering is self-defining.

And yet, the media–which on this issue now seem congenitally incapable of reporting accurately–falsely describes the recommendations as very narrow, probably because the news is often merely reporting off press releases these days. From the Ottawa Citizen story:
The report introduced at the provincial legislature Thursday recommended the  Quebec government make it legal for doctors to help the terminally ill die, if  they want to, under “exceptional circumstances.”
As we saw above, there is no limitation to the “terminally ill.” And the recommendation would allow people to sign kill-me orders:
The Commission recommends that the relevant laws be amended to recognize an adult capable of the right to apply for early medical help to die in case they become unconscious irreversibly depending on the state of science.
And nurses could do the dirty deed:
The Commission recommends that the College of Nurses of Quebec changes its Code of ethics to allow its members to participate in medical aid to die under the criteria provided by law, however, while confirming their right to object of consciousness.
The recommendation isn’t law, of course. But Canadians had better get in the saddle and stop Quebec from becoming the Netherlands/Belgium Province of North America.

When I saw Soylent Green in the theater, Sol’s euthanasia was utterly shocking and appalling. Today, culture of death proponents call it compassionate and enlightened. We are so upside down!

Update: It occurs to me that my headline is an oxymoron. Any human euthanasia is, by definition, radical.

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