Thursday, July 25, 2013

How the euthanasia mentality metastasizes

The following article was written by Wesley Smith and published on July 24, 2013 on his blog under the title: How the Culture of Death Metastasizes.

Wesley Smith
Wesley Smith, July 24, 2013

The euthanasia ideology is like a cancer sapping the moral health of western society. And, like a cancer, it never stops spreading.

Here’s how:  I wrote earlier today about Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu supporting palliated self starvation as a manner of dying. To get to that conclusion, he uses the right of people to refuse tube feeding–legal because it is deemed a medical treatment–as the multiplyer to grow the death agenda. From, “A Simple Solution to the Puzzles of End of Life? Voluntary Palliated Starvation:”
The process of withholding or removing artificial feeding from patients as young as newborns to elderly people has been commonplace in medicine in many parts of the world.
That’s what happened to Terri Schiavo, and to Tony Bland in a famous UK case.

In the UK, a paralyzed man capable of eating named Tony Nicklinson sued for the right to commit assisted suicide. After he lost the case, he stopped eating and died of pneumonia. 
Savulescu uses Nicklinson’s death as a point of reference to spread the death agenda:
Now if doctors, courts and family members can make a decision that a person’s life is no longer worth living and feeding should be stopped, why can’t the person, like Tony Nicklinson, make that decision, and it be acted upon? Surely the person who has the most right to decide whether life is tolerable is the person who must live that life. 
So it seems to me that ethically Tony Nicklinson had the right to die by starvation. And if other patients received palliative care in the form of analgesia and sedation as a result of decisions made by courts, doctors and their families, then Tony Nicklinson had an equal right to such palliative care as he died.
Did you notice the intellectual prestidigitation? Savulescu misdirects us with the right to refuse medical treatment,which, abracadabra, suddenly becomes a right to be made dead by self-starvation–even though when the tube feeding refusals were being advocated, we were told that wasn’t the point.

That’s not medical care, it is suicide facilitation. And then comes the punch line:
But what, you might ask, is the difference between Tony Nicklinson dying by starvation, perhaps unconscious, over a period of weeks and him being given a lethal injection that would kill him in seconds, painlessly? In both cases, he will certainly die. Surely it is more humane, in these circumstances, to give him a lethal injection than to allow him to starve himself to death? 
This is the argument of course from suicide, to assisted suicide, to euthanasia. That is, it seems that if one has a right not to eat, then one has a right to euthanasia,at least as far as morality is concerned.
The right to refuse treatment = a right to starve oneself to death with a doctor’s help = a right to be lethally injected.

And that, my friends, is a classic example of how the euthanasia mentality metastasizes. By destroying principle, deconstructing definitions, and blurring ethical boundaries.

Link to a previous article:
- Old and Sick People Kill Yourselves.
- The demise of the Liverpool Pathway and death by dehydration.
- Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto dehydrating children with disabilities to death based on Quality of Life Assessments.


theologygeek said...

And that is exactly what medically provided death proponents said would NOT happen, because there were safeguards. I say again: what phyiscal barriers are there to stopping someone from deciding a patient should be killed? none...

Winston said...

There is also no moral or ethical difference between a dialysis patient choosing to commit suicide by discontinuing dialysis and taking a lethal dose of barbiturates.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Your comment is absolutely wrong. If a person discontinues dialysis, nobody caused their death, they died from their medical condition.

If someone is given a lethal dose of barbiturates then someone actually assisted the suicide.

There are times when someone should discontinue dialysis because it has become futile or the burden has become greater than the benefit.

Giving someone barbiturates has no benefit and causes death rather than allowing death to occur.

Winston said...

But it's still suicide. Why else would they refuse dialysis?

If they destroyed their kidneys through poor dietary habits, should they be required to undergo dialysis until they die naturally?

You have obviously never seen palliative care fail.

Alex Schadenberg said...

The refusal of dialysis could be a decision to give up on living or it could be an acceptance that death is imminent.

Winston said...

In either case, death will result much earlier than it would otherwise.

As I have said numerous times before, if you aren't a vitalist, you are a hypocrite.

Why can some quadriplegics commit suicide by refusing a respirator while others cannot (because they can breathe unaided), under your worldview?

Winston said...

So would you force them to go back on dialysis if you knew that they were giving up on life?

Alex Schadenberg said...

I never wrote that Winston. You are far too trigger happy Winston, jumping to conclusions.

Alex Schadenberg said...

I have never met a vitalist yet. Vitalism is something from the past and it is also the way that death mongers like you like to attack people who oppose outright killing.

Winston said...

You implied it, Alex.

When you grant some people (but not others) the right to assisted suicide by having their respirators removed, you are being hypocritical.

Under Canadian law at present, only those who need dialysis, or are "fortunate" enough to be quadriplegics who need respirators to live, are allowed help to die quickly.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Withdrawing a ventilator is not assisted suicide.

Winston said...

But they would die without it. They would never request its removal unless they wanted to die.