Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Canadian physicians may be forced to kill by euthanasia.

This article was published on Wesley's blog on April 18, 2015.
Wesley Smith

By Wesley J. Smith

Medical martyrdom is coming, a term I coined to describe doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other such professionals being forced to choose between their callings and participating in the intentional taking of human life. 

Canada’s Supreme Court recently imposed euthanasia across the country, including for “psychological pain” caused by a diagnosable medical condition. The question now posed is whether doctors will be able to opt out. 

So far, it doesn’t look good. The Canadian Medical Association – already weak-kneed on assisted suicide/euthanasia – wants doctors protected. But the Ontario and Saskatchewan Colleges of Doctors and Surgeons want doctors forced, as in Victoria, to do the deed, refer, or if no references are available, forced to kill. 

Udo Schuklenk
Canadian bioethicist Udo Schuklenk agrees. From his blog
The very idea that we ought to countenance conscientious objection in any profession is objectionable. 
Nobody forces anyone to become a professional. It is a voluntary choice. A conscientious objector in medicine is not dissimilar to a taxi driver who joins a taxi company that runs a fleet of mostly combustion engine cars and who objects on grounds of conscience to drive those cars due to environmental concerns. Why did she become a taxi driver in the first place? Perhaps she should have opened a bicycle taxi company instead. 
The very idea that Schuklenk compares driving a taxi to practicing a medical profession, and worries about pollution to the active and intentional taking of human life tells you so much about what has gone wrong in bioethics. 

Moreover, when today’s doctors and nurses entered the profession, they weren’t required to kill. So, this is where we are heading fast: Kill or get out of medicine! More, don’t get into medicine in the first place if you are an orthodox religious believer or philosophically opposed to abortion and euthanasia. You have no place in the medical arts. 

It is worth nothing that Schuklenk supports Futile Care Theory. Thus, his anti-medical conscience attitude doesn’t extend to the ICU when patients want life-sustaining treatment the doctor thinks is “inappropriate.” Then, doctors should have a right to say no–even though the most fundamental job of doctors is to keep patients alive when that is what they want. 

Can we say, “culture of death?” When Dutch doctors were ordered by the Nazi occupiers to practice (then) German-style death medicine, they took down their shingles en masse, and won the victory. Will Canadian physicians have similar guts in a society in which dissenters are not murdered?


gadfly said...

Udo Shuc...whatever his name is. Wow. That's one of the most arrogant things I've read since Peter Singer. The right of conscience is a fundamental freedom in Canada, I would think. It says that I don't agree and I choose by right of thought, not to participate. I assume that Shuk...whatever would say that politicians who know of corruption should leave politics...okay bad example. He thinks that university professors who know about systemic cheating should quit...oh wait...hmmm...back to the lab Udo!

Linda M. Baker said...

I can hardly believe this ethetist's position. Many of the best physicians I know practice from a belief in human life and helping, whether that stems from a religious or human set of values is not important. The profession and patients will suffer greatly if we select against these good physicians and potential physicians in future.