Monday, October 31, 2016

Euthanasia Activists have taken control of Canadian Thought.

The following article was written by Dr Will Johnston and published in the Huffington Post on October 28, 2016. 

Dr Will Johnston
Dr Will Johnston

The Canadian euthanasia issue marks a time of upheaval in medical ethics and the healthcare system which could be compared to events a century ago in Russia.

The Bolsheviks were not preordained to take over from the previous government, but their ruthlessness and aggression were unmatched. They demonized competing ideas and purged the social structures. They made their own laws. Nothing was allowed to stand. All was justified for public good, the good of the Proletariat.

The polite Canadian version seems to be that all control is justified by public funding. If a hospital accepts public money, a uniformity of euthanasia access is expected, a literally deadening uniformity.

People who would be ignored if they insisted that all welfare recipients be required to think alike, or that all Canada Council grants be used to create the same work of art, grab attention by bullying Catholic caregivers and hospitals which, like all hospitals, could not survive without tax dollars.

Every day thousands of Canadian patients are humanely transferred between homes and hospitals. Some are seeking a procedure offered in a different building, for which an ambulance ride and a change in the wallpaper would not arouse comment in normal times.

But in August of this year, a Vancouver patient had an interval of poor pain control while he was being transferred from St. Paul's Hospital to be euthanized elsewhere. The lapse in medication was, ironically, triggered by the euthanasia consent process itself, followed by a pharmacy mix-up.

That provided a gotcha! moment for activists which was exploited to demand that all hospitals must now offer their premises for the use of doctors who want to euthanize patients on site. There are howls of outrage that St. Paul's, a Catholic hospital, is a euthanasia-free zone in keeping with its principles.

This indignant bluster is an attempt to ignore the caution and limitation that the Supreme Court and Parliament tried to place on euthanasia. The new law really just excuses police from charging a doctor with murder if stringent eligibility rules are rigorously followed.

This narrow exception allowed euthanasia in order to protect the right to life proclaimed in Section 7 of the Charter. That may seem bizarre, but the Court decided that having the eventual option of death at the hands of a doctor was likely to prevent earlier do-it-yourself suicides. Flimsy or not, that was the hinge of the Carter decision and for now we are stuck with it.

Taking a mere exception to a murder charge and spinning it as a right to be euthanized everywhere and anywhere in Canada is audacious but transparently political. The euthanasia lobby, flushed with its recent success, wants a monopoly on power, and a health care monoculture that sweeps away all opposition.

People who think differently are not even to be allowed into medical school.

Inviting such extremism into our society would be, to say the least, unhealthy. True diversity and freedom would not be served by it. The activists now attacking Catholic hospitals would not stop there. Everything is a one-way street for them. Their Utopia is euthanasia on demand.

Having convinced themselves that they are the only true humanitarians, no compromises are possible. Like someone who wears far too much perfume, they can't understand why others would not want the common space pervaded by their own superior preferences.

The problem is not "religious hospitals." The problem is zealous ideologues whose inability to accommodate those outside their faction will damage the fabric of our culture.

Dr Will Johnston is a family physician in Vancouver and the Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - BC.


gadfly said...

in 2014, I had poor pain control when I had a kidney stone blast that went wrong. The emerg where I ended up expressed indifference by refusing to see the charts and records - that we were told to take by TeleHealthOntario. The same hospital refused to take my pain seriously and only acted when my bladder almost burst.

In the meanwhile, unknown to me, my wife was asked about how often I was violent toward her! (we are both abuse survivors). So we can see that there is a slipping standard in care. We have to wonder if people will now be allowed to languish in pain so as to 'drive' them toward death...

Unknown said...

I just read a story of young Canadian man, in his early 20s', who wished to be euthanasized because of a longstanding, undiagnosed condition that was very painful & that his doctors could not pinpoint, suggesting it was psychological. This is precisely what we do not want. Whether this man has a psychological and/or physical ailment for example, lupus, fibromyalgia or Lyme disease symptoms which, among other illnesses, are often puzzling to physicians & can be misdiagnosed for years) we must pray that our young people are not going be rushed into being euthanized before a proper diagnosis or cure, which may be just around the should make one shudder to think of it. Are our young people now to be brain-washed by our governments' new "we must terminate" mentality. Has Canada been invaded by the "Darleks"? (A reference that surely will not be lost on Dr. Who sci-fi aficionados). It sadly seems so, uf this is indeed, the stark new reality for Canada a mere year after Euthanasia became legal; we have shockingly arrived at the "slippery slope" scenario in record time. The Euthanization of our youth must beprevented & stopped!Where is Canada's heart & soul on this matter now adversely impacting our young?