Wednesday, December 15, 2021

‘Systemic Ageism’ Blamed for Excess COVID Deaths, Ignored with Euthanasia

This article was published by National Review online on December 14, 2021

By Wesley J Smith

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York wasn’t the only government that inflicted blatant harm and unnecessary death on elders during during the Covid pandemic. Quebec did too. From the Toronto Sun story:
“Systemic ageism,” outdated health-care facilities and government reforms contributed to the tragedy that unfolded in the province’s long-term care homes during the first wave of COVID-19, a former Quebec health minister told a coroner’s inquest on Monday.

Réjean Hébert, who is also a gerontologist, told coroner Géhane Kamel that nearly 10 per cent of the province’s long-term care patients died of COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic — a rate five times higher compared to Canada as a whole.
It didn’t start with Covid:
Hébert, who served as health minister under former premier Pauline Marois, said that even before the pandemic there was a tendency to shift health-care resources toward other priorities, leading to a lack of doctors and nurses to care for vulnerable seniors in care homes. As a result, the homes were no longer able to provide acute care, forcing them to transfer distressed patients to hospital, which was “extremely difficult” for those with cognitive impairments, he said.

Hébert also pointed to outdated facilities where patients were subjected to inadequate ventilation and forced to share bedrooms and bathrooms as factors that contributed to Quebec’s high mortality rate.
Article: Quebec doctor testified that COVID patients were euthanized rather than treated (Link).  

Now, do you think that this clear warning about the threat to elders caused by “systemic ageism” will be applied as Quebec and the rest of Canada expand access to euthansia among the elderly? Is Putin a friend of Ukraine?

The media will often report in detail and with righteous indignation about varied failings and abuses in health-care systems — such as the drumbeat of criticism often seen against HMOs in the states. But these crucial questions are often forgotten once the subject turns to euthanasia.

I call this phenomenon “Euthanasia Land,” a magical realm of chirping birds and butterflies, where systemic failures in health-care and social policy disappear and life terminations happen only under the most rigorous protective guidelines and by the most deeply caring and compassionate medical personnel.

But Euthanasia Land isn’t real. The crises reported in this story have equal impact on doctor-prescribed death as they do lapses in proper care. They are just far less discussed.

Consider the Canadian woman who was euthanized because she didn’t want to be lonely during Covid lockdowns. She wasn’t allowed family visitors while she was alive, but they were allowed to be with her when her doctor killed her. She wasn’t the only such victim, either. A Canadian government study found that hundreds of people who died by euthanasia in 2019 requested death at least in part due to loneliness and isolation.

But none of that stops the death juggernaut. When these horrors are reported, which isn’t often, they are soon forgotten.

Would it have been too much for the critics of the elder-care in Quebec — and the reporter, for that matter — to connect these crucial dots, and thereby open a vital conversation about how these same systemic problems also impact the provision of euthanasia?

I’ll bet the thought didn’t occur to them because, somehow, it never does.

More articles on this topic:

  • Quebec doctor testified that COVID patients were euthanized rather than treated (Link).  
  • Quebec COVID inquest uncovers nursing home deaths from neglect and abuse (Link).


Jeanne said...

For years now, I have been saying the same thing about euthanasia, how convenient that it has become "legal" now that the gov't is faced with the enormous task of caring for a whole lot of aging people, with little resources... But let's keep up with the overpopulation rhetoric... please... stop having kids... You really can't fix stupid...

Anonymous said...

Well said Jeanne, can a da( the broken country} is a culture of death killing its own people from birth to elderly... God help us.

Madellen said...

We have a situation in Canada where doctors and dentists will not treat acute or chronic pain with strong pain killers like T3 or even tramadol, the weakest opiates available. I would argue that 1. patients can be effectively screen for dependency risk, and 2 opioid dependency risk for older adults with chronic pain may not be as crippling than their untreated pain.
In some cases doctors don't provide enough to manage the duration of pain or they refuse to renew prescriptions. I have twice experienced this concerning dental pain. I have also experienced it concerning osteoarthritis and neurosurgery.
So we have doctors witholding appropriate pain management and hospitals restricting access to pain clinc. Yet these patients may be eligible for assisted suicide to end their chronic pain suffering!
It's an unethical and very dangerous situation.

Madellen said...

Absolutely. Proponents gloss over that fact among others. They are just thinking of themsrlves not the big picture. And doctors are like sacred cows. We all have to defer to them, never have a voice stronger than theirs, always be 'compliant'

Maria Moores said...

How true. Well said, and very sadly, true. It would be really nice to see an article on how disabled folks can keep our spirits intact in a country that seems to want to kill us.