Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Irish assisted dying bill is not limited to terminally ill people.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I recently assessed the Tasmania bill which allows wide-open euthanasia. The Tasmania bill is a massive 122 page spider web of text that appears to have comprehensive safeguards but is actually designed to protect medical practitioners who choose to kill rather than protecting vulnerable people.

The Irish "Dying with dignity" euthanasia bill is short but it also crafted to protect medical practitioners who are willing to kill. It is important to note that the Irish bill legalizes both euthanasia (lethal injection) and assisted suicide. 

The bill first outlines the penalties that medical practitioners could face if they abuse the law, but when reading the law, it appears impossible to charge someone for abusing the law.

Definitions:

Qualifying persons

7. For the purposes of this Act, a person is a qualifying person if he or she—

(a) is terminally ill,

(b) has a clear and settled intention to end his or her own life and has made adeclaration to that effect in accordance with section 9, and

(c) on the day the declaration is made—

    (i) the individual is aged 18 or over, and

    (ii) is a resident on the island of Ireland and has been for not less than one year.
Terminally ill

8. For the purposes of this Act, a person is terminally ill if that person—
(a) has been diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner as having an incurable and progressive illness which cannot be reversed by treatment, and the person is likely to die as a result of that illness or complications relating there to (“a terminal illness”), and

(b) treatment which only relieves the symptoms of an inevitably progressive condition temporarily is not to be regarded for the purposes of paragraph (a) as treatment which can reverse that condition.
The bill claims to be limited to terminally ill people, but the definition of terminal illness: "having an incurable and progressive illness which cannot be reversed by treatment, and the person is likely to die as a result of that illness or complications" does not include a time-frame for death and uses the term likely to cause death.

Therefore the bill is not limited to terminally ill people but rather people with chronic or terminal conditions. There are many people who are not terminally ill but are defined as terminally ill by this bill.

The bill permits death by lethal injection (euthanasia) and death by (self-administering) assisted suicide. Canada legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide but nearly all of the deaths are done by euthanasia. Within four years already two percent of all Canadian deaths are assisted. The promoters of the bill may compare Ireland to Oregon, where assisted suicide but not euthanasia is legalized. When euthanasia is also legalized the number of deaths will be much higher.

The bill requires the attending physician to be present at the time of administering the lethal drugs. The bill does not require an independent person to be present at the time of administering lethal drugs to ensure that the law is followed.

Similar to other jurisdictions, the Irish bill requires the attending physician to report the death to the "Review Committee." The law uses a "self-reporting" system which is designed to protect medical professionals who are willing to kill. Medical professionals will not self-report possible abuse of the law.

Conscience protection.

The bill does not require medical practitioners object to killing to participate but it does require a "transfer of care."

The Irish "Dying with dignity" euthanasia bill claims to limit euthanasia and assisted suicide to terminally ill people, but in fact it redefines terminal illness to include people with chronic conditions. Many people with chronic conditions are not dying but are defined as terminally ill within the bill.

The bill is designed to provide legal protection for medical practitioners who are willing to kill. The bill starts with legal penalties for abusing the law, but there is no effective mechanism to determine that the law has been abused. The only way to uncover abuse of the law is through the reporting system, but the law employs a self-reporting system which completely protects the doctors who participate in the law.

Ireland must reject the "Dying with Dignity" euthanasia bill and commit to caring and not killing.

6 comments:

Nancy said...

Ireland must reject the "Dying with Dignity" euthanasia bill and commit to caring and not killing. Thank you very much, Alex! If there's a petition available to sign, please send it to me!

dee said...

Thank you for your work! One thing I was interested in is if your Life insurance policy is still in effect if you are euthanized? We are dealing with a relatives death and the insurance company is asking all kinds of questions and I think it is because the person was younger and died of cancer, but they are trying to find out if they were euthanized!!! Which they definitely were not!! Would their policy be annulled if they were???!! Just wondering what happens to all the insurance policies if they ARE euthanized??!!!

Alex Schadenberg said...

Life Insurance policies are not affected by euthanasia or assisted suicide. The law Canadian clearly states, for those reasons, that this is not a suicide, homicide, etc.

dee said...

Oh ok, thank you, I wonder why they are so interested in details?

Corrina Conlan said...

Horrible- just like B.C ! No one protected my poor innocent defenceless mom after her brain surgery! She agreed to have brain surgery to extend her life but CHILLIWACK hospital cit her tubefeed agaisnt my.request snuck lethal injections killing her! No justice- no reprocuctions! Dr.punk doctor arrogant Ryan Gant asked me if I owned a home and what my mom did for a income! Dispicitable! I tried to get a lawyer and that's when he told me about intheirname.ca!

Kevin Y said...

Good stuff, Alex. Thanks for staying abreast of these worrying developments.