Monday, May 3, 2021

Pressure to expand euthanasia and assisted suicide laws.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

As I have written before, the euthanasia lobby will promote "safeguards" or limits to assisted dying laws to sell its legalization to the public, but once legalized the death lobby will soon promote the expansion of the law.

For instance, the first legal challenge to Canada's euthanasia law was launched only 10 days after parliament passed Bill C-14. Canada's parliament introduced Bill C-7, to expand Canada's euthanasia law, on February 24, 2020, less than four years after legalizing euthanasia and without carrying out the required review of the euthanasia law. 

YES, Canada expanded its euthanasia law without first completing a review of the law that the legislation required.

Australian states are also being pressured to expand their euthanasia laws, even though they only recently legalized medical killing.

HOPE Australia reported that there is pressure to expand the Western Australian euthanasia law even before it has been implemented and an article published in The Age on May 3 reports that a bill will be debated in Victoria Australia to expand its euthanasia law, a law that has only been in place since 2019.

California is debating Bill SB 380 to expand its assisted suicide law and Washington State debated a bill to expand its assisted suicide law that thankfully failed to pass.

Jurisdictions that are considering the legalization of euthanasia need to be aware that the safeguards (that are usually written with imprecise language) are designed to sell the legalization of medical killing and not designed to protect people in vulnerable situations.

The assisted death lobby views these "safeguards" as creating a pathway to legalization and after legalizing the act they promote these same "safeguards" as barriers to access.

Negotiating the "safeguards" will not lead to a safer law, it only provides the death lobby with an ability to sell the law to the general public. Once legal, the death lobby will propose expansions.

1 comment:

gordon friesen said...

This is indeed a most diabolical ratchet-like strategy. Although we have experienced it up close in Canada, it remains difficult to offer definite advice to our friends elsewhere.

One point, I believe to be key, is the whole question of "legal" vs "desirable", and this, particularly from a medical standpoint. USA for instance, is not like Canada. The govt can not just decree the nature of medicine the way that has been done in our socialist system.

As an analogy, I would reference the Declaration of Independence, where some rights are delimited, including the "pursuit of happiness". Please note that "happiness" itself is not defined as a right, but only its "pursuit". In the same way, I would like to see our American cousins insist that the decriminalization of assisted suicide in no way entails a "right" to that service (as has so perniciously been claimed in Canada). A suicidal individual has the mere right to "pursue" that service (by finding a Dr or clinic willing to accommodate him within the scope of the law). No more.

In particular, there is no reason, in a free medical system, why any institution should be held to offer this service. On the contrary. Free competition would imply that hospitals be allowed to exploit this consumer advantage by hanging prominent banners on the front of their facilities clearly proclaiming : "Doctors will kill no patients here".

Once again, as we have found in Canada, the real battle is not about legalization, it is about normalization. And people in the USA have advantages to fight that terrible tendency which we do not have. I wish to warmly encourage our American friends to use those precious advantages to the utmost.

Gordon Friesen, Montreal (français) (english site in development) (personal philosophical musings)