Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Irish Psychiatrist issues warning as physically healthy Dutch and Canadian autistic women are approved for death by euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

As Ireland debates legalizing euthanasia, a leading psychiatrist issued a warning that the recent case of a physically healthy 28-year-old autistic woman in the Netherlands, and a healthy 27-year-old autistic woman in Canada who have been approved for euthanasia could also become a reality in Ireland if euthanasia is legalized.

Maria Maynes was published by RIPT on April 9, 2024 concerning the debate to legalize euthanasia in Ireland. Maynes interviewed Consultant psychiatrist, Professor Patricia Casey, a specialist in Adult Psychiatry. Maynes reportes:
recent cases unfolding worldwide involving physically healthy young people should provide evidence to Irish lawmakers that “the slippery slope exists,” as she expressed particular concern about those with autism choosing assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Last month, this publication also reported on the Canadian case of an unnamed 27-year-old woman, who was also autistic, and had chosen to die by physician assisted suicide. While the father of the unnamed woman tried to intervene through court action, arguing that she did not have the ability to consent to the death under Canada’s MAiD programme, his intervention was unsuccessful.

There have also been cases in Belgium, where Asperger’s (now subsumed under the autistic spectrum) is among the most common conditions for which Belgians seek euthanasia on mental health grounds, alongside personality disorders and depression.
Maynes quoted Casey as stating:
“There is a danger that when young, autistic people see a problem that they will look for what they see is a simple solution, or a trendy solution,” she said.
Casey also stated:
“I was struck by the photograph of 28-year-old Zoraya ter Beek in the Netherlands, who was pictured surreally embraced in the arms of her boyfriend while announcing that she was due to die on May 28th. This photograph conceals the turmoil and nihilism behind her decision and may well be used in the future to promote assisted dying as a calming answer to one’s problems.”
Professor Casey compares the issue to the romanticizing of suicide that was successfully countered by national campaigns. Professor Casey fears that the same type of romanticizing of death by euthanasia will also occur.

Professor Anne Doherty examined the issue of suicide rates in jurisdictions that have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide. Professor Casey referred to her research and stated:
“Prof Doherty found that the rate of non-assisted suicide increased after assisted suicide was legalised, and I fear we will see exactly the same pattern. I also think it is very nihilistic to say to people, ‘There is no help. Why don’t you go for assisted suicide?’ I mean, it is such a dark thing to say to anybody. I think it should be absolutely taboo, but instead of that, it is now becoming glamorised.”
Professor also commented on the "bracket creep" in countries that have legalized euthanasia and stated:
“This is what has happened in a range of countries. The Netherlands, for instance, didn’t start with euthanasia for young people with mental illness. It legislated initially for those with terminal illness. Similarly in Canada and in Belgium. Now all of those countries are allowing assisted suicide for young people, or for people with mental illness – or a combination of both.”

As for the concern that people with Autism are more susceptible to requesting euthanasia, Casey stated:

“One of the reasons a young person with autism may be more susceptible is due to the fact that a lot of those with autism have unusual interests and hobbies. For example, some would have an interest in the afterlife, or the occult, or similar. We also know that some individuals who are on the autistic spectrum have very fixed beliefs about things, and so can be quite suggestible.

“Once something has been suggested, the person can fixate on that. I think the interest in unusual things, something we often see in those with ASD, and some of the things that are outside the norm, along with their tendency to fixate on things, would make that person particularly vulnerable. For instance, people with rigid thinking, such as many of those with ASD, find it difficult to consider alternative solutions to problems. And this may render them more than willing to choose this particular pathway to death.

Professor Casey also commented on the Social Contagion that is likely to happen with euthanasia:

“There will be a social contagion aspect, because as we know, teenagers and young adults are always online now. One person engaging in, or planning, an assisted suicide, will be in touch with others in their group and that contagion effect is very toxic.”

“We must not forget that suicide clusters existed in the recent past, because of social contagion. And it is difficult to escape that prospect in relation to assisted suicide, also.”

Ireland is currently debating the legalization of euthanasia. A recent parliamentary report was released which advocated that euthanasia be legalized for a person diagnosed with a disease, illness or medical condition that is both incurable and irreversible; advanced, progressive, and will likely cause death within six months (or within 12 months in the case of someone with a neuro-degenerative disease, illness or condition; and suffering in a manner that the person “cannot be relieved in a manner that the person finds tolerable.”

The Irish report obviously decided to push for the legalization of euthanasia in a fairly wide open manner.

For further reading, Gordon Friesen, the President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition issued a warning to Ireland in his article: If euthanasia is legalized as a cure for suffering, then suffering people will be "cured" with euthanasia!



Yes, there are obvious dangers if and when 'mental illness' is permitted as a valid reason for choosing death. Most psychological problems should NOT be 'solved' by Merciful Death. But when people with mental problems ask for death, this could be an good opportunity to provide meaningful psychological treatments. DISCOVERING PEOPLE WHO NEED PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP.

gadfly said...

Replying to the above, if you're in favour of assisted suicide, refusing that for specific reasons is cruel and means you don't care about their suffering. If you're in favour, you have no choice, you have to accept every death as valid. After all, if it's about ending suffering, then you don't get to decide. So you can't stop at mental illness or burden of life on others, you have to accept those instances as normal. It's baked into the starting assumptions. On the other hand, the disability community among others have been warning about mission creep since day one, so proponents can't say they weren't warned...

Voice of Gone Ballistic said...

A decade or so ago in BC there was a real problem in BC called suicide contagion among the young indigenous population. Whole villages were being affected. I am sure it is still going on but it is hidden from the media.

Vi said...

The huge problem (& massive deception) is people THINK euthanasia will end their "suffering" won't. The Devil is a wicked liar.

The fact that the world has been taught to mock those with faith, to do what thou wilt, to deny GOD/JESUS' existence & to dismiss the Bible as nothing but a bunch of "fairy tales" has made for a spiritually weak, hopeless, desperate, angry, selfish, prideful, fearful society.

This dangerous lack of faith & the do what though wilt mindset/teaching has produced nothing but a vicious, confused, easily triggered, hedonistic, miserable, uncaring, hopeless, addicted, prideful & wicked culture of death. Just look around us. :(

However, there IS (still) HOPE, in JESUS (regardless of what has been pushed by lost, God-hating, militant atheists).

I speak from experience, as someone who came THIS CLOSE to committing suicide at 15 years old. At the time, I was angry, vengeful, desperate, hopeless, depressed & in physical and emotional pain (suffering/turmoil), at the hands of an abusive, angry, bitter (resentful), alcoholic mother, for years.

As a result, I really THOUGHT I wanted to die (& hurt my mother with my suicide, in the process). In reality, I didn't want to die, at all. What I desperately wanted was to get out of that abusive life I had been living with my mother. God knew...

From childhood, I had always believed in God/Jesus...but THAT day (a day that would change the course of my life & would begin to grow my faith), I became acutely aware of the presence of God & I was suddenly filled with a calmness (in my mind & body) & for the FIRST time ever...I was filled with HOPE. Praise God! It was as if the hand of GOD literally stopped me in my tracks (got my attention) & I understood!

Amazingly, the suicidal thoughts, intentions, deep depression, coupled with the feelings of vengeance towards my mother (that had consumed & tormented me for a couple of years prior to that day) & the hopelessness, were all gone! Never to return again. Glory to God!

That's not to say that my living arrangements changed in an instant. In fact, I would go through even more abuse until I was finally removed from my mother's house & made a Ward of the Court at almost 17 years old.

However, I had been delivered from that hopelessness, depression, anger, vengeance, sorrow, etc., & had been given strength, peace of mind, patience & most importantly...HOPE. From that day on, I knew that God was with me (watching over me).

That was almost 47 years ago & sure enough...GOD has been more than faithful (& ever present in my life) over the years. His existence is undeniable (& life changing) and HE has made a way for me, in the most difficult times of my life (where there seemed to be no way) every. single. time. (: Glory to God!

My friends, all we need to do is to ignore the naysayers (& the mockers) & humbly call out to God/Jesus. Step out in FAITH & place all of your burdens at the foot of the cross and HE will show you that HE does indeed exist & make a way for you in your time of need (where there seems to be no way. Blessings, Love & Hope, in Christ.

(Romans 5:1-5)
5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Hebrews 11:1
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.