Catholic Arena –
Ireland is considering the legalization of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.
An Bille um Bás Dínitiúil, 2020 — The Dying with Dignity Bill 2020 — is before the Oireachtas right now. Naïve people think we can try this radical experiment and then just repeal it if it ‘does not work.’ Once legalized, the consequences will be nigh impossible to reverse.
The only time a law on Euthanasia has been repealed occurred in the Northern Territory of Australia where it was legal between 1996-97. The Australian Federal Government overturned the law because their Territories are under federal jurisdiction.
The genie does NOT want to go back in the bottle — 2019 Euthanasia was made legal in the State of Victoria and it will become legal this year in the State of Western Australia.
Assisted Suicide: [AS] a person takes a legally-provided toxic dose of medication to die at their own hand. (Jurisdictions like the USA only allow Assisted Suicide.)
Voluntary Euthanasia: [VE] a health-care provider legally injects a lethal dose of medication to intentionally kill a willing person. (This is allowed under certain provisions in the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020.)
Involuntary Euthanasia: [IE] a person — typically a health-care provider or family member — administers a lethal dose of medication to intentionally kill an unwilling person without consent. (This is happening in the Netherlands and Belgium: reasonable people call this ‘murder.’)
In our Post-Modern society ‘Personal Autonomy’ is the prime justification for Voluntary Euthanasia: which is a legal homicide. The wishes of the individual are the paramount justification. Some people are allowed to demand that another person — on behalf of the state — must kill them. There is no consideration of the choices of family, friends, community, society at-large nor consideration of the effects on our established cultural norms, Human Rights and hundreds of years of legal and medical precedent.
A concrete analogy (well, metal actually!) of how one person may affect others can be seen in the Newtons Cradle! Watch how even stationary metal balls affect the movement of the others — a similar effect happens with the interaction between people in society!
Hippocrates professed his Oath at a time when physicians had virtually no effective medications or surgery, but he understood the importance of the Physician: Patient relationship and the trust which must exist between them. It is puzzling that now, when we have phenomenal medicine and surgery, people feel the need to die.
This radical Post-Modern experiment is moving rapidly throughout the world for the past 20 to 40 years. It has almost no precedent — it is as if we have forgotten history. For example, the move to allow infanticide and euthanasia of children is mirrored only by the eugenic program in pre-WWII Nazi Germany. Two ethicists in the Journal of Medical Ethics (from the BMJ) argued for infanticide-on-demand, which they call “after-birth abortion.” Their logic is that “the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.”
(Though, our ‘civilized’ society kills most every Down Syndrome child eugenically in-utero after genetic testing followed by abortion.)
Family: it will be years before we discover the true damage caused by Euthanasia on children. There must be a profound sense of abandonment, loss and grief in the children left to pick up the pieces: “Mam didn’t love me enough…” or, “She would have stayed if I had just loved her a little bit more…”
Friends & Community: Every person is inter-connected with other members in society. If that is not the case, someone really needs to explain why everyone around the world has made so many sacrifices during the COVID19 pandemic!
Society: When we devalue life, we see others as mere objects. That always ends badly. (With torture, Involuntary Euthanasia, Capital Punishment, etc.)
Involuntary Euthanasia: Sociopathic people will flock to Health Care when there is unfettered ability to kill patients. Eventually some will graduate to Involuntary Euthanasia because, of course, they know that they are “doing Granny a favour” even when she says “NO” and resists…
Capital Punishment: When we perceive little value in the life of others, there are increasing calls for the death penalty. Curiously all the arguments against Capital Punishment/the Death Penalty hold against Voluntary Euthanasia. Logical consistency demands both…or neither!
Suicide Prevention: Soon all suicide prevention will have to battle against a societal acceptance that suicide and death are ‘The Cure’ for all suffering. (Within 2 years Euthanasia will be available in Canada for those suffering from mental illnesses.)
“I’m the future version of myself who survived to tell you this.”
Garifalia (Lia) Milousis. (http://www.TellMeToStay.ca/)
It may take a couple of years but eventually some young adult — with their whole life ahead of them — will be euthanized legally under Bill C-7. When Canada kills someone like Lia, I will quote Charles Dickens and say: “The Law is an Ass…”
Suicide Contagion: Main Stream Media tout the recipients of euthanasia as heroes and heroines. They persuade vulnerable people that Euthanasia is the “strong” and “compassionate” thing to do. This leads to the Werther Syndrome: ‘suicide contagion.’ (We will likely see an increase in suicide in the children of previous recipients of Euthanasia also.)
Palliative Care: Killing a patient is cheap so the funding for expensive palliative-care programs will be reduced. That, in turn, will lead to more seeking Euthanasia.
The Demographic Death-Knell: Most western countries have birth rates way below replacement levels. Add to that the active killing of many healthy unborn children and then the killing of the depressed & ill and we can destroy a society and culture simply by the attrition of the population.
Health Care Workers: Truly caring people will leave the professions because there will be killing and pitiful little caring.
Human Rights: Our Human Rights are now open for revision. Take the Supreme Court of Canada redefinition of words (a linguistic ‘sleight of hand’) to mean the diametric opposite of their usual meaning. As stated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms we have ‘the Right to Life.’ (“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”) The SCC redefined this to mean that some Canadians have the Right to Die…and to even demand that another citizen must do the deed…
Failed Trust in Institutions: Some people in Holland go to hospital with a card specifying that the do not want to be Euthanized. Some believe that Supreme Courts are more interested in extreme “Judicial Activism.”
The Death of Language: Euphemisms block the meaning of our words. (For example, “Assisted Suicide” includes Euthanasia: the direct and intentional killing of a person.)
Dignity: Being killed with a poison is still being killed. It is cleaner. It may be quicker. It gives a small sense of control…but no-one really explains how it can increase human dignity.
As Daniel Groody has said, ‘Human beings, have by their very existence, inherent value, worth, and distinction’.
“If you don’t like euthanasia, don’t have one…”
That is like a Confederate soldier during the US Civil War saying: “If you don’t agree with Slavery, don’t have a slave…”
We all now see the moral error in slavery. People will come to realize the moral error in Euthanasia.
Kevin is a UCD grad & a rural Family Physician in Alberta, Canada.
You can follow him on Twitter @kevinhay77 (Please, be careful on Anti-Social Media.)