By Wesley J. Smith
The in-the-tank media is huffing and puffing, trying to make something important out of an entirely predictable recommendation by the Royal Society of Canada commission to legalize euthanasia. But commissions can be created to obtain a specific result, as this one was and did.
In fact, I told you this very thing would happen two years ago, to be precise, on October 28, 2009. Here’s the Secondhand Smoke post, “Stacking the Deck for Euthanasia in Canadian ‘End of Life’ Commission” in its entirety :
“Expert commissions” to advise on contentious issues of public policy are usually political tools designed to come to a predetermined conclusion in order to pave the way for a desired policy changes. Remember that as we take a look at a new commission being appointed by the Royal Society of Canada to look into end of life issues. From the story:
Queen’s Philosophy professor Udo Schuklenk has been selected to head a prestigious new international panel on “End-of-Life Decision Making” in Canada. Appointed by the Royal Society of Canada, the expert panel will investigate key aspects of this critical issue – including voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide – and prepare a public report.
Stories such as this never seem to look deeper than the job titles of the panelists, as if they come to their work with no preexisting positions. So, I decide to check, starting with Udo Schuklenk. What a surprise: He’s a pro euthanasia philosopher. How do I know? He’s said so in an essay explaining why he is an atheist…
I don’t care about his religious views, but to chair a panel with such a clear view in favor of assisted suicide, indicates the direction in which the commission’s recommendations are expected (designed) to go.
But perhaps I am being too cynical. Let’s see who else is on the commission: Ah, Scot philosophy professor Sheila McClean who wrote “The Case for Assisted Suicide,” a book described as arguing fervently in favor of legalization. Hmm, I wonder how she will vote?
Another commissioner is a Dutch euthanasia researcher. Cute.
Then there’s Jocelyn Downie, author of “Dying Justice,” a book urging the decriminalization of both euthanasia and assisted suicide. The bias isn’t even subtle.
I spent some time researching the views of the two remaining members, but neither seemed to be particularly involved in the issue. So let’s count them, at least for now, as neutrals. No matter: Even assuming both are as adamantly opposed to assisted suicide as their co panelists appear to be for it, the deck is stacked, the fix is in, 4-2 for permitting assisted suicide in at least some cases.
The next step in this Kabuki Theater will be for the media to trip over themselves to report breathlessly that “the experts” have deeply pondered, and determined–after much hand wringing, there is always hand wringing–that assisted suicide should be allowed. It is all so scripted and predictable.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.