By Wesley J. Smith
The principle that all patients must always receive humane care is under pronounced assault in bioethics, Indeed, some bioethicists now argue that nursing homes should be required to starve Alzheimer’s patients to death–even if they willingly eat, and presumably even if the patient begs for food–if so instructed in an advance medical directive.
To show you how the culture of death corrupts, spoon feeding isn’t a medical treatment. It is basic humane care–akin to keeping clean, warm, or turning to prevent bed sores. Just as the latter three would never be withheld regardless of an advance directive, neither should food and water!
But suicide pushers now teach people how to kill themselves by starvation, called “voluntary stop eating and drinking” (VSED) in the culture of death trade. So, these bioethicists say that those who aren’t competent to commit VSED, should have the right to have others kill them slowly by refusing to provide them food and water when they are capable of eating and drinking by mouth.
“VSED-by-proxy” is supported increasingly in high places. For the second time (that I know of), a supportive article was published in the prestigious Hastings Center Report. From, “Controlling the End Game of Dementia,” by Paul T. Menzel and M. Colette Chandler-Cramer:
Advance directives to withhold food and water by mouth add an important option not contingent on happening to need life-sustaining treatment. Existing U.S. law does not provide such directives a bright green light, but it provides considerable logical support.
Competent patients already have the legal right to die by stopping eating and drinking, as well as the legal right to direct refusal of treatment in advance, including treatments absolutely necessary for continued life. So if becoming incompetent doesn’t cause someone to lose her rights but only means the rights have to be invoked by a proxy, why should becoming incompetent cause someone to lose the right to die by refusing to eat and drink?
Understand: This is not refusing a feeding tube–which is deemed medical treatment and can be refused by advance directive. Ditto, antibiotics, etc…
Rather, to repeat myself so that the point is sure to sink in–it would force nursing homes and care facilities to starve patients to death who willingly eat and drink!
The advocacy strategy here, of course, is to allow the lethal injecting of Alzheimer’s patients, e.g., “Why should we be forced to starve these people when we could easily inject them?” The answer is: We shouldn’t starve them!
The way things are going, the only people allowed in medicine will be those willing to kill. How scary is that?
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s blog.