By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Steve Forbes, wrote an excellent article for Forbes.com titled: Time to Terminate ‘Assisted Dying.’
Forbes cuts to the chase when commenting on the abuses with the Netherlands, Belgium, and now Canadian euthanasia laws:
Many thousands of patients have been disposed of since Holland and Belgium enacted these morally repugnant laws. Belgium now allows euthanasia to be applied even to children, acknowledging recently that between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017, two children, ages 9 and 11, who were afflicted with a brain tumor and cystic fibrosis, respectively, and a 17-year-old, who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, had been put to death. Apologists say these kids gave their consent, as did their parents. Good God! Are we to believe that youngsters should be making such decisions?
Holland has been hit with scandals in which patients were administered lethal injections without their consent, in order to free up “needed” hospital beds. After all, the reasoning went, these people were going to die soon, anyway. In Belgium, according to a news report, a member of the Federal Commission for Euthanasia Control & Evaluation resigned last year “in protest at the unchecked killings of dementia patients.”
What’s happening here is an ugly, slippery slope. Instead of working to alleviate the tribulations of the afflicted and innovating ever better ways to do this, we simply “put them out of their misery,” the way we do with household pets.
It’s not only in Belgium and the Netherlands that we’re seeing this awful phenomenon. A chronically ill man in Canada is suing the government because medical personnel allegedly and illegally tried to coerce him into going the assisted-suicide route to save money. “Why force me to end my life?” the plaintiff asked.
Forbes then comments on why people are asking for euthanasia:
Research shows that many euthanasia and assisted-suicide victims are suffering from depression. They should be treated, not abandoned. As for physical suffering, it’s hardly beyond the capabilities of modern medicine to effectively manage pain with older, well-established medications, as well as newer, better drugs.
It’s true that in the U.S. we have a serious opioid crisis. Nonetheless, the response shouldn’t be a diminution in pain management but, alternatively, a focus on reducing and eventually eliminating the abuses.
The temptation to use euthanasia as a solution will only increase as populations age and as cash-strapped governments and insurers scramble to find ways to reduce growing healthcare costs. It should be axiomatic that life is sacrosanct, whether or not you are religious.
Morally and pragmatically, such practices have no place in a truly civilized and humane society.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.