Wife Loses Lawsuit to Prevent Husband’s Euthanasia

By Wesley J. Smith

Euthanasia/assisted suicide subverts family cohesion. For example, what if one spouse wants to be made dead, and that decision is opposed by the other? Or, what if siblings object to a depressed brother’s decisions to be put down and beg doctors not to kill him, to no avail?

Both cases happened in Canada, the most recent involving a wife trying to prevent her husband’s being euthanized. She lost because the benefit of the doubt goes to death once assisted suicide/euthanasia becomes legal. From the Saltwire.com story:

As part of the evidence, one nurse practitioner said the husband met the criteria for assisted suicide, while another argued he did not. The latter “authored a separate written report in which she elaborated that ‘I do not feel he is capable of making decisions regarding MAID due to dementia. . . . He has a grievous progressive and incurable illness (dementia/COPD) but I do not feel that death is foreseeable.’ ”

Imagine being helpless to prevent a doctor or nurse practitioner from killing your beloved spouse!

We saw the same phenomenon here in the States, too. Early on in Oregon’s assisted-suicide regime (as reported by the Oregonian)Kate Cheney — an elderly woman with dementia — was determined by a psychiatrist to be mentally ineligible to consent to assisted suicide, and moreover, believed Cheney’s daughter might be driving the process. If the “protective guidelines” worked as advertised, that would have been the end of it. But, as often happens, the daughter went doctor shopping and a psychologist okayed the assisted suicide despite the potential for family pressure. And so it came to pass.

The moral of these stories: In a culture of death, death always has the upper hand.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.