By Wesley J. Smith
The Portuguese parliament has voted to legalize lethal-injection euthanasia. The president is expected to sign the bill shortly.
With Portugal, much of Western Europe outside of Scandinavia has legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide. Here’s a quick list.
- Germany has death-on-demand after its highest court ruled that committing suicide — for whatever reason — is a constitutional right and that having assistance is an ancillary aspect of that right.
- An Austrian court recently issued a similar ruling, although that remains subject to appeal.
- The Netherlands has lethal-injection euthanasia for all ages, including babies and children, and has conjoined doctor-administered death with organ harvesting — including of people who are mentally ill.
- Belgian euthanasia law is as radical as that of the Netherlands. There have even been joint euthanasia killings of elderly couples and people with mental illnesses.
- Spain recently legalized lethal-injection euthanasia.
- Switzerland allows suicide clinics to make people dead for a fee, which created the “suicide tourism” phenomenon.
- Luxembourg permits lethal-injection euthanasia.
The issue is also being pushed hard in Ireland, Scotland, and the U.K., with Ireland the most likely to be the next country to jump into the abyss.
Euthanasia/assisted suicide is spreading throughout other Western countries. New Zealand just legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide, after 65 percent of voters approved in a national referendum. Two Australian states, Victoria and Western Australia, legalized assisted suicide, with much of the rest of the country debating the issue.
Canada has a radical and expanding regime of lethal-injection euthanasia. The next step will be to remove death as “reasonably foreseeable” and permitting dementia patients to order themselves killed.
Meanwhile, eight U.S. states (California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, Vermont, Maine, and New Jersey) and the District of Columbia permit doctor-assisted suicide by statute, with some moving to allow nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to lethally prescribe. Montana also has a murky supreme court ruling permitting assisted suicide without restrictions. There are serious legalization efforts afoot right now in New York, Connecticut, New Mexico, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
Culture of death, Wesley? What culture of death?
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.