By Wesley J. Smith
Alas. The president of Portugal just signed into law a bill legalizing euthanasia by lethal injection. It is not limited to the terminally ill — which is at least honest, since that is not what euthanasia/assisted suicide is really all about.
The law specifies that people would be allowed to request assistance in dying in cases when they are “in a situation of intense suffering, with definitive injury of extreme gravity or serious and incurable disease.”
It establishes a two-month gap between accepting a request and the actual procedure and makes psychological support mandatory.
Strict guidelines and all that jazz. Not only are they unlikely to be strictly enforced but will soon be redefined from protections to barriers, toward the end of being loosened — an ongoing process that pushes virtually every jurisdiction with legalized euthanasia/assisted suicide toward ever-widening the qualifications to be made dead.
So Portugal now joins the International Death Caucus, consisting of (at my last count) most of Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Panama, Germany (which has a court-declared fundamental right to commit suicide, be assisted, and assist, without regard to rhyme or reason) and nine U.S. states. France may legalize soon, and the agitation continues in the U.K., Scotland, and Ireland, as well as several U.S. states.
Meanwhile, Nevada’s legislature, in a close vote, passed a bill legalizing assisted suicide. Hey, Republican governor Joe Lombardo! Veto it!
In all of this, I am reminded of the old adage, be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. Once a culture accepts killing/suicide as an acceptable answer to suffering, sooner or later it will become death-embracing — like Canada, where nearly 30 percent of the population sees induced death as an acceptable remedy for the misery caused by poverty.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his approval.