By Wesley J. Smith
Editor’s note. Wesley J. Smith and Alex Schadenberg are teaming up to address the American and Canadian experience with euthanasia and assisted suicide at the 2023 National Right to Life Convention. For more information, go to https://nrlconvention.com/product-category/2023-registration.
How can a medical association be neutral on granting doctors a license to kill or assist the suicide of their patients? This is a matter of the gravest medical ethical concern, an action, remember, that was strictly proscribed 2,500 years ago in the Hippocratic Oath.
But yield to the pressures of the activists the Royal College of Surgeons has done, in an act of utter cowardice based on a survey answered by only 19 percent of its members. From the Daily Mail story:
The Royal College of Surgeons is no longer opposed to assisted dying and are now ‘neutral’, it has been announced.The organisation’s council members voted after discussing survey results, which showed an appetite for change, a move which has been welcomed by campaigners.
In the organisation’s independent assisted dying survey, which was carried out over four week in February and March this year, found that more than half of respondents would support a change in the law to allow assisted dying.
A fifth of the 19 per cent of membership that responded said the organisation should take a neutral stance, which just three per cent were undecided.
Just over a quarter said they were opposed to a change.
So, most member doctors didn’t care enough about the wellbeing of their patients to even bother answering the survey! What a travesty. Doctors should lead on crucial moral and issues such as this, not be merely flotsam and jetsam floating on the seas of cultural shift.
They should care, though, or, perhaps better stated, they will be made to. Chances are, if assisted suicide/euthanasia becomes legal in the U.K., doctors will be forced to participate either by doing the deadly deed or finding a doctor who will — like physicians are required to do in Ontario.
Speaking of Canada, 8 percent of people who die in Quebec are now killed by doctors or nurses. As if that weren’t enough, Quebec loosened the “strict guidelines” again to allow people to order themselves killed in advance if they become incompetent. It also requires palliative care and hospice facilities to kill qualified patients who ask to die — an act utterly contrary to the hospice philosophy.
If the same percentage were to be killed in the U.S.A. as are in Quebec, it would amount to about 275,00o homicides/assisted suicides annually. Do we really want to go there? Because if we legalize assisted suicide widely, eventually we will.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns are found at National Review Online and reposted with permission.