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National newspaper of Canada editorializes against the “slippery slope of assisted dying”

by | Sep 8, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

euthanasia12reThe all ahead flank speed race in Canada to embrace physician-assisted suicide and make disagreement with it nearly impossible is almost incomparable dangerous. And that applies not only to the medically vulnerable and the physicians to the North who want no part of “assisting” patients to die, but to those of us in the United States who are battling our own home-grown version of the assisted-suicide movement.

The National Post is often referred to as Canada’s national paper. So when it editorialized today on “The slippery slope of assisted dying,” it is important to see what the editorial board has to say.

Hint: the Post is amazed by the speed from which the theoretical–a right to “medical aid in dying”–has morphed into a proposed implementation that is genuinely radical (my word).

According to the editorial (as we discussed multiple times last week) in preparation for implementing Quebec’s Bill 52

the province’s college of physicians has issued kits to be made available to health professionals who will do the killing by lethal injection. In an interview with the National Post, college of physicians secretary, Dr. Yves Robert, was at pains to stress the fact that Bill 52 “is clearly not euthanasia on demand,” and that it will remain limited to mentally fit adult patients suffering from an incurable and irreversible late-stage illness.

And the Post editorial cuts right to the chase:

Will it?

The Post correctly observes

In every state or country in which the practice has been normalized, it has also, to some degree, become banalized, with eligibility criteria increasingly relaxed.

Common patterns in all jurisdictions in Europe that allow euthanasia or assisted suicide show increasing numbers over time, and a shift from a focus on terminal cancer to other diseases, including psychiatric conditions (the Quebec law does not rule out intolerable psychological pain as a criterion). Supposed safeguards also decline in frequency.

In other words, the numbers climb, the criteria loosen, and what was supposed to be reserved for the “terminally ill” (as the Post editorializes)

“is rapidly acquiring the aura of a “right” that all enlightened and progressive-minded people should naturally embrace.

We resist that idea.

To its credit, the Post refuses to simply supine at the altar of active court, in this case, the Supreme Court of Canada. Justices are quite capable of making egregious errors, and it does a court (or anybody else) no good to blindly submit when that same court may well soon discover it made a horrific error. As the Post put it

[T]here is no inherent right to demand the state end your life for you, whatever the Supreme Court’s efforts to discern one in the Constitution’s invisible ink.

Here’s the penultimate paragraph in the editorial. (What is underlined are my emphases):

Polls and surveys indicating rising support for end-of-life autonomy seem to reinforce the inevitability of a societal shift. But that is because people are judging hypothetical, abstract scenarios, and because the options are presented in stark terms of “compassion” on the one hand and the prolongation of intolerable suffering on the other, a false choice.

It is a false choice. But what is even more maddening is that the forces the power physician-assisted suicide know this as well.

They just don’t care about the truth. Why? Because truth gets in the way of their agenda which is physician-assisted suicide for anyone who wants one–and for any reason, or no reason.

If others “volunteer” for those medically vulnerable who are unable to protect themselves, so much the better.

Categories: Canada Euthanasia