NRL News

Spain, like Canada, succumbs to euthanasia as “medical care”

by | Mar 13, 2023

Our abominable Canadian interpretation of euthanasia, as standard medical care, has now officially “gone viral”

By Gordon Friesen, President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

For years, going back to the original Canadian definition of euthanasia (Quebec 2014), I have been dramatically proclaiming that “Our country, and our country alone has explicitly defined euthanasia as medical care“. Unfortunately, it seems that this shocking statement has actually been out of date for over a year. For there is a relatively new law in Spain (2021) which does everything that Quebec law does, and then some.

The truly tragic significance of this event lies in the fact that Canada can no longer be written off as one embarrassing aberration. The wild-eyed international pariah which slammed the door on its way out of the World Medical Association in 2018, now has a friend. A second “civilized” nation will now join her in promoting death, not as a mere “choice” but as a medically indicated treatment. And the normalization of that pernicious idea will both be strengthened within Canada, and gain a new clout beyond our borders.

Why the medical definition of euthanasia matters

One of several logical results of according medical status to euthanasia is to guarantee the death of huge numbers of incapable patients (and perhaps of incapable patients as an entire class), subject only to vague notions of “suffering”.

And that is because we cannot ethically withhold a positive benefit from people just because they are old, or young, or cognitively disabled, or unconscious! If any such person breaks an arm, it is our duty to set the bone in that arm. And in exactly the same manner, if euthanasia is defined as appropriate care then that care must be provided, whether the patient be capable of consent, or no.

One might, of course, vigorously object to this statement, and even point to the fact that full age, and full capability, are the very first criteria of eligibility in both Canadian, and Spanish law. However, if anyone believes that those requirements will stand the test of time and litigation, I have swamp land that I would like to sell to that person.

In fact, there isn’t even any serious attempt to hide future intentions! The brand-new Spanish law already provides an exception to its own first principle, in allowing euthanasia by advance directive. For whatever else one might say,  it is an obvious fact that the person killed by advance directive is not capable of consent.

So, how long will we pretend that it is logically ethical to kill one incapable patient, but not another in the next bed, perhaps in a greater state of decline and discomfort than the roommate? Is this not merely a question of recognizing standard protocols of substituted consent? We already apply these protocols in all other life-critical circumstances. So, again: how long will we agree to pretend that it is ethical to remove food, water, and even air (by substituted consent) but not ethical to provide euthanasia?


Another particularly striking example concerns children. It is now the position officially presented by representatives of the Quebec College of Physicians and Surgeons, that children from 0-1 years of age should be eligible for euthanasia, subject only to parental consent. Is that not also perfectly logical? And why stop at one year? Removal of hydration and ventilation is allowed for older children. Why not euthanasia as well?

Bait and Switch

It may come as a surprise, then, to many citizens of Spain, wishing perhaps to provide voluntary options of free choice, to learn that they have actually produced a law which implicitly requires the mass evacuation of so-called “incapable patients”, including but not limited to infanticide until one year, and dementia in the elderly. But that, as Canadian experience shows, is exactly where Spanish law will lead.

And if not, why not? Why would these fatal legal dominoes fall any differently in their land than in ours?

The bottom line

Perhaps in a further article I will have an opportunity to go through the two laws, point by point, to show exactly how the Spanish version permits everything already seen in Canada (even providing one or two “improvements” on the Canadian theme).

Nor is it incapable patients, alone, who will pay the price!

In this piece, however, my goal has simply been to announce this terrible first news: Our abominable Canadian interpretation of euthanasia, as standard medical care, has now officially “gone viral”.

Editor’s note. Gordon Friesen is a disabled individual who has followed the assisted death question closely since the early 1990s, and is currently President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. This appeared at the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition website and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia