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Updated: 19 min 10 sec ago

Ontario Doctor experiences problems With MAiD (euthanasia) compliance.

Sun, 2019-11-24 18:53
By Taylor Hyatt and Amy Hasbrouck
Tourjours Vivant - Not Dead Yet

Taylor Hyattrecently, Taylor attended a conference for medical students, where a few lectures on euthanasia were presented. She was moved by the talk given by Dr. David D’Souza, a chronic pain specialist in Toronto. His talk focused on eligibility for euthanasia, and he included the stories of three people considering euthanasia whom he had seen in his practice. Dr. D’Souza expressed concern that the safeguards around euthanasia eligibility were being flouted in all three cases.

When visiting a nursing home, Dr. D’Souza met an elderly lady with dementia. Her condition had progressed “to the point where she [couldn’t] recognize her own family and [had limited] communication abilities.” Her family asked to meet with the doctor, and requested that she be euthanized. They brought a will that she had written 10 years before, while in the early stages of her dementia, which stated that she would want to be euthanized. Dr. D’Souza told the family that she was not a candidate for euthanasia. According to the eligibility criteria, the person must request MAiD themselves; no one can do it on their behalf. He also told them the law requires the person be able to give consent at the time of the procedure, which she was not competent to do. Dr. D’Souza also pointed out that, “she may have sufficient quality of life that she still enjoys.”

The second incident took place “shortly after euthanasia was legalized” in 2016. A middle-aged man who spent two months on a waiting list for palliative care, came to Dr. D’Souza. He was a wheelchair user and amputee, and he was on dialysis. The man only had his wife for support, and had “[decided] to discontinue dialysis completely.” By the time the man saw Dr. D’Souza, he hadn’t had dialysis for over three weeks, and so had “nausea, fatigue…uncontrolled pain, [and] shortness of breath.” He also reported a “low mood” along with feelings of hopelessness. The man had submitted a request for euthanasia.

His first words to the doctor were “Are you here to relieve my pain? Are you here to relieve my suffering?” Dr. D’Souza said yes. Then the man asked him whether he was “here to end my life.” Upon hearing “no,” he asked “Why not? Isn’t that part of your job? I heard about this MAID thing on TV … isn’t that what you do?” Dr. D’Souza provided palliative care for him, who then withdrew his MAiD request. Dr. D’Souza reported that “although he chose to decline further dialysis sessions, he later died peacefully and comfortably, and of natural causes, with the assistance of genuine palliative care.”

The last story is about a man in his 70's who was concerned about hardness in his abdomen. Early tests suggested gastrointestinal cancer as a possible cause. The first thing he said after receiving these test results was “I want to be euthanized.” Dr. D’Souza “tried to steer the conversation in a different direction and said to him ‘you don't qualify for that. You don’t even have a diagnosis. Let’s first figure out the diagnosis and we can talk about all that later.’” He was then sent for the scan. 

A few weeks later, Dr. D’Souza received a report from the hospital: the patient had gone there the day after his initial appointment and “demanded to be euthanized.” He was admitted to the hospital, but “refused further testing;” he also turned down meetings with a surgeon, oncologist, and psychiatrist. Instead, he met with the euthanasia team, including a nurse practitioner and a physician. They determined that he met the eligibility requirements for MAiD. 

Dr. D’Souza visited him on the day he was euthanized. Dr. D’Souza recalled that “he was in no apparent pain [or] distress. He was smiling. He was excited for the big event, and so was his family. His family was surrounding him and they had dressed him up in a very nice suit, and they were very, very excited. He told me he wanted to have a dignified death” not caused by unknown and unpredictable factors.

Dr. D’Souza pointed out eligibiity criteria that were were disregarded and safeguards that were overlooked when the request for euthanasia was approved:
  • First, the person must “have a serious and incurable illness, disease, or disability.” He did not have a definitive diagnosis. “He refused investigations and specialist assessments; therefore, he did not know if he had an incurable illness.”
  • Next, the person must “be in an advanced state of irreversible decline.” Not knowing his condition, it was impossible to know whether it was in decline. Even if further tests confirmed that he had cancer, his prognosis “would depend on a number of [factors, including] the primary source of cancer, presence of metastases, [and] type of tumour. These factors would then [suggest treatment] options, such as chemotherapy and/or surgery.”
  • The person must also have “physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them.” The MAID team reported “that he was in no pain, but he was deemed to be in intolerable suffering.”

Dr. D’Souza also mentioned that he did not see a psychiatrist, so it is impossible to know whether emotional issues may have played a role in his decision to request euthanasia. Asking to die while refusing to obtain an accurate diagnosis suggests an impulsive and emotional choice, or that he was already prone to suicidal feelings. The doctor also believed the 10-day waiting period is arbitrary and inadequate. He doesn’t know “any physician who has been able to completely cure anxiety or depression in 10 days.”

These potential violations were discovered by someone with extensive experience in the medical field and knowledge of the Canadian euthanasia program, who took the time to share his insights. These case histories give us a glimpse into how the MAiD program works on the ground. Multiply Dr. D’Souza’s experience by the number of practitioners performing MAiD, and a frightening picture emerges. It also raises troubling questions: 

  • Was man's euthanasia seen as compliant with the law upon review by the designated authorities? 
  • How many ineligible people are being euthanized when MAiD evaluation teams don’t completely grasp or strictly apply the eligibility criteria and safeguards?

If this isn’t a slippery slope, what is?
Categories: Discussion

Alberta Conscience Rights Bill 207 may be dead after massive disinformation campaign.

Fri, 2019-11-22 18:19
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alberta Conscience Rights Bill 207 may be dead after Alberta UCP MLA's got "cold feet" from a massive disinformation campaign by the death lobby.

Bill 207 passed its first vote, on November 7, along party lines with 36 UCP members supporting the bill and 15 NDP opposition members voting against the bill.

The bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members' Public Bills.

The Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members' Public Bills voted 8 to 2 against Bill 207 even though the majority of the committee members are Conservatives.

Bill 207 faced a massive disinformation campaign by the death lobby who garnered more than 21,000 signatures on a petition claiming that Bill 207 would prevent Albertans from receiving certain healthcare options.

The death lobby campaign was based on a lie. Bill 207 did not prevent Albertans from receiving controversial legal health service.

Dan Williams, who sponsored Bill 207, correctly stated in an article by Shaughn Butts for postmedia news that Bill 207 protected health care providers but it did not limit access to legal healthcare services. Williams stated:
“Let me be clear, this bill not only protects freedom of conscience, but it also in no way limits access to health care services in the province” Butts reported that the bill would amend the Alberta Human Rights Act to protect conscientious beliefs as a basis for protection from discrimination or refusal for employment.

When reading the Conscience Rights (Health care Providers) Protection Act, Bill 207 you will notice that the bill does not prevent access to health care services but is limited to protecting conscience rights for health care providers.
The Manitoba legislature unanimously passed a conscience rights bill in November 2017.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition encourages the sponsor of the bill to amendment Bill 207 to ensure critics that access is not prevented while maintaining conscience protection.
Categories: Discussion

UK court will not hear challenge to assisted suicide law.

Thu, 2019-11-21 21:04
Press release: CNK CEO responds to the High Court decision not to allow a new challenge in the name of Mr Phil Newby

Date: Tuesday 19th November 2019
Link to the Press Release

Care Not Killing welcomes the latest rejection of an unnecessary legal challenge to the UK's assisted suicide laws by the campaigner Phil Newby.

Dr Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing, commented:
'We welcome this decision by the Courts to reject the attempt to change the 1961 Suicide Act and introduce assisted suicide via the backdoor. As the ruling points out this is a matter for Parliament, not for judges.
'This ruling recognises that Parliamentarians across the UK continue to reject attempts to introduce assisted suicide and euthanasia - more than a dozen times since 2003 - out of concern for public safety, including in 2015 when the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted against any change in the law by 330 votes to 118. The current laws prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia do not need changing.
'It recognises the significant dangers of ripping up long held universal protections, that ensures the law treats all people equally and evidence from around the world confirms removing these protections puts vulnerable people at risk of abuse and of coming under pressure to end their lives prematurely. 'Just a few week ago a major US report from the National Council on Disability found the laws in the handful of States that had gone down this route, were ineffective and oversight of abuse and mistakes was absent. 'This was a highly significant and important report as those championing assisted suicide, like DiD, (formally the Voluntary Euthanasia Society), hold up Oregon and Washington as the model for making the change in England and Wales. 'These findings resonate with other official reports that show year after year, a majority of those ending their lives in both States cite fear of becoming a burden a reason. 'There are also problem outside these US states. In 2016, Canada changed their law to allow terminally ill people to request assisted suicide and euthanasia. In just three years the numbers of those dying this way has dramatically risen, with one Canadian academic reported a four-fold increase between 2016 and 2018, from 1,010 - 4235.
'Then in September, the Quebec Superior Court struck down the requirement that a person be terminally ill before they qualify for euthanasia in Canada. 'While in July a depressed, but otherwise healthy 61-year-old man, was euthanised in the province of British Columbia. Alan Nichols, a former school janitor who lived alone, had struggled with depression, was admitted to Chilliwack General Hospital, BC, in June after he was found dehydrated and malnourished. Despite not being terminally ill, he received a lethal injection. Alan's case is not isolated.
'There are a growing numbers of reports that terminally ill patients and those with chronic conditions are being denied care, but offered the drugs to kill themselves. In one such case, Roger Foley from Ontario who suffers from a neurological disease, recorded hospital staff offering him a 'medically assisted death', despite his repeated statements that he did not want to die and wanted to return to his home.
'No wonder not a single doctors group or major disability rights organisation supports changing the law, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians, the British Geriatric Society and the Association for Palliative Medicine.'Ends
NB: the ruling issued by Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice May can be read here. Mr Philippe Newby, a 49-year old with Motor Neurone Disease, had argued that the prohibition on assisted suicide interfered with his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. An initial application was declined in September by Ms Justice Whipple, who was one of the judges in the case of Noel Conway, and this latest ruling finds that:
'despite minor distinctions to be made in the conditions of the claimants, Conway is an authoritative case for present purposes, and in our judgment is binding on this court in relation to this issue... Notwithstanding the forensic analysis of the opinions in Nicklinson, the court is not an appropriate forum for the discussion of the sanctity of life, or for resolution of such matters which go beyond analysis of evidence or judgment governed by legal principle.'Editors Notes
For media inquiries, please contact Alistair Thompson on 07970 162225.
  • Care Not Killing is a UK-based alliance bringing together human rights and disability rights organisations, health care and palliative care groups, faith-based organisations groups, and thousands of concerned individuals. We have three key aims:
  • to promote more and better palliative care;
  • to ensure that existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are not weakened or repealed;
  • to inform public opinion further against any weakening of the law.We seek to attract the broadest support among health care professionals, allied health services and others opposed to euthanasia by campaigning on the basis of powerful arguments underpinned by the latest, well-researched and credible evidence.
Categories: Discussion

Canadian Prime Minister's First Priority: More Euthanasia.

Wed, 2019-11-20 22:16
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Canada's Liberal government have announced that one of their first priorities will be more death by lethal injection (euthanasia) also known as Medical Aid in Dying in Canada.

The Canadian Press reported that:
Even before he swears in his new cabinet, Justin Trudeau is being urged to ask his new justice minister to move swiftly to make Canada's assisted-dying law less restrictive. The prime minister has said he'll comply with a September court ruling that struck down as unconstitutional the requirement that only those near death can qualify for medical help to end their suffering.
The euthanasia lobby is also demanding that the government remove the requirement that a person be capable of consenting at the time of lethal injection.

All of this is based on the fact that the Liberal government did not appeal a Québec court decision that struck down the section of Canada's euthanasia law requiring that a person's natural death must be reasonably foreseeable.

What is particularly concerning is the double speak by the Liberal government. Last Spring the government announced that no changes will happen to the law until after the government completed a five year review, that was to begin in June 2020. What is the purpose of a five year review if the government eliminates the restrictions in the law previous to the consultation.

The recent euthanasia data from Québec indicated that there were 1331 euthanasia deaths between April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019. The data also indicated that 13 of the deaths did not fulfill the qualifications of the law, including three euthanasia deaths for hip fractures.

Alan Nichols with his brother.Last July, Alan Nichols (62), who was physically healthy and yet died by euthanasia in Chilliwack BC. The Nichols family have been given the run around as they attempt to learn how Alan could have been approved for euthanasia.

The government should not expand euthanasia when the law is already being abused.
Categories: Discussion

Euthanasia for "completed Life" to be debated in the Dutch parliament.

Wed, 2019-11-20 17:41
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Dutchnews.nl is reporting that the Liberal Democratic Party will be introducing legislation to extend euthanasia to people who are not sick or dying, but who state that their life is complete.

The Dutchnews article quotes recent polling that suggests that 55% of those polled in the Netherlands supported euthanasia for people who are "tired of living" while 33% opposed the measure.

The Dutchnews article explains that new legislation will be introduced next year.
The Liberal democratic party is drawing up its own legislation which would make it possible for the over-75s who consider their life is at an end to be helped to die and aims to present the measure to parliament early next year.It is interesting that the Liberal Democratic Party is basing the "completed life" on age 75. What makes 75 a death age?

Last month I reported that a Belgian politician is also planning to introduce legislation to expand euthanasia for reasons of the "completed life."

There is no definition for "completed life" which means this type of legislation is designed to abandon people with suicidal ideation to death lethal drugs.
Categories: Discussion

Dark Anniversary: The State of Assisted Suicide 25 Years after Oregon Measure 16

Tue, 2019-11-19 16:52
This article was published by National Review online on November 19, 2019

Wesley SmithBy Wesley J Smith

Measure 16 in Oregon did not start the fire, but it added fuel.

Proponents of assisted suicide are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Measure 16, the Oregon referendum that, for the first time in the modern era, formally legalized doctor-prescribed death. To open the door to more suicide in a culture that is now roiled by an acute suicide crisis — about 45,000 Americans kill themselves annually, up from about 30,000 in 1999 — seems a bizarre event to cheer. But nihilism strikes a beat. Suicide to prevent suffering is seen by euthanasia supporters as not only acceptable but optimal, perhaps the best way to die.

After the passage of the Oregon referendum, assisted-suicide enthusiasts predicted that it would lead quickly to widespread public embrace of doctor-hastened death. That hasn’t happened, and resistance remains stiff. Still, Measure 16 did mark the beginning of an avalanche down the slippery slope. The District of Columbia and nine U.S. states, including that culture-driving behemoth California, have legalized assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and our closest cultural cousin, Canada, now permit doctors to give lethal injections to patients who ask to die. Switzerland’s once sleepy law allowing assisted suicide, passed back in the 1940s, came to the fore in the ’90s with the establishment of suicide clinics at which people from around the world pay about $10,000 to be made dead. Victoria, Australia, has also legalized assisted suicide, while the German supreme court conjured a limited legalization, permitting the practice so long as the motive for assisting isn’t venal. Energetic legalization efforts are continuing in countries as disparate as New Zealand, India, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

That’s a lot of radical cultural change — which, I hasten to note, is not a synonym for progress — in a quarter century. But it seems to me that, now that doctors have greater ability than ever before to relieve suffering, the current vitality of the euthanasia movement is more a symptom of growing nihilism than a cause of it. But it is also a reinforcing symptom. This milestone anniversary of Measure 16 seems a reasonable time to assess the cultural consequences that have accrued from redefining suicide as a medical treatment.

It is important to understand that the so-called right to die isn’t about terminal illness. Nor is it a safety valve to be used only to prevent irremediable suffering. Those are just sales pitches to persuade a still-wary public to swallow the hemlock. Even in jurisdictions that (currently) restrict the writing of lethal prescriptions to those deemed to have six months or less to live — a notoriously difficult and imprecise prognosis — there is no requirement that the suicidal patient’s purported suffering be objectively irremediable.

Besides, once a country popularly embraces euthanasia, most limitations are quickly abandoned. Both Belgium and the Netherlands legalized lethal-injection euthanasia commencing in 2002 and proceeded quickly, from allowing doctors to lethally inject terminally people who request it, to allowing chronically ill people who request it, to allowing people with disabilities who request it, to allowing the mentally ill who request it.

The mentally ill? Really?

Alas, yes. There are many sad examples. In Belgium, a transgendered person profoundly depressed by the results of a sex-change surgery asked for, and received, euthanasia. In a truly awful case, a woman suffering from anorexia, who had been sexually abused by her psychiatrist, was euthanized by another psychiatrist because she was in despair that the first doctor had not been subjected to professional discipline. A woman who had struggled with depression her whole life was euthanized by an oncologist. The first her son knew of the plan was when the hospital called him to pick up his mother’s body. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, psychiatrists are killing more of their mentally ill patients each year. In 2017, Dutch psychiatrists and other doctors lethally injected 83 mentally ill patients, up from 42 in 2013.

Sometimes such homicides are accompanied by organ harvesting. In other words, doctors remove organs from donors who would not be dead but for being killed by other doctors. These ghoulish procedures have even been discussed respectfully in medical journals dedicated to organ-transplant research. One such study discussed the successful transplant of lungs from four euthanized donors who had not been terminally ill. Three had neuromuscular disabilities. One suffered from chronic self-harming.
Pause and think deeply about that for a moment. The “treatment” for self-harming was for a doctor to commit the ultimate harm, killing the patient.

Elderly people are euthanized because they are experiencing the usual afflictions of age, such as macular degeneration. There have even been joint euthanasia killings of married couples in Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and assisted suicides in Switzerland. In one Belgian example, neither spouse was seriously ill. Not only that, but the death doctor was procured by the couple’s son — who told the Daily Mail that this was the best choice, since he would not have the ability to care for his parents if they ever became dependent. There is a word for that, and it isn’t “compassion.”

In Belgium and the Netherlands, euthanasia has spread to incompetent people with dementia if they expressed a desire to be killed in an advance medical directive. One such recent case from the Netherlands illustrates how profoundly euthanasia corrodes societal morality. An elderly woman was diagnosed with dementia. She said that she wanted to die when she became incapacitated — but also that she wanted to decide when that time had come. The woman’s doctor decided for her, drugging her coffee to make her sleep before being lethally injected, but the patient awakened and struggled against being killed. Rather than cease and desist, the doctor instructed attending family members to hold her down so she could finish dispatching the patient.

This would seem to be a clear-cut case of murder. But judges exonerated the doctor, arguing that she had acted in her patient’s best interest. So an elderly woman, struggling to live, was killed, and a judge praised her killer for performing the lethal act.

“But Wesley,” some might be saying, “we would never allow Alzheimer’s patients to be killed in the United States!” Oh no? Nevada just passed a first-of-a-kind law permitting dementia patients to order withdrawal of their food and water withheld when they become incapacitated.
Understand, this new statute does not refer to feeding tubes, which is a medical treatment that can be refused legally by advance directive in all 50 states. Nor is it about preventing forced feeding. Rather, the law requires caregivers to withhold spoon feeding, which is humane care, akin to keeping a patient warm or clean. In other words, Nevada has legalized killing dementia patients by starvation, even if the incompetent person willingly eats, perhaps even if the patient asks for food.

Euthanasia has spread to the treatment children. In the Netherlands, sick kids can be euthanized starting at age twelve. There are no age restrictions in Belgium, where government reports indicate that a nine-year-old was subjected to euthanasia in recent years. Euthanizing children remains illegal in Canada, but the government is currently debating whether to expand euthanasia eligibility, and many in the pediatric medical community support extending the license to children. Indeed, some pediatricians at a children’s hospital in Toronto have already volunteered to do the deed if pediatric euthanasia becomes legal.

Infanticide was, until recently, universally considered a heinous crime. Not any more. Neonatal euthanasia is tolerated by authorities in the Netherlands, where it remains technically illegal. Indeed, in medical journals, doctors have admitted that they have lethally injected babies who were born with terminal conditions or serious disabilities. There is even a published bureaucratic infanticide checklist, known as the Groningen Protocol, to help doctors decide which babies to euthanize. Revealingly, the protocol was written up, with scant criticism, in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Support for infanticide is becoming respectable in the United States as well. Recall that Peter Singer, the world’s foremost apologist for infanticide, was given a prestigious chair in bioethics at Princeton University not despite his views but because of them. Meanwhile, support for post-viability abortion has become de rigueur among Democrats, with almost all the party’s presidential candidates opposing any limitations and rejecting laws that would require babies who survive attempted termination to be treated medically like other infants. Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, even strongly suggested that a baby who survived abortion “should be kept comfortable” while doctors and mother decided whether to withhold care and neglect the baby to death.

Advocates for assisted suicide claim that, whatever might be happening in other countries, there have been no “abuses” here. But that isn’t true. In 2008, two terminally ill Medicaid patients in Oregon were refused life-extending chemotherapy by bureaucrats but specifically assured that assisted suicide would be covered. A similar case was reported in Nevada, where in 2017 a doctor complained that a private health-insurance company refused to pay for a patient’s transfer to California for life-saving care and that, adding injury to insult, the company asked the doctor to consider recommending assisted suicide, for which benefits would be paid.

According to the Oregonian, a dementia and cancer patient named Kate Cheney may have been persuaded to die early by her daughter, who a psychologist said appeared to be the primary driving force behind the elderly woman’s request for assisted suicide.
Then there is Martin Freeland, who was dispensed a lethal prescription two years before succumbing naturally to cancer, meaning that surely he was legally ineligible for assisted suicide. Adding to the abuse, after Freeland became psychotic, to the point that he was put under a legal guardianship, his psychiatrist reported that the man’s guns were removed from his home but ensured that the lethal drugs remained available for use. Freeland eventually regained his competence and died naturally, having had the time to reconcile with his daughter — which would not have happened had he taken the prescribed poison when it was dispensed. He told his caregivers he was very glad not to have committed suicide.

Meanwhile, as doctor-prescribed death is promoted far and wide by friendly media, the United States in in the depth of a suicide crisis. Perhaps not coincidentally, Oregon’s suicide rate is 33 percent higher than the national average. Does this mean that there is a connection between assisted-suicide advocacy and increasing suicide rates? At least one study indicates that there may be. There is no dispute that the suicide crisis is worsening. Ohio just announced that suicide deaths there have risen a stunning 45 percent in the past twelve years. Even so, the Ohio Nurses Association recently gave its support for legalizing assisted suicide. One would think that nurses could connect some damn dots!

Enough. Measure 16 did not start this fire. But it clearly quickened what was then merely an incipient cultural trend. The uncertainty 25 years later is not whether killing the sick, disabled, and elderly could happen. It already is happening. No, the real question is whether we are willing, with clear eyes, to accept the toxic cultural consequences that flow directly from eliminating suffering by eliminating sufferers.
Categories: Discussion

Review of the book by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on assisted suicide.

Mon, 2019-11-18 21:56
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

John Dale Dunn wrote a consice review, for the American Thinker, of the book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a book that was published in 2006.

Dunn argues that people who oppose or support assisted suicide should read this book. He states:Gorsuch's analysis is a thoughtful and stimulating contribution to the debate about one of the most controversial public policy issues of our day.Dunn continues:There is no doubt that Gorsuch provides the most thorough and compelling condemnation of assisted suicide and euthanasia yet. He certainly puts a hole in the side of the ship of the cult of death. His book provides a thorough overview of the ethical and legal issues raised by assisted suicide and euthanasia and a comprehensive argument against the legalization of these heinous acts.

Judge Gorsuch evaluates the ethical arguments for euthanasia and assisted suicide, lays out the evidence on how these projects result in a casual dismissal of the meaning of life in places where the new approach has been adopted like the Netherlands and Oregon, and makes a strong case for the malfeasance and immoral conduct these enabling laws create.Gorsuch examined the issues from a social and historical basis. Dunn writes:Judge Gorsuch assesses the ethical and moral arguments of the advocates of a liberated approach to killing the useless eaters and the disabled when contrasted with the principle that intentional killing is always wrong.

Judge Gorsuch is leery of killing depressed and hopeless individuals for the obvious reason: their depressed state is a pathological state in itself, deserving of treatment, not enablement. Judge Gorsuch builds a robust argument against legalization when he confronts the ethical arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia. He explores evidence and case histories from the Netherlands and Oregon, where the practices have been legalized. He analyzes libertarian and autonomy-based arguments for legalization as well as the impact of key U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the debate. And he examines the history and evolution of laws and attitudes regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia in American society.Dunn examines the commentary by Gorsuch on Dr Leo Alexander's essay on the Nazi euthanasia program that was published in 1949. Alexander was an expert at the Nurembourg trial. Dunn states:I would add to Judge Gorusch's presentation the essay by Dr. Leo Alexander that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1949, an analysis of the reasons why the Nazi physicians were able to kill and maim individuals considered inferior or not deserving of consideration as human — for political, social, or ideological reasons. Dr. Alexander, an American neurologist/psychiatrist, a Jew, educated in Vienna, investigator for the Nuremberg Tribunal that had Nazi physicians on trial for war crimes, asserts that the moral limits are violated when individuals and the society at large accept the idea that there are sub-humans who are expendable, unacceptable, inferior, or a burden or disabled so they cannot contribute. If the status of those individuals is considered less than human, the easy step is to treat them as subhuman, candidates for abuse and extermination by the will of the state and its officials.

There is an ominous taint to the idea that the law and the government will enable killing people because they are sick or depressed, or disabled, or just old and willing to end it.Gorsuch provides a legal and social analysis concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide and concludes his book by condemning these practises. John Dale Dunn is right to say that both opponents and supporters of assisted suicide need to read - The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia by Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Categories: Discussion

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