Saturday, 29 August 2015

Assisted dying yet again

A very helpful article this week in the Spectator on yet another attempt at legalising euthanasia (or 'assisted dying' which is the latest euphemism for providing the means for a person to terminate their life prematurely, since euthanasia had become a toxic word).

It is a helpful article since it is written from an atheist perspective. There's no particular virtue in that fact other than to hold a view which is consistent with Christian convictions is somehow regarded in contemporary thinking as flawed. But everyone has convictions based upon something! It just so happens that secular Western culture at this time in history has decided to deride any views based upon faith, no matter how rational.

So Douglas Murray writes,
'The principal objection to euthanasia is a slippery-slope argument — and many people profess to disdain such arguments. Nevertheless, anyone doubting the slipperiness of this slope should consider the places where euthanasia is already legal.'

He then recounts the experience in Holland, Belgium and Oregon.  Quite frankly the precedents there are worrying. 'The Falconer bill is based on legislation passed in the American state of Oregon 20 years ago, but its timing could hardly be worse. Just this week, one of Oregon’s most senior doctors, Professor William Toffler, declared the legislation a ‘disaster’ which has, among other things, led to ‘a profound shift in attitude toward medical care’ and fundamentally changed the relationship between doctors and patients.'

There are so many reasons why the situation should stay as it is. There are so  many potential unintended consequences, including a lessening of the value of those with disabilities, growing pressure on the frail elderly to 'do the right thing' when the costs of their care are rising and the grandchildren need a deposit for their first house, and the acknowledged downgrading  of the excellence of palliative care, which all agree is so much better here then Holland and Belgium.

For these and many other reasons, please leave the matter alone.
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