Euthanasia should not be a human right

Nov 25, 2022 by

by Angela Tilby, Church Times:

MY HOLIDAY reading this summer included a post-pandemic novel, The Madness of Crowds (Hodder & Stoughton), by the Canadian crime writer Louise Penny. The shocking plot line involves her hero, Inspector Gamache, in organising police protection for a controversial statistician, Professor Abigail Robinson, who has proposed the routine euthanisia of the long-term sick and disabled.

Professor Robinson bases her argument on the twin grounds of compassion and massive savings to the economy. In a sinister misquotation of Julian of Norwich, the kindly Professor Robinson argues that a golden future awaits, when “all will be well” — only the well will be allowed to live.

I did not realise at the time that the storyline builds on Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying laws. These make provision for medically assisted death in any case in which suffering is deemed unbearable. From next spring, this will be widened to include those requesting death on mental-health grounds.

Those who request euthanasia do not have to be suffering from a terminal condition: they just have to be suffering enough to want to die. Last month, a man from Ontario with a long-term back problem requested a medical death on the grounds that he was about to become homeless. The Collège des Médécins du Quebec has proposed that some babies with severe disabilities should be eligible for euthanasia, if their parents request it. Such clinical deaths are not even to be regarded as a moral issue, but as a routine medical procedure.

Read here (£)

 

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