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Off topic: Fatal Flaws: A Canadian film chronicles the march of euthanasia


My review at MercatorNet:

The death with dignity group that contacted me in 1972 and its many successors have achieved much but they are only just beginning. As Dunn puts it, “Almost every country in the world is discussing some form of legalization and America is “at a tipping point.” Now and then the euthanasia and assisted suicide campaigners face setbacks. Recently, the American Medical Association restated its objection to assisted suicide, rejecting the claim that it somehow isn’t “suicide,” a big talking point with the campaigners. Indeed, progress is stalling as Americans realize that the Netherlands is their future if the vote is yes.

But medical acceptance of euthanasia is not what American opponents most fear. They fear a Roe v. Wade-type Supreme Court decision (1973) that sweeps aside all laws against helping to kill another human being, where consent is offered. That has already happened in Canada. Not only are the numbers rising swiftly, but doctors are increasingly asked about child euthanasia. And according to one survey, most Quebec caregivers approve euthanasia for dementia patients without their consent. Given the sharp progressive tilt of the American bar and bench, the Americans interviewed have every reason to worry.

Five percent of deaths in the Netherlands, we are told, are now attributed to euthanasia. Euthanasia for anyone on request is currently debated for all adults (“completion of life”). And why not? If death is a good or at least neutral thing, why should anyone be denied? Why should those who can’t consent be denied? Why shouldn’t doctors who are unwilling to kill, be compelled to refer for death, as they now are in Ontario, Canada? More. O’Leary for News

Kairosfocus, I disagree. The oath doctors take is to do no harm. I don't see how extending suffering with no resolution in site other than death is doing no harm. In fact, doctors have been doing this for decades. Increasing the morphine level to control pain, knowing that it will shorten their lives. If suicide is against your religious or other beliefs, nobody is requiring you to avail yourself of this option. But what gives you or anyone else the right to deny this option from me or anyone else? However, I do agree that there must be serious restrictions on it to prevent it being used on people with mental illness, people who are being coerced, etc. But if I were diagnosed with alzheimer, or ALS, or Huntingtons, I would certainly make my wishes clear to my doctors and family as to when to pull the plug. Why should your wishes supersede mine in this respect? Allan Keith
AK, no surprise given track record. Such a practice inj3ects a contradiction in medical practice and undermines the ethics of such a profession. KF kairosfocus
I think that doctor assisted suicide is an acceptable practice (I refrain from using the word "good", because the circumstances that lead up to it seldom are). There are very strict requirements for it in Canada. And, most importantly, it must be demonstrated that it is the clear and un-coerced will of the patient. However, there are possibilities of it being misused. For example, how can you be sure that there is no coercion? This can often be very subtle. There is also the issue of protecting the religious rights of the doctor. Obviously, no doctor is forced to offer this service, but they are required to refer a patient to someone who does. Much in the same way that doctors must refer a patient to a doctor who will perform an abortion or prescribe birth control. Personally, I don't think that this violates their religions freedoms, but I know that some do. Allan Keith

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