What's wrong with euthanasia?

 

Euthanasia (and assisted suicide) are sanitized by presenting it as a medical issue, complete with a doctor championing the cause.  The reality is that euthanasia is the exact opposite of modern medicine as it involves the deliberate killing of a patient.  A well known principle of the Hippocratic Oath, which brought us in to modern medical times, is "do no harm".

Legalising euthanasia involves obtaining an exemption from the criminal law prohibiting homicide.  The prohibition against killing another person is long standing and for good reason.

When euthanasia is being campaigned for, you will always see handpicked cases of tragedy represented as terrible pain and suffering or a lack of 'dignity' in their final days.  As heartrending as these cases are, hard cases make for bad law.  The reality of euthanasia in practice is that once legalised the scope of those eligible is gradually widened.  This "slippery slope" effect is demonstrated in Belgium where it is now legal for children to be euthanased as well as people suffering depression and other treatable, non-lethal illnesses. 

Assisted suicide is now regarded as being "out of control" in the Netherlands, where the number of mentally ill being euthanased havs trebled in a single year during 2012 - 2013.  In January this year, there was an announcement that euthanasia in Belgium was to be extended to a rapist who would otherwise be in jail for a very long time.  Public outcry saw the offer withdrawn.

Needless to say, legalised euthanasia would enable the ultimate in elder abuse.  No safeguards can properly protect vulnerable people.

The biggest blight on humanity can be attributed to euthanasia.  In 1939 Hitler signed in to law the "Action T4" programme which enabled a mercy death for those who were deemed "incurably sick".  Soon the programme expanded to include other reasons such as "racial hygiene", the state of the welfare budget and having a disability.  The practices continued in the many concentration camps such as Auschwitz and the horrors there are a reflection of the prevailing view that some people’s lives were not worth living.

Few may not be aware that it was the medical establishment of the day that was running the facilities at Auschwitz.  The Nazi guards were only there for security.  More more information on this aspect, read this article by Dr Peter Saunders.