Catholic hospitals under euthanasia pressure in Canada

From Will Johnston at MercatorNet,

he Canadian euthanasia issue marks a time of upheaval in medical ethics and the healthcare system which could be compared to events a century ago in Russia.

The Bolsheviks were not preordained to take over from the previous government, but their ruthlessness and aggression were unmatched. They demonized competing ideas and purged the social structures. They made their own laws. Nothing was allowed to stand. All was justified for public good, the good of the Proletariat.

But in August of this year, a Vancouver patient had an interval of poor pain control while he was being transferred from St. Paul’s Hospital to be euthanized elsewhere. The lapse in medication was, ironically, triggered by the euthanasia consent process itself, followed by a pharmacy mix-up.

That provided a gotcha! moment for activists which was exploited to demand that all hospitals must now offer their premises for the use of doctors who want to euthanize patients on site. There are howls of outrage that St. Paul’s, a Catholic hospital, is a euthanasia-free zone in keeping with its principles.

This indignant bluster is an attempt to ignore the caution and limitation that the Supreme Court and Parliament tried to place on euthanasia. The new law really just excuses police from charging a doctor with murder if stringent eligibility rules are rigorously followed.

This narrow exception allowed euthanasia in order to protect the right to life proclaimed in Section 7 of the Charter. That may seem bizarre, but the Court decided that having the eventual option of death at the hands of a doctor was likely to prevent earlier do-it-yourself suicides. Flimsy or not, that was the hinge of the Carter decision and for now we are stuck with it. More.

Reality check: Euthanasia is coming on very much faster in Canada than abortion did, with much less widespread debate and much more plain coercion of doctors and hospitals.

One reason is that the proportion of the population that thinks in traditional terms about the value of human life or traditional civil liberties such as freedom of conscience has declined steeply in the intervening forty years.

Nearly 50% Americans now think humans are not special, just another animal. Doubtless, it’s the same here.

One outcome is that most people will not find out about the tsunami until it actually hits them: An elderly relative dies under suspicious circustances and they are treated with hostility if they try to find out anything. (Patient confidentiality, etc.)

There are glitzier uses for the health care dollar, and we will soon be hearing about may more of those. Keep in mind that most people still won’t care much. They are busy with their own lives.

See also: See also: Doctors plead for conscience rights against Ontario euthanasia


VEHEMENT: Voluntary human extinction movement