I watched the head of a euthanasia enthusiasts group on the morning news the other day. (October, 2014) This person seemed joyous about the prospect of killing. I mean, macabre as it is, she had a smile on her face most of the time. I think discussion of ending life would be sombre, but apparently, it’s a call for celebration.
According to this person, the majority of disabled people are in favour of physician assisted suicide. This is according to a poll from a major polling firm. I am sure this firm did this work gratis.
The point I make here is that the firm didn’t poll me, or people I know, who are disabled. So we have to wonder at what the definition of disabled is.
Or indeed, what questions were asked of the people polled. The question can make a difference. For instance, I can get you to agree to your death by asking one question.
“You don’t really want to live like this, do you? Yes or no.”
Either way, I get what I want, your death, and you get dead.
That may be a bit harsh, but considering that we were not privy to the data, which I am sure is now proprietary of the group which commissioned it, we will never know the questions or how they were presented.
What was also interesting in this discussion was the silence of those who were disabled. That’s because there were no people who were disabled in the discussion: it was euthanasia enthusiasm all the way, baby!
Given that the person insisted that the polls were overwhelmingly in support of her position, I have to call foul. There is nothing that would stop a euthanasia enthusiasts’ group from providing a tailored list of calls to a polling company. Why would this happen? To get a foregone conclusion.
Why would that be good? Because a polling company, say, for example, like IPSOS, would not want to take a negative response back to a client/employer which went against that group’s philosophy.
This in itself should be worrying. There are formal organizations, like TV/NDY in Canada which are opposed to physician assisted suicide and they were not in evidence in this discussion. I am sure they were not even invited. Those groups had to fight to be invited to the hearings on Bill 52 in Quebec, so it is no surprise that they were not invited here.
This is disturbing. If the euthanasia enthusiasts’ group was as open minded as they say they are, then their position can withstand public scrutiny, surely?
Were I there this morning, I would have asked a few questions.
Like, How many people had this person helped kill?
You see, people enthusiastic for death are usually so for others, not themselves. If this person were really committed, then they should be willing to answer that question: how many people have you helped kill?
If they refuse to answer, that kind of makes them a hypocrite with something to hide.
If that sounds harsh, remember, this person supports the killing of the disabled.
They say that the disabled overwhelmingly support the cause. Wrong. The apparent disabled in the survey support the question asked. We have no way of knowing if or how much someone was disabled and that’s an important question.
Remember, Kevorkian considered a terminal illness as somethi8ng that hampered normal life, even for a day. Hardly a strict requirement.
Another question I would have asked is what this person thought of the Rasouli case, wherein a group of doctors dared the man’s wife to take them to court to save his life. She did, and he was saved, but the negative publicity should never be forgotten.
The point of this is that people are already being killed even though this is illegal. All the euthanasia enthusiasts’ group wants is to be able to put the legal into the already illegal act. That hardly seems fair.
This comes at a time when a 29 year old woman from California is to kill herself November 1 in Oregon. It’s ‘legal’ to do this in Oregon, but she’s from California. She has brain cancer and has chosen death as opposed to treatment.
She will undoubtedly be a martyr to the cause. The sad part is that everyone will have forgotten her as a human being after she is gone. She will become simultaneously a statistic and an example.
Yet she is not dying: she has a terminal illness. The illness may not kill her today, but it will kill her. The problem is that she is not immediately dying: in any discussion I have had with someone on the theory of being able to kill medically, the person has to be close to death.
The word close has not been defined, apparently. The best part: the woman will kill herself two days after her husband’s birthday.
So that is where it stands for the items I have seen for now. We are hearing the drumbeat of death again. This is probably due to the Supreme Court case coming up.
Let’s say this again: the euthanasia enthusiast I saw this morning held the young woman up as a hero to the cause. No mention of options were given, just the outcome of the choice.
Which is appropriate, given that the euthanasia enthusiast’s group does nothing for the dying, other than killing them.
The person in interview this morning also said that palliative care was good, and implied that physician assisted suicide was going to be included in that.
Another disturbing part of this interview was that the person insisted that youth would not be given a blank check, as it were, to ask for suicide because they were depressed. Oh, really now?
That’s a bit disingenuous. In the hearings for Bill 52 in September/October 2013, the Quebec Association of Social Workers said limits by age for access to death by euthanasia – say a cutoff of age 18 – was discriminatory and unconstitutional and would trigger a charter of rights challenge on that basis.
So this person knows that there will be a charter challenge if her euthanasia enthusiasts’ club gets their way. So she can’t say that there is no way youth or adolescents can be refused death; she knows it will be allowed on the basis of rights.
Yet when you raise problems to this person, they will tell you, as they told me a year ago, that these problems were ‘myths’. Of course the word myths was not defined, but all real-world outcomes were summarily dismissed.
That is the very definition and example of social psychosis.
Here’s the overall problem. There is at bottom no physical way a family can protect a sick or disabled member from death if someone else in a position of care or trust has decided that they should be dead. It would require vigilance beyond, and the way we adhere to the letter of the law and procedure, I can see families being manoeuvred out of the way to get the deed done.
This attitude that we can have medical death provided ignores a truth: that we think of physician assisted suicide as a panacea to the problem of death. We think that we can provide death and all other problems will be solved. This is the overall attitude I see behind the debates.
Life is cheap and people are disposable. Or life is not cheap and we fight for it every step. It is clear that the person interviewed this morning thought death should be provided. I wonder what colour the sky is in their world? I also wonder if they think of those who do not want death and what concrete rules of law there would be in place to protect the vulnerable?
T4 programme, which is what this person is proposing. And the doctors
who administered the holocaust previously administered the T4 programme.
We cannot afford to replicate what happened before; lives are at stake.