Thursday, July 14, 2016

The silence after the law is passed: July 14, 2016

Since the euthanasia bill has been turned into law, those on the left who think this is a good idea have been strangely silent.  There was a clamour almost incessant about needing death on demand for any reason without explanation, regular as a drumbeat, and now that we ‘have’ a law…silence.  This tells me that the vocal supporters were enthused about death as a good idea, but that they don’t care now that the law is there.

They wanted the law for its own sake in existence, and nothing else.  I can say this with a certain assurance because the parallel demand for a nationalized system of palliative care has been rendered invisible. 

This is strange.  If there is a lower number of people taking euthanasia as opposed to those who vocally support the act, then does this not suggest that the majority of the pro-eut sheep are following a fad?

This is the problem, however, because it suggests that the majority of silent supporters are just that: supporters.  Yet this is not clearly so, because those who are silent may be silent from other causes.  Those who are pro-euthanasia can only say of those they define as supporters conclusively is that there are a lot of people who are silent on the issue.

Which is not the same thing as supporting an issue.  But when the idea of palliative care is raised, as it was when I was present at a meeting January 19th of 2016 about euthanasia in Canada, palliative care is top of mind in the situation.  Yet we do not have palliative care in this nation.

What palliative care we do have is fragmented and regionalized.  We do not have a national system.  Personally, I think it should remain private as if palliative care were made a public good at this point we would find that hospice and palliative workers would be forced to accept medically imposed death under their roof.

Palliative care professionals decry this move: palliative care does not include killing patients.  

The opposing voice says that you have to kill, or leave the profession.  If people who care about their patients are forced to leave because they do not want to be forced to kill, then we have already had freedom of conscience curtailed in practice in Canada.

So one person’s freedom in action: that they can kill themselves in a medical setting, or have someone else kill them, or have someone else kill their family member is used to stop others from exercising a greater freedom, that they be able to choose not to participate in any way in medically imposed death.

Even worse, those who now say that they are against killing will be pressured into leaving their professions – or remain silent.  And silence equals consent.  Not only this, but people who are against killing vulnerable patients, whether they are at the end of their lives or are chronically ill, have been defined in a recent Maclean’s article as violent before any violence has ever happened. 

So we are seeing the rise of a new ideology in action.  This ideology therefore says, in part, those who are against this ideology and its imposition are going to be violent; that those opponents will be selfish; that they are all religious whether they are so or not; that reality is wrong when it shows that those who are disabled are vulnerable.  If this is all the case, then we will find that the battle lines will be drawn between those who are ‘progressive’ and in favour of killing the disabled, and those who are ‘dictatorial’ and are against killing the vulnerable at any stage of life.

My suggestion is that we need to oppose this ideology in whatever way is appropriate to its propagation where we find it in the social life.  we need to change the discussion, to force the pro-euts to show their work, to have them answer the hard questions – and take responsibility for those answers.

I was at a meeting recently wherein I asked a question of the panellists: I would like to know, since you are religious leaders, and therefore concerned with justice, how you intend to support those of us who are disabled and therefore in danger of being unjustly killed, giving us a voice since we have been silenced by pro euthanasia activists.  Further, I’d have a two part question to those who are pro euthanasia in this meeting: first question, how many people have you helped die, and second question, why not? But I digress, my question to you, the panellists, is how you will actively support us in getting our voice and protecting us from being medically killed because of someone else’s misguided thought that we are better dead than disabled.

If we do not ask the hard questions, and demand answers, record those answers and immediately call pro euts out on their changes in premise on their propaganda, we are giving them a free ride.  We have already seen that there is confusion, if not disinformation around the imposition of Bill C-14 on Canadians.  We have seen how there have been contradictory stories in the press (I am working on analysing the newspapers around this time as I write this piece).  

This disinformation creates a social problem: it means that when analysts are trying to understand the events and arguments, there is information that must be considered – and then discarded.

And all this works to ‘strengthen’ the pro-eut position.  Instead of arguing their points, piece by piece and demanding answers, resources must be used to break through other arguments before we can get to the foundational aspects of this ideology.  Consider that we have the Canadian numbers of euthanasia deaths in Quebec finally made public.

Except that they aren’t.  StatsCan has no interest in the figures, as we can’t find them there.  
Quebec has had, according to a recent report in Le Devoir and publicized by Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet that 166 people have been killed since December 2015.  The trouble is that in looking over the report, despite the notion that there is more raw data available, we cannot find the raw data itself.

The killings are presented by the hospitals which did the killings.  That means the information has already been vetted before the fact.  We have to trust that the hospitals are telling us the whole truth, even aside that they are telling the truth at all.  But, if this is the material with which we have to work, then those statistics must be monitored closely and carefully.

This is the current situation in which we find ourselves.  This is as of July 14 2016.  Things can’t possibly get worse, can they?  There is a fast answer to that question, it’s just that the silent observers don’t want to know.  Someone said that it was a curse to live in interesting times...

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