by Cassy Fiano/Live Action News
In Canada, a judge in British Columbia has just struck down the law banning assisted suicide. Gloria Taylor, along with several other plaintiffs, filed suit claiming that the seriously ill should have the right to take their lives with the assistance of a doctor in Carter v. Canada. And it’s easy to sympathize with them. It’s easy to look at people suffering through a terminal illness and think that it’s cruel to deprive them of a quick, painless death as opposed to a long, drawn-out, painful one. But if you need to understand why both assisted suicide and euthanasia need to be illegal, you need only look to the Netherlands. Canadian columnist Anne McTavish explains:
“We don’t need to speculate. The Netherlands has already gone down this slippery slope and provided the grizzly statistics that should stop us going down the same path.
A 1973 court decision in the Netherlands started the process. Doctors and lawyers set strict guidelines to restrict when doctors could assist a terminally ill patient who wanted to commit suicide, and to protect a terminally ill patient who didn’t want to be euthanized (i.e., killed).
“In only 23 years, Dutch doctors have gone from being permitted to kill the terminally ill who ask for it, to killing the chronically ill who ask for it, to killing newborn babies in their cribs because they have birth defects, even though by definition they cannot ask for it. Dutch doctors also engage in involuntary euthanasia without significant legal consequence, even though such activity is officially prohibited,” writes Wesley J. Smith in Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder.
Guidelines won’t protect us, if the Dutch experience tells us anything. For example, a key guideline is that a person should not be euthanized due to the expense of keeping them alive. In a television documentary, one man said he was only agreeing to be euthanized because he didn’t want to be a financial burden on his family. He was killed.
After the guidelines had been in place for 23 years, doctors were surveyed about people they euthanized. Incidentally, doctors later admitted they had under-reported euthanasia cases, so the following statistics are actually less than what really happened.