by Steven Ertelt/LifeNews.com
One of the typical arguments pro-life advocates use against measures allowing assisted suicide and euthanasia centers on how the supposedly voluntary practices will lead to involuntary decisions to take the lives of patients, the elderly, or disabled.
In a new column about the recent decision by a court in Canada to strike down Canadian laws against assisted suicide, one attorney, Anne McTavish, says the lesson of the Netherlands should be instructive for any nation looking at legalizing the grisly practice. McTavish writes:
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.
McTavish says regulating the practice of assisted suicide with supposed safeguards doesn’t prevent involuntary killing.