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More categories of lawful killing?

Commentary: The Case Against Physician-Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care - Psychiatric Times

My post last Thursday on the emotive issue of "assisted suicide" predictably attracted many comments. One of my readers forwarded me a piece by Gerald Warner from the Daily Telegraph "blog" section. One of the comments to that, rather intemperate, post referred to a 2004 article from The Psychiatric Times about the Netherlands' experience with euthanasia/assisted suicide. It highlighted an aspect I had not previously considered;

"Euthanasia, intended originally for the exceptional case, became an accepted way of dealing with serious or terminal illness in the Netherlands. In the process, palliative care became one of the casualties, while hospice care has lagged behind that of other countries. In testimony given before the British House of Lords, Zbigniew Zylicz, one of the few palliative care experts in the Netherlands, attributed Dutch deficiencies in palliative care to the easier alternative of euthanasia."

It is the unspoken, because unpalatable, truth that in a socialised medical system the authorities have no choice but to prioritise patient groups. If the market doesn't allocate resources, they must be rationed. There is no "third way". The law of unintended consequences has, it seems, reduced the availability of palliative care. If Dr Zylicz's evidence is true, the medical authorities have, to be blunt, found euthanasia/assisted suicide a cheaper, more efficient alternative

And Guardianistas tell us that markets are harsh and cruel?

Given that those "progressive" enthusiasts of euthanasia/assisted suicide are fond of selecting horrific cases to support their case, let me cite some horror stories from the same article;

An illustration of a case presented to me as requiring euthanasia without consent involved a Dutch nun who was dying painfully of cancer. Her physician felt her religion prevented her from agreeing to euthanasia so he felt both justified and compassionate in ending her life without telling her he was doing so. Practising assisted suicide and euthanasia appears to encourage physicians to think they know best who should live and who should die

This god in a white coat knew that euthanasia was a sin, in this woman's eyes. So he murdered her to spare her conscience. Where does that leave his?

a patient with disseminated breast cancer who had rejected the possibility of euthanasia had her life ended because, in the physician's words: "It could have taken another week before she died. I just needed this bed."

Another "compassionate" and "progressive" professional in pursuit of "dignity" for his patients? No. A murderer, even under Netherlands law.

A wife, who no longer wished to care for her sick, elderly husband, gave him a choice between euthanasia and admission to a home for the chronically ill. The man, afraid of being left to the mercy of strangers in an unfamiliar place, chose to have his life ended; the doctor although aware of the coercion, ended the man's life.

I believe in freedom to choose, but choice under duress is not real choice. Correctly analysed, this poor man was murdered for his loving wife's convenience.

A healthy 50-year-old woman, who lost her son recently to cancer, refused treatment for her depression and said she would accept only help in dying. Her psychiatrist assisted in her suicide within four months of her son's death. He told me he had seen her for a number of sessions when she told him that if he did not help her she would kill herself without him. At that point, he did. He seemed on the one hand to be succumbing to emotional blackmail and on the other to be ignoring the fact that even without treatment, experience has shown that time alone was likely to have affected her wish to die.

How many of us would feel suicidal if we lost a child? The only thing more natural is, through grieving and the support of family and friends, to come back to life treasuring fond memories of the loved one lost. The psychiatrist could have turned her ultimatum back on her and said "no euthanasia unless you try therapy first", but perhaps it was easier to submit. This poor, sad woman could have lived a rich life for 30-40 years, but he executed her. Is that what people go into medicine to do? Can no-one else see the difference between her killing herself and that?

None of these killers will be brought to justice because the Netherlands government, to investigate the matter properly after complaints, offered immunity to all who spoke frankly. I am glad it did, because in exposing the consequences of the Netherlands' "progressive" law, these murderers may save lives elsewhere.

I have been accused of taking a non-libertarian position on this issue. I don't agree, but if I am wrong, so be it. I don't adopt a political position as an ideological game. I am not trying to belong to a tribe. I support libertarian policies because I believe they would lead to a better, richer, happier, more fulfilling society with greater opportunity for a greater number of people than the present statist shambles. If I were required to approve of such horrors to be a "pure" libertarian, then I would say to hell with it.

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