Culture of Death rages on
“I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.”
—part of the Hippocratic oath
EMPHASIS, please, on “when asked to do so.” That’s an important part of the thought above, don’t you think? But what did Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, really know about medicine, ethics and such? After all, the next line in the oath is a pledge against abortion. How 2,500 years ago.
Who says that a Culture of Death isn’t a slippery slope? Remember when the pro-abortionists argued early on that abortion during the first few weeks of pregnancy is no big deal because the embryo/fetus/unwanted group of cells doesn’t feel pain yet? And could safely be removed like any other unwanted growth. To which some asked: Would it be OK to kill an unconscious person just because he couldn’t see it coming? Or what about somebody in a coma? If the ability to feel pain is a requisite for humanity, then the hospitals are full of un-people. Even if they are un-people for just a few hours while doctors operate.
Then there were those who were pro-abortion, which later became proChoice, who argued they’d never be in favor of euthanasia, which, of course, turned out to be wrong. Well, at least they’d be against physician-assisted suicide. Or at least nurse-assisted suicide, or lawyer-assisted suicide, or spouse-assisted suicide. That red line kept on a-movin’.
Oh, heck, times change, don’t they? Along with mores and maybe the thought of sin, another holdover from antiquity.
Anyway, the Europeans have always been cosmopolitan enough to set the example for the rest of us who aren’t as with it as they are. When it comes to abortion, eugenics, euthanasia, the Europeans often lead. In terms of eliminating the undesirables in general, the Germans were pioneers in the field (1933-1945). A slippery slope? We can see it as clearly as an abyss opening at our feet. Especially after reading the papers over the weekend:
Dispatches from the Continent show that euthanasia has become a more common way to die in the Netherlands, accounting for 4.5 percent of all deaths, according to the latest research. The same research shows that folks are increasingly asking for doctors to do them in, even in cases in which people aren’t terminally ill.
Back in another time—way back in 2002—the Netherlands became the first country in the world to make it legal for doctors to help people die. Over there, euthanasia and assisted suicide are both legal nowadays. The law says people must be suffering “unbearably” with no hope of relief, but the condition doesn’t have to be fatal.
Who’s to say what’s unbearable? Right now, mostly the people most affected. But who’s to say the slope won’t continue to be slippery, as it has proven thus far, and others start determining what’s a bearable existence and what’s not? The 25-year research review published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that at least 92 percent of Dutch who were put to death had a serious illness. The rest? They had problems associated with old age, early-stage dementia or psychiatric problems.
Is 92 percent a comfortable number? Which means that “only” eight percent were euthanized because they were increasingly creaky or forgetful or crazy. Would a 95/5 split be more acceptable to mankind? Or can we dip down to 50/50, and begin easing the old folks out more often? Why should they suffer with the indignities of age? Surely they’d understand, and maybe sometimes do.
We can hear some folks pounding the kitchen table now. That’ll never happen!
Really? So when did pro-abortion become pro-Choice? When did abortion during emergencies become abortion on demand? When did science decide to create human embryos for experimental purposes only, then kill them even before the crib? When did Dr. Kevorkian go into family practice?
The Journal says that half of those who ask for help dying usually get it in the Netherlands. And more than a third are over the age of 80.
Scott Kim, a bioethicist at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, says the report raises concerns, as it should: “These are old people who may have health problems, but none of them are life-threatening. They’re old, they can’t get around, their friends are dead and their children don’t visit anymore. This kind of a trend cries out for a discussion.”
Cries out, indeed. It fairly weeps.
IMAGINE: Sarah Palin was laughed out of the national conversation in 2009 when she opined that Obamacare would lead to government-run “death panels.” But that was before little Charlie Gard was deemed unfit to live in London under its form of government-run health care and before the new euthanasia figures came in from the Netherlands—and before the slope got even slipperier for homo faber, or “man the maker.” Who can also unmake with the push of a button, the unplugging of a machine or the dispensing of a small pill which will make everything all right. At least for those of us who’ll remain.
Call it the new barbarity. Maybe the only thing new about it is that it’s all done under the pretext of kindness and the fancy of tenderness.