One of the “promises” made by “Right to Die” advocates is that it will only apply to people in pain and suffering a terminal illness, and then only with the patients consent. Suggestions that this will lead to doctors killing patients who don’t ask for it or can’t give consent are dismissed with invocation of þe olde Slippery Slope Fallacy.
Turns out that isn’t so fallacious after all…
“Thousands of elderly people have been killed by their own GPs without ever asking to die under Belgium’s euthanasia laws, an academic report said yesterday.
“It said that around one in every 60 deaths of a patient under GP care involves someone who has not requested euthanasia.
“Half of the patients killed without giving their consent were over the age of 80, the study found, and two thirds of them were in hospital and were not suffering from a terminal disease such as cancer.
“In about four out of five of the cases, the death was not discussed with patients subjected to ‘involuntary euthanasia’ because they were either in a coma, they were diagnosed with dementia, or because doctors decided it would not be in their best interests to discuss the matter with them.”
“Belgium’s Euthanasia Act restricts the practice of mercy killing to adults and ’emancipated children’ who are suffering unbearably and who are able to consent. It remains officially illegal for doctors to kill patients who have not given their consent to death.”
Yet this is going on. Why? Because killing patients has been established as a legitimate medical procedure. Doctors already can and do perform surgeries on patients who can’t consent. This is actually expected. Does it surprise anyone that people will have little problem with doctors performing accepted medical procedures?
“Opponents of assisted suicide said that the Belgian use of euthanasia showed that an assisted suicide law would be a slippery slope towards medical killing.”
And they were right.
As Lord Melbourne noted: ” What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.”