Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: Ain’t no more equitable medical outcome than death to all!
First, a little mood music:
Remember when euthanasia was just a “dignified” way for the terminally ill to pass on? Well apparently anorexia is “terminal” and cured by making sure you never get fat… ever.
“The push is now on to allow assisted suicide for psychiatric patients. The Journal of Eating Disorders has published a piece urging that psychiatrists be allowed to assist the suicides of patients afflicted with anorexia who want to die rather than continue to struggle against their mental illness.
“Think about this. Seriously. Assisted suicide is being pushed as a ‘treatment’ for serious psychiatric disorders in a respected medical journal. Awful.
“The idea expressed is that some cases of anorexia are so severe, they should be considered terminal, like cancer. But mental illness is not like an implacable biological disease process. The person with severe mental illness can be kept going. It might be very difficult. It might require even involuntary hospitalization. With anorexia, if the patient was compelled to receive nutrition, she wouldn’t die. We might not want to do that, but we could. That is not true of diseases like terminal cancer (which should also not qualify for assisted suicide).
“Never mind all that. The authors want patients with “terminal” anorexia to have access to assisted suicide:
“‘Acknowledging the considerable controversies surrounding MAID for patients with mental disorders, we also submit that patients with terminal AN who are severely physiologically compromised, and whose end-of life suffering results from both psychological and physical pain, should be afforded access to medical aid in dying in locations where such assistance has been legalized—just like other patients with terminal conditions.’
“That’s abandonment, no matter how well-meaning. Sometimes, the only thing standing between a severely mentally ill patient and death is a dedicated psychiatrist or psychologist.”
Apparently a healthy life is also a terminal illness that must compassionately result in a “dignified” euthanasia.
“Now a suicide clinic in Switzerland has committed a joint assisted suicide of apparently healthy sisters from Arizona who flew there secretly to be made dead. […]
“‘Sisters Lila Ammouri and Susan Frazier who died by assisted suicide in Switzerland had been healthy and happy prior to their death, their brother says. Cal Ammouri, 60, told The Independent he last spoke to his sisters a few weeks before they travelled to Switzerland on 3 February, and there was no indication they were about to end their lives. He said he had been kept in the dark by US Consular services about the cause of death . . .
“‘Lila Ammouri, 54, a palliative care doctor, and Ms Frazier, 49, a registered nurse, flew from Arizona to Switzerland via Chicago on 3 February without telling friends or family. When they didn’t didn’t show up for work at Aetna Health Insurance on 15 February, colleagues raised the alarm, fearing they may have been kidnapped or held hostage.
“‘Their death was confirmed by the US Consulate in Switzerland on 18 February. Basel-Landschaft Public Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Michael Lutz told The Independent the sisters had died with the help of an assisted suicide organisation.
“Always remember that the conjoined mantras, ‘Strict guidelines protect against abuse,’ and, ‘Assisted suicide is only for the terminally ill,’ are utter bunk. Once suicide is redefined as a human right, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the beast caged.”
The Dutch, unsurprisingly, are ready to offer death to all takers.
“Once killing is defined as an acceptable response to suffering, there are few natural stopping points in the steady expansion of legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide. Requiring a diagnosed medical condition still retains some heft. But it isn’t logical, since the ultimate issue is suffering, not its causes.
“These days, even that boundary line is growing more blurry — particularly in countries that have fully swallowed the euthanasia hemlock — which is why a new study published in Population Health is cause for alarm. It appears to be an early gambit to remove the medical requirement from the Dutch law altogether.
“The study finds that some Dutch people commit suicide ‘in the absence of a medical condition.’ Obviously. But if euthanasia is merely a medical ‘treatment,’ wouldn’t that finding call for increased efforts at prevention in such cases?
“Ah, but that’s not how this issue works. Once in for a penny, in for a pound, because euthanasia changes mindsets to think of death as a positive when it is wanted (and even if it isn’t in some cases). The sheer force of gravity unleashed by such laws pushes society logically toward accepting a process of continually expanding access to death for nearly any nontransitory reason.
“‘How to address the desire to die’ — posed as a question — sure seems like an invitation for authorities to begin thinking about removing the requirement of a medical condition as a predicate to being euthanized.”