Belgium and Canada -- Frontiers of the Death Culture
The more a population accepts killing as an acceptable response to human suffering, the wider the categories of acceptable euthanasia become -- and the more people are killed. Belgium validates that premise. In 2015, a record number of people died by lethal injection. From the Yahoo News story:
Belgium carried out more than 2,000 mercy killings last year, the most since euthanasia was controversially legalised in 2002, the government said Wednesday.
"There were 2,021 cases in 2015," said a spokeswoman for the government's euthanasia commission which oversees the legislation to ensure it is correctly applied.
This probably doesn't tell the whole story. Nor is it likely that euthanasia rates will remain steady. In the years to come, expect increasing numbers of people with all kinds of problems -- terminal, psychiatric, chronic, aging, etc. -- to be made dead by doctors.
To illustrate the astonishing number this represents: Belgium's population is about 11 million. If the same rates of euthanasia deaths were conducted in the U.S. (population 330 million), it would amount to 60,000 medicalized killings a year! That would be about 165 a day.
If we don't want to go there tomorrow, we need to stop the assisted suicide movement in its tracks today.
Meanwhile, Canada is fast transforming into a full-fledged culture of death.
That requires authoritarian measures, and so efforts are underway to punish provinces that don't ensure access to euthanasia. From the Ottawa Citizen story:
Provinces that refuse to offer right-to-die medical services should have federal health care subsidies slashed to discourage a repeat of the jurisdictional patchwork that limits legal access to abortion in parts of the country, parliamentarians heard Monday.
NDP MP and health critic Murray Rankin, at a hearing of the special joint House-Senate committee on assisted dying, pressed witnesses Abby Hoffman, assistant deputy minister at Health Canada, on whether the government would withhold heath-care transfer payments from provinces and territories that chose not to make physician-assisted death services available.
"The last line of defence is withholding funding," responded Hoffman. But, "there would be a lot of conversation with that jurisdiction long before the point of withholding funds. It is a very long process to turn an alleged violation of a principle into a situation where there are financial penalties."
So if ready access to medicalized killing isn't guaranteed by a province, the federal government will punish that area's sick by restricting its share of the provinces' health care costs.
This goes past mere legalization to creating a positive right to access death. And that requires authoritarian coercion of doctors -- and in a socialized system -- local government entities.
Canada is throwing away the right to call itself free -- or moral.
Image credit: © xtock / Dollar Photo Club.