Two very disturbing stories regarding the expansion of Euthanasia are emerging in Europe.
The first concerns developments in the Netherlands where the Supreme Court has approved the forced euthanasia of patients with dementia, if they asked to be killed before becoming incompetent. This applies even if they could no longer confirm this because of their illness. “A doctor can carry out an (earlier) written request for euthanasia from people with advanced dementia,” the Supreme Court said in a summary of its decision.
What the Reuters story failed to mention – and apparently the Supreme Court found to be irrelevant – is that the case in question involved a woman who fought against being killed. Nor does the story mention that the doctor had drugged the woman before starting to euthanize her, and that the doctor instructed the family to hold the struggling woman down so that she could administer the lethal injection. Moreover, the patient had also stated in her instructions that she wanted to decide “when” the time for death had come — which she never did. The termination “choice” was made by the doctor and/or family in violation of the patient’s advance directive.
The Supreme Court judge Willem van Schendel ruled the doctor involved in this case acted with ‘due diligence’ and was therefore not punishable. He also said that in hat in advanced dementia cases, doctors must pay particular attention to the legal requirement that the patient is suffering “hopelessly and unbearably” as a result of dementia. Right to Life points out that other than our belief that deliberately injecting lethal chemicals into a patient to kill them is wrong in all circumstances, who decides when a patients suffering is ‘hopeless and unbearable’. Such vague and subjective terms make future abuse of their current laws a certainty.
Van Schendel also said that in such cases “not one, but two independent doctors” should be consulted about whether the written directive can be honoured.” ….Now where have we heard that the safeguard of two independent doctors would protect human lives before? That’s right it was back in 1977 when New Zealand’s Contraception Steralisation and Abortion Act was passed (with the result that since that time over 500,000 unborn New Zealanders have been murdered).
The second concerns France where controversy broke out at the end of march because of a government decree making the drug Clonazepam available outside its specific marketing authorisation in order for it to be used on patients with respiratory distress in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic. Critics are concerned the drug can now be used to kill off the fragile and elderly. The problem appears to be that those administering the drug in care homes are not trained in the use of this drug and that excessive dosages appear to be being used.
Both these cases illustrate the very real dangers of taking Euthanasia out of our criminal code. Evidence abounds in all jurisdiction overseas that where it has been let loose that Euthanasia continues to expand and that the slippery slope is a very real one indeed. It is vital that New Zealanders are informed about these dangers before the coming referendum on the End of Life Choice Bill.