This week our friends at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview published a commentary highlighting Belgium’s efforts to push the boundaries when it comes to suicide-by-physician and euthanasia.
[Assisted suicide is] not about alleviating suffering.
A psychiatrist in Belgium approved the doctor-assisted suicide of a healthy 38-year-old woman diagnosed with Asperger’s. Asperger’s is a mild form of autism.
It’s not a terminal illness. It does not lead to anything that could be considered “unbearable and untreatable suffering.” That’s Belgium’s squishy definition of eligibility for assisted suicide. . . .
Wherever assisted suicide is permitted, it’s not just the terminally ill who die. It’s the vulnerable among us.
He’s exactly right.
Researchers in North America have continued to find that people who ask a doctor to prescribe drugs to help them commit suicide generally aren’t concerned about pain and suffering caused by a terminal illness. They’re worried about losing their autonomy or their way of life.
In Canada — where assisted-suicide is legal — researchers found that people inquired about assisted-suicide not because of excruciating pain, but because they are dissatisfied with their lives in the wake of their illness.
As one researcher put it, “Their quality of life is not what they want. They are mostly educated and affluent — people who are used to being successful and in control of their lives, and it’s how they want their death to be.”
Since 1998, more than 90% of the people who inquired about assisted suicide in Oregon said they were concerned about losing their autonomy. More than 75% expressed worries about losing their dignity. Only 26% said they were concerned about controlling their pain.
Last August we told you Belgian doctors have euthanized at least three minors suffering from brain tumors, muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis. And in October we wrote that Canada’s largest children’s hospital was drafting a policy regarding euthanasia that some say could eventually let children decide to be euthanized without even notifying their parents.
I’ll keep saying it: Being pro-life means believing human life is sacred from conception until natural death, and it means opposing the taking of human life without just cause. Just like abortion, euthanasia and assisted-suicide are murder, and they violate the sanctity of human life.
Photo By Colin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/cckaiser/3619297168/) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.