One of our readers recently complained that BioEdge was running too many articles on surrogacy and euthanasia. I am pleased to announce that my conscience is clear on the former; there are no articles on surrogacy this week.
However, it is hard to avoid the latter. This week euthanasia was legalised in Quebec -- for the first time in North America -- and a nurse in Belgium has been arrested for having killed 40 or more patients out of compassion.
“I want to congratulate ourselves as parliamentarians,” said one politician. “Quebec is a beautiful society, and again today Quebec has just shown that we are really, really a different society.” I cannot say that I share her optimism. A law which allows one group in society to take the lives of others out of the eye of the law and the public is open to abuse.
Exhibit A this week is the Australian assisted suicide activist, Dr Philip Nitschke. Police in Melbourne have questioned him about a suicide pact by two elderly women (which we did not report to keep from overloading the newsletter). They had used equipment obtained from him and recommended by him (although he was not directly involved). Dr Nitschke’s attitude towards the law is consistent: it is an ass. He shows his contempt by helping people to commit suicide, but without stepping across the line into criminality. There will always be doctors like him who believe that any law is too restrictive. If euthanasia is legalised, will they keep pushing the boundaries further and further out?
Exhibit B is extraordinary revelations in Belgium, where a nurse who was also a Catholic deacon used his privileged position to kill scores of people, probably without their consent. There will always be twisted people like him. If euthanasia is legalised, will there be more of them?
Can it be wise to follow Quebec’s lead if we can foresee that more half-deranged and fully-deranged minds like these will be encouraged to embark upon private crusades to drown the world with compassion?