Once a society legalises euthanasia, it is impossible to ensure that every act of euthanasia is, in fact, at the voluntary request of the ill or aged person.
This is evident from research into the practice of euthanasia in Holland. John Keown, a medical ethicist at Cambridge University in Britain, reported that in 1990 in Holland, 52% of the 10,558 cases of a doctor’s intent to hasten death were done with no explicit request from the patients involved.
Dr Keown said:
“The Dutch claim that their guidelines for VAE [voluntary active euthanasia] are precise and strict, and therefore capable of ensuring effective control, fails to pass muster.”
Likewise, in Belgium, where euthanasia was legalised in 2002, almost half of all nurses have admitted to killing patients without their consent.
Once the mindset of getting the terminally ill and the aged out of the way as quickly and easily as possible is accepted, it becomes increasingly certain that voluntary euthanasia leads to involuntary euthanasia.
Brian Pollard, an Australian palliative care expert, has said:
“Every proposal to legalise euthanasia has been shown to be flawed, and they have been widely abused when put into practice elsewhere. No proposal has ever been devised which could be guaranteed not to be abused.”
In reality, once killing a person is accepted as a solution in a few tough cases, the ‘dam wall’ collapses and it becomes the appropriate answer in many cases.
Let’s not take this dangerous step.