Difficult economy + legalisation of euthanasia = a dangerous idea

Legalising euthanasia is never a good idea, but it's a particularly bad idea in these difficult economic times, explains Baroness Campbell of Surbiton. Member of the UK government and living with a disability, she's in a good position to know what she's talking about.

The debate on euthanasia is all the rage in many countries. In Quebec there is a respite until just after the elections, but it risks coming back to the table. In Canada, the Canadian Medical Association has begun consulting its members, as well as the public. The elected representatives of New Hampshire have just voted against a bill which would have legalised assisted suicide, just like what happened in Oregon. The controversy is very much alive in France as well. In Australia, where euthanasia was briefly legal (before the law was nullified), the discussions have commenced anew. And it's also taking place in Great-Britain, where the Supreme Court just delivered a verdict demanding more clarification into the law forbidding assisted suicide.

Baroness Campbell tells us that in these times of recession, the danger of euthanasia towards the elderly or people with disabilities is greatly heightened. She affirms that the results of a long period of economic slowdown [as witnessed in England, but also in Quebec] have shown the hardening of attitudes towards the most vulnerable members of society.

With all we could have read lately in the news pertaining to the subject of cuts in Quebec health services, it wouldn't be too astonishing to see people begin to react as describes Baroness Campbell.

I have already written pertaining to the subject of risks that weigh against people living with disabilities should the legalisation of euthanasia come to pass, or « medical aid in dying ». I've also written on the subject of the economic aspect of euthanasia or of assisted suicide. The risks are real and as human beings, we cannot ignore them.

The idea of legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide, even if we disguise them under the term « medical aid in dying », is never a good idea. It's even less so when we're going through an economic slump.