Euthanasia: all aboard!

NOTE: The original article was published in French in the Huffintgon Post on September 29, 2016 (read original article here >>).


Everyone must push in the same direction. That is how we develop a consensus in Quebec. What counts is that an idea progresses down its path.

Thus, less than a year after the implementation of the law on “medical assisted death”, the proponents of euthanasia-on-demand are already attacking the Commission charged with monitoring its implementation. They are preying on one of the key measures that the government put in place to reduce potential slips and abuse.

The reason? It would be too curious, it would demand too much information, too many explanations for the death of a human – induced medically by a doctor. And how can the Commission be tamed? By attacking, as always, people who have not given unbounded allegiance to this new conception of the end of life.

The rhetoric is always the same: those who advocate euthanasia have at heart the fate of people in later life, while those who oppose it are cruel, selfish and dogmatic.

Of course, attacking the people who do not proclaim “body and soul” the new social precept is only a pretext. In reality, it seeks to send a clear message to future candidates who agree to serve on this Commission: "Be still and let the doctors do their euthanasia without being bothered."

It is not reassuring when one considers that the Commission has a mandate to protect people at end of life against the excessive zeal that some doctors might have. Besides, it is impossible not to note the irony of the situation: all this outrage began with the complaint of doctors working in a region where NO request for euthanasia has been refused according to the latest provincial report released in June.

We should rather worry about this laxity that does not filter any request and that judges all reasons for wanting to die as acceptable. Yet instead of this, we prefer to hit on the same heads to hammer the same nail.

The statements of some members of the Commission, which have triggered certain elites, contain nothing shocking. For example, protests against its president who did nothing more than remind us that slip-ups are not only possible, but that they are real when we examine what happens in countries where euthanasia is legal. They are even documented – or, so to speak, scientifically proven.

Moreover, all this noise continues without anyone having knowledge of the facts, since the records and internal reports of the Commission are confidential. All this outrage is therefore based on wind, rumor, hearsay, and opinions.

It is sad to see that the so-called well-being of patients is always summed up in saying: "We will give all necessary support ... if you want euthanasia."

When will we see such enthusiasm and effort to improve living conditions in nursing homes, to expand access to palliative care, to give a better education to physicians in pain management, to reduce the time of waiting in emergencies, to accompany individuals, to make life easier for people with a disability...?