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The cruelty of Canada’s euthanasia policy Maid has been turned into a political weapon

'Canada’s lax protocols make me queasy.' Credit: Amour

'Canada’s lax protocols make me queasy.' Credit: Amour


August 21, 2023   9 mins

With uncharacteristic humility, I would concede that a few positions I’ve argued fiercely in print might be viable on paper, but in practice are a disaster. The “war on drugs” being a fiasco, years ago I advocated the legalisation of recreational pharmaceuticals. But given the dirty, dangerous, dismal tent cities full of addicts in LA, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland — which have all effectively decriminalised drug possession — it may be fortunate that glib journalists like me don’t control public policy.

I’ve likewise argued for legalised assisted dying. After all, nobody asked us if we wanted to be here (a favourite headline: “Woman Sues for Being Born”); the least we might expect is help leaving the building. Why should living be an obligation? While the strongest candidates for a gentle, legal assisted death are patients with agonising terminal illnesses, any respectable libertarian would maintain that outfits such as Dignitas in Switzerland simply provide a service, of which consumers in any medical condition should be free to avail themselves. And for lack of a better word, I’m a libertarian.

I gained an appreciation for how being alive could simply fail a clinical cost-benefit analysis in the summer of 2020. For five days, I was in such blinding pain from a nerve in my spine that I awoke each morning screaming at my poor husband: “I would rather be dead!” I wasn’t being histrionic. Well, okay, I was — but I was also brutally sincere. Had remaining alive been conditioned on such intense and unrelenting suffering forever more, for the first time I could see a persuasive case for calling it quits. During the blackest periods of those days, on which I took half an hour to descend a single flight of stairs, I was incapable of pleasure, humour, or love. The sole thought in my head was that I would do anything to get the pain to stop.

Canada has an unusually liberal programme called Medical Assistance in Dying, or Maid — although this acronym doesn’t tidy your flat but sponges your existence from the known universe. The Great White North should, therefore, represent my perverse version of Valhalla. Instead, Maid’s lax protocols make me queasy. In theory, maybe everyone has a right to die if they want to. In practice, maybe the state needs to keep a tight regulatory reign on whom it graciously provides a one-way ticket to nowhere.

Introduced in 2016, Canada’s government-sanctioned euthanasia by medically administered lethal injection and legalisation of assisted suicide (there’s a difference; the latter usually entails patients themselves swallowing fatal tablets prescribed by a doctor) were initially intended to put the terminally ill who’d had enough out of their misery. Yet sister programmes in the seven other countries that permit euthanasia generally restrict the pool of applicants to people destined to die naturally within six months. Maid initially codified no such limitation, merely citing vaguely that death should be “reasonably foreseeable”, as it is for all us mortals. Hypothetically, then, even the programme as originally conceived could have been open to people whose ailments would only kill them many years hence. Yet, bolstering its critics’ “slippery slope” argument, the programme soon radically loosened its restrictions. Assisted dying is now available in Canada to all adults with a serious illness or disability, regardless of whether the source of their torment would be fatal over time.

Most controversially, the government is considering the offer of lethal injection to “mature minors” — whatever that means. The programme is also set to extend to Canadians who are mentally ill. That said, the start date of state-sponsored death for the psychologically unwell (which on one day or another would probably include us all) has been pushed back to March 2024, indicating a degree of bureaucratic anxiety.

Given the stories in the press, that anxiety may be warranted.

At the age of 61, Alan Nichols had a history of depression and was hospitalised as a suicide risk in 2019 — something of an irony, as in due course the hospital staff, according to his family, was altogether too helpful in facilitating the patient’s application for euthanasia. That application was accepted, even though the only health condition it cited as so intolerable that Nichols wanted to die was “hearing loss”. After Nichols was put to death, his family objected that the man was not suffering unbearably, had been refusing to take his medication, and wouldn’t use the cochlear implant that helped him hear. But no medical personnel had ever contacted his relatives, out of respect for patient confidentiality.

While some Canadian disability advocates are upset that disability alone is now a qualification for euthanasia, arguably sending a social signal that the disabled are a burden and better off dead, Nichols did not nominate himself as a political representative of any group. He was just one person who didn’t want to be here anymore, and if we’re not impressed by his motives, that’s our problem. Whether or not to head for the back door was his decision, his business.

Still — I’m reaching here. Hearing loss? Really?

Suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease at 41, Sean Tagert required 24-hour care, but British Columbia only provided 16-hour assistance. Paying caretakers for the remaining eight hours cost Tagert CA$264 per day. Health authorities did offer to move Tagert to an institution, but its location was far from the young son who was clearly his father’s prime reason for living, as Tagert described such a separation as a “death sentence”. The man managed to raise CA$16,000 to invest in medical equipment that would allow him to remain at home, but the funds were insufficient. So instead he applied for euthanasia. The end.

All health systems have finite resources, so let’s assume that 16-hour care was all British Columbia could afford. If Tagert couldn’t manage on that support, we wouldn’t encourage a bureaucracy to give in to blackmail: If you don’t give me 24-hour care, I’ll kill myself. On the other hand, the availability of assisted dying as a solution to his problems must have made it more likely that Tagert would choose death, as opposed to giving institutional care a go and perhaps discovering that seeing his son somewhat less often wasn’t the end of the world. In general, then, legalising assisted dying without fierce limits on who qualifies may increase the likelihood that, rather than find more creative escapes from their predicaments, people give into despair.

In more than one instance in Canada, too, patients seem to have been actively pressed to consider pulling their own plug to save the health system money. Hospitalised for a degenerative brain disorder, Roger Foley was, according to Associated Press, “so alarmed by staffers mentioning euthanasia that he began secretly recording some of their conversations”. In one recording, the hospital’s director of ethics informs Foley that his hospital stay is costing the institution “north of $1,500 a day” — quite the guilt trip. Foley asks about the plan for his long-term care. “Roger, this is not my show,” the “ethicist” said. “My piece of this was to talk to you, to see if you had an interest in assisted dying.” But Foley himself had never expressed the slightest interest in dying.

For while the Australian province of Victoria, for example, forbids doctors from bringing up the option of euthanasia, lest it be mistaken for medical advice, Canada’s physicians can cheerfully recommend being killed as one of patients’ “clinical care options”. Thus, Sheila Elson took her daughter to an emergency room in Newfoundland six years ago. Unprompted, the doctor informed Elson that her daughter of 25, who had cerebral palsy and spinal bifida, was a good candidate for euthanasia. As Elson later told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the doctor chided that not taking up the state’s kindly offer to slay her daughter would be “selfish”.

Given that they both tattled to the media, Foley and Elson clearly resented being enticed to please consider lethal injection as an economy for the state. But more fragile characters might be less apt to stand up for their rights.

At least four cases have been unearthed of veterans with, say, PTSD being encouraged to consider assisted dying in preference, as one staffer put it diplomatically, to “blowing your brains out”. Maid has been active in prisons as well, whose population is also costly and understandably prone to feeling glum. I wouldn’t melodramatically portray this programme as some wicked Final Solution for castoffs and criminals, but there’s more than a hint here of the brutal social utilitarianism that horrified Captain Kirk in more than one episode of Star Trek.

The woman who has most alarmed critics of Maid’s prospective extension to the mentally ill is Lisa Pauli, who is queueing up for assisted dying months in advance. At 47, Pauli has been anorexic for the better part of 40 years and now holds out no hope of defeating the disorder. She weighs 92 pounds and goes days without solid food. Pauli’s psychiatrist assures her that once the law in Canada becomes more encompassing next year, she’ll probably be eligible for assisted dying. Yet it takes one look at Lisa Pauli’s picture to conclude that she doesn’t need a lethal injection. She needs a sandwich.

Maid is popular in Canada. In a recent Research Co. poll, 73% of Canadians approved of the regime in its current form, while only 16% opposed it. Moreover, a goodly measure of Canadians would be happy for the programme to expand further: 27% claimed Maid should be an option even for people whose only affliction was “poverty”; 28% would offer state-sponsored oblivion to the homeless. A fifth of respondents would provide Maid to anybody for any reason. Sean Tagert’s was one of several cases of Canadians finally choosing death after years of struggling to obtain sufficient health care, and a hefty 51% of poll respondents believed that “inability to receive medical treatment” should qualify applicants for the needle.

I wonder if these Canadians are exercising their imaginations. For governments, citizens are an annoyance. Is it really in the broader interest of us peons to make it too easy for the authorities to simply dispose of us, rather than contend with our messy, expensive problems? Keep loosening the restrictions on such programmes, and pretty soon it’s only so fanciful to envision California cleaning up its tented encampments of homeless alcoholics and drug addicts by sending Swat teams marching through the cardboard and corrugated iron with sub-machine guns.

As for qualifying for euthanasia by dint of mental illness, psychic afflictions are still poorly understood and poorly defined. Because the portion of the population claiming to have mental health problems continues to rise, this is surely the gateway to offering the ultimate cure for human suffering to everybody. Although all pain is subjective, the physical kind usually has an objective correlative. In 2020, I could have shown you on an MRI exactly what was wrong with my back. Mental pain, though, is heavily dependent on self-reporting, so that assessing its severity from the outside is almost impossible.

While Maid guidelines stipulate that whatever drives a candidate to seek a last resort should be incurable, it’s also impossible to tell whether mental problems are temporary or intransigent. In fact, one of the major concerns of too-ready access to assisted dying is that people are moody, fickle, and changeable. One day, one month, or even one year, our outlook can be unbearably bleak, and the challenges of the future can appear insurmountable. But fortunes and frames of mind can pick up, clouds lift: we get a new job, fall in love, finally put a bereavement behind us, after which the prospect of asking to die may strike us as preposterous. Many a failed suicide has been grateful in retrospect for having botched the job.

What’s especially puzzling about Canada, of all places, having such loose restrictions on assisted dying is that Justin Trudeau’s government is famously — I would say notoriously — Left-wing. It’s the Left that traditionally prides itself on concern for the “vulnerable” (a ubiquitous catch-all adjective I’ve come to detest). We would expect Canadian worthies to be out on the streets protesting the state’s offer of nonexistence to the incapacitated, the incarcerated, the addled, or the down at the heel, and instead a slim majority of the country seems to see assisted dying as an answer to the shortcomings of their healthcare system. In a way, I’m impressed. I didn’t think those wet Canadians capable of such cool, callous calculation.

To be fair, the average age of Canadians euthanised by Maid in 2021 was 76; 80% had already been in palliative care, and 65% had cancer. In majority, the regime continues to serve the patients it was originally designed to help: people in searing physical pain who are certain to die soon anyway.

I come full circle, then. I still believe in legal assisted dying. After that experience of paralysing nerve pain — which has blessedly not returned — I would even endorse extending such a service to people in non-fatal agony if such life-despoiling torture is chronic and physicians can offer no effective relief. But that’s where I’d draw the line, and I’d hold the line: relieving people of physical pain, for which I have developed a sober respect.

Ironically, the very liberality of Canada’s system has turned it into a political weapon for opponents of kindred programmes proposed in countries such as Britain, where the practice of assisted dying is still banned. But there’s no reason a state that allows what used to be called “mercy killing” under strictly defined circumstances necessarily slides down that hackneyed slippery slope and starts slaughtering every citizen whom someone considers inconvenient or costly. A well-designed protocol should require a waiting period and make it easy for clients to change their minds. Knowing they have the option of an ultimate exit gives many people the fortitude to keep going.

If I would not offer legal euthanasia to anorexics, people with hearing loss, or depressives, much less to the poor or homeless, let’s remember what’s at issue: not whether the state forces you to keep living but whether the state actively helps you die. For any folks bound and determined to not be here anymore, a range of old-fashioned if unpleasant remedies remain at hand. If that disagreeableness presents enough of a barrier to get you to reconsider, maybe you’re still up for continuing to kick around the planet after all.


Lionel Shriver is an author, journalist and columnist for The Spectator. Her new book, Mania, is published by the Borough Press.


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Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

It turns out that obscure philosophical arguments are actually pretty important. The horrors of the 20th century taught a great many people that.
In philosophical terms, either human life is an unalloyed good or it is not. If something is truly good, then intentionally ending it is bad. If something is only good under certain conditions, then we must perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether ending it is good or bad. Please note I am not saying that human life is always “pleasurable”, but “good” and “pleasurable” are very different things.
Human life is always good. So what do we do about a human life that is truly agony: untreatable cancer or late stage muscular dystrophy? This is a problem that philosophers and theologians have wrestled with for millennia, and the Church (specifically Catholic and Orthodox) have very solid teaching on the subject. The Church has historically taught that intentionally killing is murder, but a death which occurs incidental to an attempt to prevent suffering is not. This teaching is ancient, and was used for centuries by doctors. A member of my own family met his end this way, via morphine given specifically to ensure he would feel no pain. It is intentionality that brings moral culpability, a concept that is also recognized in criminal law.
However, when the postmodernists abandoned 2500 years of philosophy and theology, they lost all of that. So for them, ending a human life is a cost-benefit analysis and thus always a subjective endeavor. Was the prior system perfect? Absolutely not! But it erred on the side of life instead of on the side of death, and erring toward death appears to be a very slippery slope indeed.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
11 months ago

Indeed. This is exactly the kind of issue that would keep the Church relevant, and on which they could show moral leadership, or at least be a counterweight to more utilitarian approaches.

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

The church is a tool whose raison d’etre has disappeared, like the spokeshave. They only exist as a small arm for the far left. They will go to any length to preserve their business model, including defending child abuse and rape. To quote the sadly underrated thinker Noel Gallagher they are men “with a fork in a world of soup”

Last edited 11 months ago by mike otter
Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

I am a member of Christ’s Church. I am a pastor in Christ’s Church. Why do you tar me with the same brush as those who know nothing of Christ?

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Or any reasonable people either.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Or any reasonable people either.

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

A very balanced point of view. Not.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

I am a member of Christ’s Church. I am a pastor in Christ’s Church. Why do you tar me with the same brush as those who know nothing of Christ?

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

A very balanced point of view. Not.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

It depends entirely on what you mean by ‘the church’. As a senior pastor within independent congregations I have stood outside parliament opposing euthanasia every time it comes up; I have spoken out, and continue to speak out, in sermons and in articles, about the gift of life; and I am a senior part of a charity that has made significant interventions in the UK over this matter.
However, what do you mean by ‘church’? Because I am in an independent congregation, and because I am an avowed theologically conservative Protestant, I am not part of the denominational structures which people mean when they blithely use the term ‘church’ – yet I am most assuredly part of Christ’s church on earth.
Furthermore, because of what I believe, the MSM has no interest in what I say. And if the MSM did come calling I’d be mighty careful, as their intent would undoubtedly be to try to mock and humiliate me by setting me against someone with no morals but lots of clever words.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Any church attached to a State is not a church but a Political organ. When people refer to Church attrocities they are with few exceptions referring to a State operation under a religious name.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Any church attached to a State is not a church but a Political organ. When people refer to Church attrocities they are with few exceptions referring to a State operation under a religious name.

Stephen Barnard
Stephen Barnard
11 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

could…

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

The church is a tool whose raison d’etre has disappeared, like the spokeshave. They only exist as a small arm for the far left. They will go to any length to preserve their business model, including defending child abuse and rape. To quote the sadly underrated thinker Noel Gallagher they are men “with a fork in a world of soup”

Last edited 11 months ago by mike otter
Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

It depends entirely on what you mean by ‘the church’. As a senior pastor within independent congregations I have stood outside parliament opposing euthanasia every time it comes up; I have spoken out, and continue to speak out, in sermons and in articles, about the gift of life; and I am a senior part of a charity that has made significant interventions in the UK over this matter.
However, what do you mean by ‘church’? Because I am in an independent congregation, and because I am an avowed theologically conservative Protestant, I am not part of the denominational structures which people mean when they blithely use the term ‘church’ – yet I am most assuredly part of Christ’s church on earth.
Furthermore, because of what I believe, the MSM has no interest in what I say. And if the MSM did come calling I’d be mighty careful, as their intent would undoubtedly be to try to mock and humiliate me by setting me against someone with no morals but lots of clever words.

Stephen Barnard
Stephen Barnard
11 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

could…

Tony Price
Tony Price
11 months ago

Strange argument indeed. The ‘Church’, like most religions, has intentionally killed plenty of people who would have preferred to live.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Seb was referring to the churches of today, not those of centuries ago.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Nevertheless……..

Tony Price
Tony Price
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I refer you to “…The Church has historically taught that intentionally killing is murder … This teaching is ancient, …”. Sounds like he’s referring to centuries ago to me.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

I was responding to your own earlier comment, however, which says that the Church “has intentionally killed plenty of people who would have preferred to live.” Do you know of any churches that are now advocating military crusades or burning at the stake? I sure don’t.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

I was responding to your own earlier comment, however, which says that the Church “has intentionally killed plenty of people who would have preferred to live.” Do you know of any churches that are now advocating military crusades or burning at the stake? I sure don’t.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Nathanson
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Nevertheless……..

Tony Price
Tony Price
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I refer you to “…The Church has historically taught that intentionally killing is murder … This teaching is ancient, …”. Sounds like he’s referring to centuries ago to me.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

The ‘Church’ of Rome certainly has.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Must we trot out this dead horse at every mention of religion? Yes, a lot of people have died in wars over religion. A lot of people have died in the hundreds of other wars over territory, or resources, or geopolitics, or no reason at all really(see WWI). The non-religious governments of Stalin and Hitler killed millions of people, their own and others as well, yet that doesn’t make all dialectical materialists or whatever Hitler was guilty by association. It’s a stupid argument. The common denominator here is not religion, or lack thereof. The common denominator is people. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say murder and war would still be a thing even in a world of atheists.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

they are trying to rationalize their unfaith

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

I suspect you give them too much credit. I suspect all they are doing is trying to sound cool, hip, and modern in front of their friends and/or fit into certain progressive social circles. Honestly, I have witnessed the same behaviors and made the same complaint about a lot of church goers and outwardly religious folk, that their faith is more about fitting in, being a part of a club, and engaging in this sort of collective schoolyard taunting of the other side. It’s the same sort of blind joiner behavior I see everywhere and have come to hate because of all the problems it causes. I often amuse myself by pointing out how their behavior is exactly the same crap as the people they consider to be their opposites. I confess to being a bit of an anti-social jack-ass who enjoys pointing out human failings.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

More power to you, Steve. Thanks for saying what must be said. Sometimes, I just roll my eyes after reading what is supposed to be conventional wisdom (but often with a gratuitous sneer). This time, I didn’t. But I’m glad that you took the time to make a more detailed comment than mine. After a lifetime in the field of comparative religion–my area of specialization being religion and secularity–I must admit that I’ve become cynical in some ways (and I detest cynicism not only as a personal failing but also as a cultural scourge). Too many people don’t, can’t or won’t hear what they don’t want to hear. And everyone’s an expert on religion (and sex), right?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Sorry to say I succumbed to cynicism at a disturbingly young age, but I had, and still have, other issues that contribute heavily to it. To summarize a long, boring, and pointless biography, I am uniquely unsuited to thriving in society as it currently exists, but ideal for pointing out its myriad failings. Whether fate or blind luck, it is the
hand I have been dealt. People dropping glib one-liners lifted wholesale from stock criticisms over a century old simply rubs me the wrong way. They’re just parroting something they heard some cool celebrity or one of their friends say without any understanding of the historical context or the reasoning that led to it, and that person is probably doing the same thing. It’s anyone’s guess how far the chain goes before we find somebody who actually has done any serious thinking or reading on the subject. That is just one of the herd behaviors that have led to my becoming something of a misanthrope.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Welcome to the club, Steve. And there’s one good thing about being misanthropic (due to fate, not gleeful choice). It doesn’t refer to this or that group of people as targets of hatred. For me, at any rate, it refers to people in general as sources of disappointment.
Fortunately, I can still get beyond that point of view at least occasionally. I can still admire the people who really do deserve admiration, those who seek truth or justice, who create beauty, who are capable of love and even self-sacrifice. Those people do make me proud to be human, although I often forget about them in the midst of daily life.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Welcome to the club, Steve. And there’s one good thing about being misanthropic (due to fate, not gleeful choice). It doesn’t refer to this or that group of people as targets of hatred. For me, at any rate, it refers to people in general as sources of disappointment.
Fortunately, I can still get beyond that point of view at least occasionally. I can still admire the people who really do deserve admiration, those who seek truth or justice, who create beauty, who are capable of love and even self-sacrifice. Those people do make me proud to be human, although I often forget about them in the midst of daily life.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Sorry to say I succumbed to cynicism at a disturbingly young age, but I had, and still have, other issues that contribute heavily to it. To summarize a long, boring, and pointless biography, I am uniquely unsuited to thriving in society as it currently exists, but ideal for pointing out its myriad failings. Whether fate or blind luck, it is the
hand I have been dealt. People dropping glib one-liners lifted wholesale from stock criticisms over a century old simply rubs me the wrong way. They’re just parroting something they heard some cool celebrity or one of their friends say without any understanding of the historical context or the reasoning that led to it, and that person is probably doing the same thing. It’s anyone’s guess how far the chain goes before we find somebody who actually has done any serious thinking or reading on the subject. That is just one of the herd behaviors that have led to my becoming something of a misanthrope.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

More power to you, Steve. Thanks for saying what must be said. Sometimes, I just roll my eyes after reading what is supposed to be conventional wisdom (but often with a gratuitous sneer). This time, I didn’t. But I’m glad that you took the time to make a more detailed comment than mine. After a lifetime in the field of comparative religion–my area of specialization being religion and secularity–I must admit that I’ve become cynical in some ways (and I detest cynicism not only as a personal failing but also as a cultural scourge). Too many people don’t, can’t or won’t hear what they don’t want to hear. And everyone’s an expert on religion (and sex), right?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

I suspect you give them too much credit. I suspect all they are doing is trying to sound cool, hip, and modern in front of their friends and/or fit into certain progressive social circles. Honestly, I have witnessed the same behaviors and made the same complaint about a lot of church goers and outwardly religious folk, that their faith is more about fitting in, being a part of a club, and engaging in this sort of collective schoolyard taunting of the other side. It’s the same sort of blind joiner behavior I see everywhere and have come to hate because of all the problems it causes. I often amuse myself by pointing out how their behavior is exactly the same crap as the people they consider to be their opposites. I confess to being a bit of an anti-social jack-ass who enjoys pointing out human failings.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

But we’ll never know.

Ticiba Upe
Ticiba Upe
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Bravo

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

they are trying to rationalize their unfaith

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

But we’ll never know.

Ticiba Upe
Ticiba Upe
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Bravo

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Well said, Tony.

Jeremy Sansom
Jeremy Sansom
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

You say ‘Church’. Please define which church – the one whose members wear the T-shirt or those who are followers of Jesus Christ? If you are in Christ’s Ecclesia you do not kill or entertain killing.
The final judgement will distinguish the T-shirt wearers from those with circumcised hearts. The latter have undergone a painful, but ultimately joyous transformation. The former entertain a delusional notion that access to heaven is secured merely with good intentions.
There’s a cost to discipleship.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Inquisition killed about few hundred people during about 400 years of its existence

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Seb was referring to the churches of today, not those of centuries ago.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

The ‘Church’ of Rome certainly has.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Must we trot out this dead horse at every mention of religion? Yes, a lot of people have died in wars over religion. A lot of people have died in the hundreds of other wars over territory, or resources, or geopolitics, or no reason at all really(see WWI). The non-religious governments of Stalin and Hitler killed millions of people, their own and others as well, yet that doesn’t make all dialectical materialists or whatever Hitler was guilty by association. It’s a stupid argument. The common denominator here is not religion, or lack thereof. The common denominator is people. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say murder and war would still be a thing even in a world of atheists.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Well said, Tony.

Jeremy Sansom
Jeremy Sansom
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

You say ‘Church’. Please define which church – the one whose members wear the T-shirt or those who are followers of Jesus Christ? If you are in Christ’s Ecclesia you do not kill or entertain killing.
The final judgement will distinguish the T-shirt wearers from those with circumcised hearts. The latter have undergone a painful, but ultimately joyous transformation. The former entertain a delusional notion that access to heaven is secured merely with good intentions.
There’s a cost to discipleship.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Inquisition killed about few hundred people during about 400 years of its existence

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago

Quite so. “Nobody asked us if we wanted to be here” is an astonishingly horrific and ungodly view of the wonderful gift of life. Someone taking this attitude in the first place can hardly then go on to call what is now happening in Canada ‘cruel’ – as they support its fundamental principle.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Easy for you to say if you haven’t suffered. For some it’s a justified feeling and they no longer want to be here, so who are you to make a judgement.

Last edited 11 months ago by Clare Knight
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Well, Clare, who are you to say who has suffered and who hasn’t? Besides, this is not entirely a private matter. Everyone should have a say in matters of life and death, because it’s in connection with these boundaries that we collectively define the meaning and value of life.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I know people who have suffered, haven’t you? Should “everyone” have a say about my desire to kill myself?

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Of course, Clare, I’ve known people who suffer (and I include myself in some ways). But this discussion is not only about the needs of those who experience personal suffering and therefore do indeed deserve personal compassion. It’s also about the needs of society as a whole and therefore about a different kind of compassion (what I’d call wisdom). Finding a balance between personal and communal needs is not easy, but it is necessary whenever that balance involves the law.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I do not understand what you mean by “communal needs” with respect to a person’s desire, because of their suffering, to end their life. Your “communal needs” argument seems to infer that a community gains some benefit from allowing this suffering to continue (what can this be?), or that the community has some omniscient right to make these most fundamental decisions of life choice far better than any individual ever can – so the state must adjudicate the decision. I see this issue instead as a fundamental issue of free-will. Thus, given that such a choice is made rationally, I can not see how the decision of a person to end their suffering should be legislated by the community. And to follow on, I cannot see why the assistance of others who love that suffering person, in helping to assist in achieving that suffering persons choice is an act against the community.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I refer to (a) the culturally promoted virtue of courage and (b) the culturally promoted value of life.
Inherent in every healthy community is the collective need to overcome hardship, endure suffering and survive. Consequently, every community must cultivate fortitude–which is a necessary feature of daily life, not only one that is needed at the end of life. This does not preclude compassion for the suffering of those who face inevitable and imminent death, which is why hospitals offer palliative care. But using law to establish an individual “right to die” is another matter.
Laws are always not only practical but also symbolic (because its authority emerges from the state). This kind of law clearly has practical effects on many people apart from the patients themselves–families, friends, physicians and so on–and not necessarily in helpful ways. Moreover, and less obviously, this kind of law symbolically encourages the extreme individualism of our time, which is already fragmenting society into a collection of supposedly autonomous individuals.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I refer to (a) the culturally promoted virtue of courage and (b) the culturally promoted value of life.
Inherent in every healthy community is the collective need to overcome hardship, endure suffering and survive. Consequently, every community must cultivate fortitude–which is a necessary feature of daily life, not only one that is needed at the end of life. This does not preclude compassion for the suffering of those who face inevitable and imminent death, which is why hospitals offer palliative care. But using law to establish an individual “right to die” is another matter.
Laws are always not only practical but also symbolic (because its authority emerges from the state). This kind of law clearly has practical effects on many people apart from the patients themselves–families, friends, physicians and so on–and not necessarily in helpful ways. Moreover, and less obviously, this kind of law symbolically encourages the extreme individualism of our time, which is already fragmenting society into a collection of supposedly autonomous individuals.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I do not understand what you mean by “communal needs” with respect to a person’s desire, because of their suffering, to end their life. Your “communal needs” argument seems to infer that a community gains some benefit from allowing this suffering to continue (what can this be?), or that the community has some omniscient right to make these most fundamental decisions of life choice far better than any individual ever can – so the state must adjudicate the decision. I see this issue instead as a fundamental issue of free-will. Thus, given that such a choice is made rationally, I can not see how the decision of a person to end their suffering should be legislated by the community. And to follow on, I cannot see why the assistance of others who love that suffering person, in helping to assist in achieving that suffering persons choice is an act against the community.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Of course, Clare, I’ve known people who suffer (and I include myself in some ways). But this discussion is not only about the needs of those who experience personal suffering and therefore do indeed deserve personal compassion. It’s also about the needs of society as a whole and therefore about a different kind of compassion (what I’d call wisdom). Finding a balance between personal and communal needs is not easy, but it is necessary whenever that balance involves the law.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I know people who have suffered, haven’t you? Should “everyone” have a say about my desire to kill myself?

James S.
James S.
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

We ALL suffer in this life. It is part of the human condition. The question is how one views suffering and how one values life, warts and all.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Well, Clare, who are you to say who has suffered and who hasn’t? Besides, this is not entirely a private matter. Everyone should have a say in matters of life and death, because it’s in connection with these boundaries that we collectively define the meaning and value of life.

James S.
James S.
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

We ALL suffer in this life. It is part of the human condition. The question is how one views suffering and how one values life, warts and all.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Easy for you to say if you haven’t suffered. For some it’s a justified feeling and they no longer want to be here, so who are you to make a judgement.

Last edited 11 months ago by Clare Knight
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago

Well said. As a libertarian who witnessed both my maternal grandparents, with whom I was close, deteriorate and die of cancer, I have always been staunchly pro-assisted suicide specifically for those with terminal illnesses yet this article gives me some hesitation. If somebody is going to die, what does a couple extra months of abject misery accomplish exactly? If Canada serves as an example, more than I would have expected. The law of unintended consequences seems to be rearing its ugly head. Particularly disturbing are the doctors and ‘ethicists’ telling people how much it costs to keep them alive. Along those same lines, it’s no great leap in logic to advocating policies that sterilize the disabled and the poor, and then further to putting dissidents and other malcontents in ‘reeducation’ camps or just plain old death camps, and we’ve seen enough of that I think. I’m always suspicious of slippery slope arguments, but seeing what’s going on in Canada shows that while the argument is overused, it’s not automatically invalid. In a society that has already veered much too far in the direction of pure materialism, with governments regarding people not as citizens but as assets or liabilities, unbounded policies like Canada’s seem to be pouring gasoline on the fire. If someone told me, however, that if my living a couple more unpleasant months would help prevent our society’s further descent into materialistic nihilism and ensure that future generations aren’t herded into work camps because the government deems them ‘too costly’, I might find such an argument compelling.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Once you surrender the idea that human life in innately good, it becomes possible to justify all kinds of things.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well lets see how you feel about actually experiencing “a couple of extra months of abject misery” and then come back and tell us what you think.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

At the very least, I think we can all agree people shouldn’t be herded into gas chambers, eh? I can and have supported assisted suicide on the libertarian principle that it is an individual right. The author presents evidence, however, that the reality is falling far short of the libertarian ideal. The government is, in a few examples at least, putting their thumb on the scale of individual choices, and that offends my libertarian principles as well. We don’t get to live in a world of ideals, unfortunately. We live in a complex world of consequences intended and unintended. I reserve the right to look at available evidence and conclude that pursuing an ideal, even a correct one, can have bad results in practice. Even communism has theoretical appeal, but falls short when the rubber meets the road. That’s life, my friend. It’s messy, complicated, and we have to make hard and unpleasant choices all the time. As a libertarian, I’ll just say you make yours and I’ll make mine and I’d rather government ethicists stay out of both.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

“Being herded into gas chambers” sounds like murder.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

“Being herded into gas chambers” sounds like murder.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Yes, I too was staggered by the ineffable smugness of that statement.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Clare, no one is arguing for intentionally prolonging suffering. My own post made that clear. But intentional killing has to be a hard line. Because once you legalize that there is an inexorable push to be willing to kill more often.
Best to stick with “do not murder” and deal with relieving suffering in its own way. And yes, that means sometimes there will be suffering that can’t be easily relieved. But that is the price of civilization. Once you start treating people like animals and “putting them down”, you’ve abandoned the humanity of both those you kill and yourself.

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

It’s not about “putting people down”. You miss the point. It’s about people having the choice to end their own lives, painlessly, not having other people end it for them.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

People have always taken their own lives, Clare. All they need are guns, windows or sleeping pills. There’s nothing new about suicide. What’s new (since the twentieth century) is the state using its moral and legal authority to support suicide, sometimes on moral grounds (compassion for people who suffer needlessly) but sometimes on immoral grounds (such as cost control or “racial hygiene”).
And by the way, no one has yet commented on the indirect pressure that leads old people to die rather than to live on as burdens on their loved ones. This happens even when the latter truly don’t want the solution to be death, because society (with or without government collusion) gives them the message that the value of life is relative and that the termination of life is a purely practical matter.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

It’s hard to get your hands on sleeping pills, nowadays.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I don’t know about that, Clare, but I do know that many hospitals offer palliative care (and did so in Canada even before MAID). My very close friend is in a hospice after a year of (ultimately) unsuccessful chemotherapy. She won’t survive but she will die peacefully, and no physician is going to kill her.

Guy Pigache
Guy Pigache
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

They will. They up the morphine dose until your heart stops

Guy Pigache
Guy Pigache
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

They will. They up the morphine dose until your heart stops

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I don’t know about that, Clare, but I do know that many hospitals offer palliative care (and did so in Canada even before MAID). My very close friend is in a hospice after a year of (ultimately) unsuccessful chemotherapy. She won’t survive but she will die peacefully, and no physician is going to kill her.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

It’s hard to get your hands on sleeping pills, nowadays.

penny wright
penny wright
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

But how can it be ‘not having other people end it for them’ when it is medical aid in dying ie a doctor kills you.
It is inherently non-sense to want the right to end your own life then use the medical profession to do it.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

People have always taken their own lives, Clare. All they need are guns, windows or sleeping pills. There’s nothing new about suicide. What’s new (since the twentieth century) is the state using its moral and legal authority to support suicide, sometimes on moral grounds (compassion for people who suffer needlessly) but sometimes on immoral grounds (such as cost control or “racial hygiene”).
And by the way, no one has yet commented on the indirect pressure that leads old people to die rather than to live on as burdens on their loved ones. This happens even when the latter truly don’t want the solution to be death, because society (with or without government collusion) gives them the message that the value of life is relative and that the termination of life is a purely practical matter.

penny wright
penny wright
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

But how can it be ‘not having other people end it for them’ when it is medical aid in dying ie a doctor kills you.
It is inherently non-sense to want the right to end your own life then use the medical profession to do it.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

It’s not about “putting people down”. You miss the point. It’s about people having the choice to end their own lives, painlessly, not having other people end it for them.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

At the very least, I think we can all agree people shouldn’t be herded into gas chambers, eh? I can and have supported assisted suicide on the libertarian principle that it is an individual right. The author presents evidence, however, that the reality is falling far short of the libertarian ideal. The government is, in a few examples at least, putting their thumb on the scale of individual choices, and that offends my libertarian principles as well. We don’t get to live in a world of ideals, unfortunately. We live in a complex world of consequences intended and unintended. I reserve the right to look at available evidence and conclude that pursuing an ideal, even a correct one, can have bad results in practice. Even communism has theoretical appeal, but falls short when the rubber meets the road. That’s life, my friend. It’s messy, complicated, and we have to make hard and unpleasant choices all the time. As a libertarian, I’ll just say you make yours and I’ll make mine and I’d rather government ethicists stay out of both.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Yes, I too was staggered by the ineffable smugness of that statement.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Clare, no one is arguing for intentionally prolonging suffering. My own post made that clear. But intentional killing has to be a hard line. Because once you legalize that there is an inexorable push to be willing to kill more often.
Best to stick with “do not murder” and deal with relieving suffering in its own way. And yes, that means sometimes there will be suffering that can’t be easily relieved. But that is the price of civilization. Once you start treating people like animals and “putting them down”, you’ve abandoned the humanity of both those you kill and yourself.

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Why is it that those who argue against assisted dying never address the rights and wrongs of the fundamental issue itself, but always trot out these slippery slope arguments to move the issue onto other more extreme grounds? Isn’t it more compassionate to instead talk about what measures can be put in place to avoid ever reaching such slippery slopes?

philip kern
philip kern
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Because the slope is real and has proved to be extremely slippery?

philip kern
philip kern
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Because the slope is real and has proved to be extremely slippery?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Once you surrender the idea that human life in innately good, it becomes possible to justify all kinds of things.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well lets see how you feel about actually experiencing “a couple of extra months of abject misery” and then come back and tell us what you think.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Why is it that those who argue against assisted dying never address the rights and wrongs of the fundamental issue itself, but always trot out these slippery slope arguments to move the issue onto other more extreme grounds? Isn’t it more compassionate to instead talk about what measures can be put in place to avoid ever reaching such slippery slopes?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

Why should Canada overstepping be an excuse for not having a well managed, compassionate assisted suicide plan? We all know Canada has lost the plot in many respects. Freedom to die with dignity is a sign of the most evolved societies and we should not be abandoning desperate people. Fact is we are all going to die – stop being so fearful.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

So Lesley, serious question, how did Canada “lose the plot” on this issue? Where did they go wrong?
You say “Freedom to die with dignity is a sign of the most evolved societies and we should not be abandoning desperate people.” I think a civilized society gives people the tools to live, not the encouragement to die.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

I don’t see how you think assisted suicide is encouraging people to die.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

There have been numerous news reports that the Canadian Heath System will deny curative care but always offer to pay for MAID. “Gee Grandma, your dementia’s getting pretty bad, why not off yourself to relieve your kids (and the state) of the burden that is you?” Whether such a statement comes from the kids or from a govt bureaucrat in a form letter doesn’t make it any more palatable. Sounds like encouragement to me.
Since it’s clear you believe people have a right to get others to assist in arranging their own demise, I would ask you the same question I ask Lesley: how would you arrange such a system so that it didn’t “lose the plot” the way Canada has?

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

I’m not thinking about Canada’s MAID program when I respond. I’m just thinking about some way to make end of life an easy and painless process without government intervention. I’m an old lady myself and the prospect of slowly dying, alone in pain, in a nursing home is a terrifying prospect.
My mother was able to end her life, with my help, but I don’t have anyone to help me.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

I’m not thinking about Canada’s MAID program when I respond. I’m just thinking about some way to make end of life an easy and painless process without government intervention. I’m an old lady myself and the prospect of slowly dying, alone in pain, in a nursing home is a terrifying prospect.
My mother was able to end her life, with my help, but I don’t have anyone to help me.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

There have been numerous news reports that the Canadian Heath System will deny curative care but always offer to pay for MAID. “Gee Grandma, your dementia’s getting pretty bad, why not off yourself to relieve your kids (and the state) of the burden that is you?” Whether such a statement comes from the kids or from a govt bureaucrat in a form letter doesn’t make it any more palatable. Sounds like encouragement to me.
Since it’s clear you believe people have a right to get others to assist in arranging their own demise, I would ask you the same question I ask Lesley: how would you arrange such a system so that it didn’t “lose the plot” the way Canada has?

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

I don’t see how you think assisted suicide is encouraging people to die.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

Thank you well said, Lesley.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
11 months ago

Well said.

Gilmour Campbell
Gilmour Campbell
10 months ago

“Freedom to die with dignity is a sign of the most evolved societies ….” An example of which would be ..?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

So Lesley, serious question, how did Canada “lose the plot” on this issue? Where did they go wrong?
You say “Freedom to die with dignity is a sign of the most evolved societies and we should not be abandoning desperate people.” I think a civilized society gives people the tools to live, not the encouragement to die.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

Thank you well said, Lesley.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
11 months ago

Well said.

Gilmour Campbell
Gilmour Campbell
10 months ago

“Freedom to die with dignity is a sign of the most evolved societies ….” An example of which would be ..?

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago

Yup, they are fascists’ doing fascist things.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago

That’s because Postmodernism is just a mutated subvariant of Marxism which uses Liberation Theology to mask the cold, calculated Utilitarianism of “The Planners.”

Behind all the fuzzy language nonsense are Social Planners trying to scientifically reengineer “sustainable” hierarchies in the name of Progress.

Last edited 11 months ago by T Bone
Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
11 months ago

Back in the day the people Lionel Shriver mentions, in terrible pain and about to die were helped on their way by the treating Doc with the extra shot of morphine.
Hurrying people on their way so relatives could split the legacy proceeds wasn’t as big a problem as it’s likely to be now…there weren’t any for the vast majority beyond some chairs and a sideboard.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

That was my experience with my grandfather, Ted. The VA Doctors were clear that upping his morphine dose might well be fatal, but without it he would be in serious pain. And my father made the second hardest decision he has ever had to make. (He told me once that the hardest happened when Mom had complications during my birth and he was asked whose life to prioritize. He’s never told either of us what his answer was.)
Patient families and doctors together make these sorts of decisions all the time. But the wholesale embrace of medicalized murder is in a whole different category, both morally and practically.

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
James S.
James S.
10 months ago

Thank you for sharing your family’s experience. My experience with my stepmom, and with several terminally ill patients has been similar.

The specialty of palliative care medicine and the hospice movement exist to help relieve pain and suffering during dying. We have lots of tools to help in that without resorting to the false dichotomy of agonizing death vs. medicalized suicide/homicide. One of my sisters in law had home hospice care in our home, and it was a blessing (and affordable). I would encourage people to look beyond the false dichotomy.

James S.
James S.
10 months ago

Thank you for sharing your family’s experience. My experience with my stepmom, and with several terminally ill patients has been similar.

The specialty of palliative care medicine and the hospice movement exist to help relieve pain and suffering during dying. We have lots of tools to help in that without resorting to the false dichotomy of agonizing death vs. medicalized suicide/homicide. One of my sisters in law had home hospice care in our home, and it was a blessing (and affordable). I would encourage people to look beyond the false dichotomy.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

That was my experience with my grandfather, Ted. The VA Doctors were clear that upping his morphine dose might well be fatal, but without it he would be in serious pain. And my father made the second hardest decision he has ever had to make. (He told me once that the hardest happened when Mom had complications during my birth and he was asked whose life to prioritize. He’s never told either of us what his answer was.)
Patient families and doctors together make these sorts of decisions all the time. But the wholesale embrace of medicalized murder is in a whole different category, both morally and practically.

Last edited 11 months ago by Brian Villanueva
James S.
James S.
10 months ago

You refer to “double effect,” which I believe is still accepted doctrine in The RCC and traditional Christian medical ethics. Aggressive pain and symptom relief may have the double effect of hastening death, but that is a secondary effect, not the primary goal.

As an MD in the States and a Christian I look at the trajectory of Canada’s MAID program with horror. This is the abandonment of traditional medical ethics, “primum non nocere,” and the triumph of materialistic postmodern “ethics.” My cynical question: why don’t the Canadians just take the next logical step and have mobile vans with Zyklon B? We seem to have learned nothing from 1930s-1940s Germany.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
10 months ago

You have it right – all of medicine is a cost benefit analysis. Therein lies the violation, by definition, of the hippocratic oath. To decide what is best of one patient based on what is best for the herd is a breach of ethics and an inherent conflict of interest. Any standard and accepted practice that fails to see a patient as singular being is not health care.
It seems that glib-eral punks are indeed, in charge of public policy.
My 33 year old son who resided in San Francisco, California and was a successful software engineer and podcaster, was also “mentally ill”. I put this in quotes because our immediate and extended family has a history of autoimmune illnesses, the long list of which are becoming more numerous within medicine. Yes, suicide is also in the family health history, which comes in handy when looking for exculpation. In fact his behaviour and suffering looked much more like dementia in retrospect. Yes, he’s dead by his own hand, but with help, just last year,. He had help from a neglectful system of socialized medicine and a state government and judicial system that failed to keep him hospitalized and protected. His life was ended and his quite successful business failed because his family was not given any power to protect him. Ten emergency but brief hospitalizations in one year should give rise to a duty to step up the medical care, not abandon him.
His psychiatrist submitted medical proof that he lacked insight into his own mental health care. Interestingly, California had recently rejected an addition to the gravely disabled prong of civil commitment – LACK OF INSIGHT INTO ONE’S MENTAL HEALTH STATUS.
Our case for a conservatorship followed hot on the heels of the Britney Spears case. You see – in California – only the State can apply for an LPS conservatorship of the person. Despite our having begged the health care facilities to keep him hospitalized, and to put him under a conservatorship, they failed and refused to do so. Nor would the Probate Court exercise any jurisdiction over him. The callous disregard with which our beloved son was handled is more than just unfortunate. It was avoidable if someone had cared enough.
We all knew he was suicidal for 2 years yet we could not intervene. He finally turned to Exit International and Sanctioned Suicide, and online helper to end one’s life … AND … probably a focal point for human trafficking and organ harvesting.
I don’t doubt that there are legitimate and understandable cases of euthanasia. But the corrosive effect of legalized euthanasia on “health care” and the state’s duty to caring for and protect the individual is obvious and repulsive. Psychiatry is the one area of “health care” where without even an MRI or blood test, the “doctors” will send you off with mind altering drugs. Dementia can cause psychosis and the medications can cause turrets. How these arrogant “professionals” think they can suss out one from the other is a mystery to me. The brain and neurological system is understood only to an extent. Genetics are also not well understood.
Before our health care systems and professionals were all cowed by groupthink and the surveillance state, I know for a fact that terminal patients were handled discreetly. And this was not for the purpose of cost benefit analysis; it was for humane reasons. To include depressed patients within this class of patient population eligible for state assisted euthanasia is simply disgusting.

Last edited 10 months ago by Gayle Rosenthal
Deborah Grant
Deborah Grant
10 months ago

Not a word here about people living with dementia. I volunteer in dementia supportt.
People die with dementia – and I know no-one who wants to live with it when they can’t recognise their loved ones or look after their personal care. There needs to be an enforceable living will, signed when the person is still competent.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
11 months ago

Indeed. This is exactly the kind of issue that would keep the Church relevant, and on which they could show moral leadership, or at least be a counterweight to more utilitarian approaches.

Tony Price
Tony Price
11 months ago

Strange argument indeed. The ‘Church’, like most religions, has intentionally killed plenty of people who would have preferred to live.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago

Quite so. “Nobody asked us if we wanted to be here” is an astonishingly horrific and ungodly view of the wonderful gift of life. Someone taking this attitude in the first place can hardly then go on to call what is now happening in Canada ‘cruel’ – as they support its fundamental principle.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago

Well said. As a libertarian who witnessed both my maternal grandparents, with whom I was close, deteriorate and die of cancer, I have always been staunchly pro-assisted suicide specifically for those with terminal illnesses yet this article gives me some hesitation. If somebody is going to die, what does a couple extra months of abject misery accomplish exactly? If Canada serves as an example, more than I would have expected. The law of unintended consequences seems to be rearing its ugly head. Particularly disturbing are the doctors and ‘ethicists’ telling people how much it costs to keep them alive. Along those same lines, it’s no great leap in logic to advocating policies that sterilize the disabled and the poor, and then further to putting dissidents and other malcontents in ‘reeducation’ camps or just plain old death camps, and we’ve seen enough of that I think. I’m always suspicious of slippery slope arguments, but seeing what’s going on in Canada shows that while the argument is overused, it’s not automatically invalid. In a society that has already veered much too far in the direction of pure materialism, with governments regarding people not as citizens but as assets or liabilities, unbounded policies like Canada’s seem to be pouring gasoline on the fire. If someone told me, however, that if my living a couple more unpleasant months would help prevent our society’s further descent into materialistic nihilism and ensure that future generations aren’t herded into work camps because the government deems them ‘too costly’, I might find such an argument compelling.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

Why should Canada overstepping be an excuse for not having a well managed, compassionate assisted suicide plan? We all know Canada has lost the plot in many respects. Freedom to die with dignity is a sign of the most evolved societies and we should not be abandoning desperate people. Fact is we are all going to die – stop being so fearful.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago

Yup, they are fascists’ doing fascist things.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago

That’s because Postmodernism is just a mutated subvariant of Marxism which uses Liberation Theology to mask the cold, calculated Utilitarianism of “The Planners.”

Behind all the fuzzy language nonsense are Social Planners trying to scientifically reengineer “sustainable” hierarchies in the name of Progress.

Last edited 11 months ago by T Bone
Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
11 months ago

Back in the day the people Lionel Shriver mentions, in terrible pain and about to die were helped on their way by the treating Doc with the extra shot of morphine.
Hurrying people on their way so relatives could split the legacy proceeds wasn’t as big a problem as it’s likely to be now…there weren’t any for the vast majority beyond some chairs and a sideboard.

James S.
James S.
10 months ago

You refer to “double effect,” which I believe is still accepted doctrine in The RCC and traditional Christian medical ethics. Aggressive pain and symptom relief may have the double effect of hastening death, but that is a secondary effect, not the primary goal.

As an MD in the States and a Christian I look at the trajectory of Canada’s MAID program with horror. This is the abandonment of traditional medical ethics, “primum non nocere,” and the triumph of materialistic postmodern “ethics.” My cynical question: why don’t the Canadians just take the next logical step and have mobile vans with Zyklon B? We seem to have learned nothing from 1930s-1940s Germany.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
10 months ago

You have it right – all of medicine is a cost benefit analysis. Therein lies the violation, by definition, of the hippocratic oath. To decide what is best of one patient based on what is best for the herd is a breach of ethics and an inherent conflict of interest. Any standard and accepted practice that fails to see a patient as singular being is not health care.
It seems that glib-eral punks are indeed, in charge of public policy.
My 33 year old son who resided in San Francisco, California and was a successful software engineer and podcaster, was also “mentally ill”. I put this in quotes because our immediate and extended family has a history of autoimmune illnesses, the long list of which are becoming more numerous within medicine. Yes, suicide is also in the family health history, which comes in handy when looking for exculpation. In fact his behaviour and suffering looked much more like dementia in retrospect. Yes, he’s dead by his own hand, but with help, just last year,. He had help from a neglectful system of socialized medicine and a state government and judicial system that failed to keep him hospitalized and protected. His life was ended and his quite successful business failed because his family was not given any power to protect him. Ten emergency but brief hospitalizations in one year should give rise to a duty to step up the medical care, not abandon him.
His psychiatrist submitted medical proof that he lacked insight into his own mental health care. Interestingly, California had recently rejected an addition to the gravely disabled prong of civil commitment – LACK OF INSIGHT INTO ONE’S MENTAL HEALTH STATUS.
Our case for a conservatorship followed hot on the heels of the Britney Spears case. You see – in California – only the State can apply for an LPS conservatorship of the person. Despite our having begged the health care facilities to keep him hospitalized, and to put him under a conservatorship, they failed and refused to do so. Nor would the Probate Court exercise any jurisdiction over him. The callous disregard with which our beloved son was handled is more than just unfortunate. It was avoidable if someone had cared enough.
We all knew he was suicidal for 2 years yet we could not intervene. He finally turned to Exit International and Sanctioned Suicide, and online helper to end one’s life … AND … probably a focal point for human trafficking and organ harvesting.
I don’t doubt that there are legitimate and understandable cases of euthanasia. But the corrosive effect of legalized euthanasia on “health care” and the state’s duty to caring for and protect the individual is obvious and repulsive. Psychiatry is the one area of “health care” where without even an MRI or blood test, the “doctors” will send you off with mind altering drugs. Dementia can cause psychosis and the medications can cause turrets. How these arrogant “professionals” think they can suss out one from the other is a mystery to me. The brain and neurological system is understood only to an extent. Genetics are also not well understood.
Before our health care systems and professionals were all cowed by groupthink and the surveillance state, I know for a fact that terminal patients were handled discreetly. And this was not for the purpose of cost benefit analysis; it was for humane reasons. To include depressed patients within this class of patient population eligible for state assisted euthanasia is simply disgusting.

Last edited 10 months ago by Gayle Rosenthal
Deborah Grant
Deborah Grant
10 months ago

Not a word here about people living with dementia. I volunteer in dementia supportt.
People die with dementia – and I know no-one who wants to live with it when they can’t recognise their loved ones or look after their personal care. There needs to be an enforceable living will, signed when the person is still competent.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

It turns out that obscure philosophical arguments are actually pretty important. The horrors of the 20th century taught a great many people that.
In philosophical terms, either human life is an unalloyed good or it is not. If something is truly good, then intentionally ending it is bad. If something is only good under certain conditions, then we must perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether ending it is good or bad. Please note I am not saying that human life is always “pleasurable”, but “good” and “pleasurable” are very different things.
Human life is always good. So what do we do about a human life that is truly agony: untreatable cancer or late stage muscular dystrophy? This is a problem that philosophers and theologians have wrestled with for millennia, and the Church (specifically Catholic and Orthodox) have very solid teaching on the subject. The Church has historically taught that intentionally killing is murder, but a death which occurs incidental to an attempt to prevent suffering is not. This teaching is ancient, and was used for centuries by doctors. A member of my own family met his end this way, via morphine given specifically to ensure he would feel no pain. It is intentionality that brings moral culpability, a concept that is also recognized in criminal law.
However, when the postmodernists abandoned 2500 years of philosophy and theology, they lost all of that. So for them, ending a human life is a cost-benefit analysis and thus always a subjective endeavor. Was the prior system perfect? Absolutely not! But it erred on the side of life instead of on the side of death, and erring toward death appears to be a very slippery slope indeed.

J Bryant
J Bryant
11 months ago

I believe assisted suicide should be available to terminally ill people or people suffering from unrelenting pain without hope of cure. I never really bought into the slippery slope argument, but now I’m faced with what’s happening in Canada.
The author expresses her surprise that ultra-liberal Canada tolerates what almost amounts to assisted execution of the despondent but otherwise healthy, but she doesn’t speculate about why Canadians tolerate this expansion of their Maids program.
Modern progressivism (and Canada surely has one of the most “progressive” governments on the planet) has taken the primacy of the individual to an absurd extreme. If a person wants to be a different gender then let them state their preference and we must all respect that decision. If a person wants to be a dog then we must all respect and affirm that decision. Is it such a stretch, under this form of extreme individualism, that if a generally healthy person wants to die then we must respect, affirm and, indeed, facilitate that choice too?
There is a slippery slope at work, but it doesn’t apply to a well-regulated assisted suicide program. It applies to an extreme ideology that places the unfettered beliefs, wishes and, sometimes, fantasies, of the individual at the heart of society.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It seems extraordinary that in Trudeau’s performatively ‘caring-sharing-ultra-progressive’ Canada there are instances of people seeking their own death, not because they really want to end it all, but because they’re given inadequate government support to pay for treatment.
More sinister still is a recent advert on Canadian TV, for a big retail chain, extolling not merely the morality but “the beauty” of assisted suicide, as though the policy is virtuous enough to be in line with the “brand values” the company wishes to promote. It’s the stuff of dystopian sci-fi.
All Is Beauty – YouTube
Imagine, say, a John Lewis advertisement that reassured you that they’re on your side, that they understand how difficult the cost of living crisis is for their customers, and that if only Granny would forego her expensive medical care and agree to being pushed off her perch then the rest of the family could get that lovely new sofa in the January sales, not to mention freeing up a house for the kids to sell.
We’re not quite there, yet – but this is where it starts. Normalising assisted suicide is the first step to pressuring people that it’s somehow the responsible choice to take.
Which celebrity would be shameless enough to front such a campaign, I wonder?
Pehaps if Walkers Crisps tire of that gurning Toby-jug of Woke, he might do it. 


“Dignitas. 
.. Because 
. why be a burden?”

Susan Woldt
Susan Woldt
11 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Getting rid of inconvenient people is not a new idea. Now it’s just wrapped in PR, feel-good language to make it more and more palatable for anyone with even a little sense of humanity left.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Susan Woldt

Indeed. It’s actually an ancient practice. It was common practice in Sparta, and other Greek cities, for malformed or disabled children to be abandoned and left to die in the wilderness. One can find other examples throughout the ancient world without too much trouble I’m sure.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
11 months ago
Reply to  Susan Woldt

Indeed. It’s actually an ancient practice. It was common practice in Sparta, and other Greek cities, for malformed or disabled children to be abandoned and left to die in the wilderness. One can find other examples throughout the ancient world without too much trouble I’m sure.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
11 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Nancy Pelosi has a big family home. Her demise would result in a huge gain of living space. As she has been telling us for ages: ‘I am doing it for the children’. Always such a pillar of society.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I suppose it was inevitable that the anti-choice folk would take a few instances of unprofessionalism in the Canadian MAIDS program and run with it, saying that “granny” would get prematurely snuffed out. Lets not let Knee-jerk, hysterical responses snuff out the choice to do with one’s body what one wishes. You’ve done enough damage to the right to have an abortion.

Last edited 11 months ago by Clare Knight
Gilmour Campbell
Gilmour Campbell
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Yes you can do what you like to your own body. Just don’t require me to do it for you.

Gilmour Campbell
Gilmour Campbell
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Yes you can do what you like to your own body. Just don’t require me to do it for you.

Susan Woldt
Susan Woldt
11 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Getting rid of inconvenient people is not a new idea. Now it’s just wrapped in PR, feel-good language to make it more and more palatable for anyone with even a little sense of humanity left.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
11 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Nancy Pelosi has a big family home. Her demise would result in a huge gain of living space. As she has been telling us for ages: ‘I am doing it for the children’. Always such a pillar of society.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I suppose it was inevitable that the anti-choice folk would take a few instances of unprofessionalism in the Canadian MAIDS program and run with it, saying that “granny” would get prematurely snuffed out. Lets not let Knee-jerk, hysterical responses snuff out the choice to do with one’s body what one wishes. You’ve done enough damage to the right to have an abortion.

Last edited 11 months ago by Clare Knight
Robin Westerman
Robin Westerman
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Putin offers a free service. You don’t need to ask.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

As you mention transgenderism, what leapt to my mind was the way the threat of suicide is used to persuade parents or partners of people believing they’ve been born with the wrong set of genitalia to affirm this belief to the point of “medical transition”. The mental pain of gender dysphoria is to be cured by drugs and operations paid for by the state, whilst now Canada seems to be pushing for mental pain caused by anything else to be treated by assisted suicide, to save the state money…
The contradictions of this Brave New World are increasingly breathtaking!

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

When i think of lineker i often wonder how people in the poor parts of his home town would receive him now. Perhaps “Stokie Steve” in private eye has the answer, albeit from the other side of the Midlands?

Last edited 11 months ago by mike otter
mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

There’s also an old family name in the midlands – linacre – flax growers, i guess the toby jug’s ancestors were once labourers for such an outfit and took their name – like David Ike and Warricker on R4 he shames his home town – Gok Wan for mayor!

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

There’s also an old family name in the midlands – linacre – flax growers, i guess the toby jug’s ancestors were once labourers for such an outfit and took their name – like David Ike and Warricker on R4 he shames his home town – Gok Wan for mayor!

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

The deep irony of that threat is that the suicide rate amongst those who have ‘transitioned’ (had their bodies surgically mutilated) is far higher than amongst the rest of the population.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

No it’s not.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

20% isn’t higher? Anyone who wants to have their genitals mutilated is truly sick. Persuading children that this is right for them is beyond criminal.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Oh yes it is.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

Oh no it’s not! (she said smiling).

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

Oh no it’s not! (she said smiling).

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

20% isn’t higher? Anyone who wants to have their genitals mutilated is truly sick. Persuading children that this is right for them is beyond criminal.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Oh yes it is.

Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
3 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Is it?
At least there’s some good news, finally.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

No it’s not.

Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
3 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Is it?
At least there’s some good news, finally.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

Ah you spotted the difference between grannies and trannies. Well done!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

An example of taking it and running with it. Is there anything you’ve forgotten to throw in the mix?

Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
3 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

It’s not contradictory.
It’s merely pure Evil, something that has existed since the ions of time.
What is relatively new, at least in our lives, is supposedly good people just sitting back and allowing evil to run rampant.
Children mutilated with transgender surgery, public elementary schools exposing kindergarten kids to adult male drag queens, governments forcing toxic experimental vaccines on the world population, and everyone just sits there and does nothing.

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

When i think of lineker i often wonder how people in the poor parts of his home town would receive him now. Perhaps “Stokie Steve” in private eye has the answer, albeit from the other side of the Midlands?

Last edited 11 months ago by mike otter
Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

The deep irony of that threat is that the suicide rate amongst those who have ‘transitioned’ (had their bodies surgically mutilated) is far higher than amongst the rest of the population.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

Ah you spotted the difference between grannies and trannies. Well done!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

An example of taking it and running with it. Is there anything you’ve forgotten to throw in the mix?

Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
Đ˜ĐłĐŸŃ€ŃŒ Đ˜Đ¶Ń‰Đ”ĐœĐșĐŸĐČ
3 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

It’s not contradictory.
It’s merely pure Evil, something that has existed since the ions of time.
What is relatively new, at least in our lives, is supposedly good people just sitting back and allowing evil to run rampant.
Children mutilated with transgender surgery, public elementary schools exposing kindergarten kids to adult male drag queens, governments forcing toxic experimental vaccines on the world population, and everyone just sits there and does nothing.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The slippery slope has applied in EVERY SINGLE EUTHANASIA PROGRAMME EVER PUT IN PLACE. While I know those who think life isn’t a gift, and suffering isn’t to be lived with, don’t like this fact, it is so.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

It doesn’t have to be so. In America the knee-jerk reaction to the opioid crisis is that now noone can get any effective pain medication. I hear the same knee-jerk hysteria here.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Dominic S

It doesn’t have to be so. In America the knee-jerk reaction to the opioid crisis is that now noone can get any effective pain medication. I hear the same knee-jerk hysteria here.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

In the end, the extreme ideology gets its way.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

communism works too, it just hasnt been tried yet

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It seems extraordinary that in Trudeau’s performatively ‘caring-sharing-ultra-progressive’ Canada there are instances of people seeking their own death, not because they really want to end it all, but because they’re given inadequate government support to pay for treatment.
More sinister still is a recent advert on Canadian TV, for a big retail chain, extolling not merely the morality but “the beauty” of assisted suicide, as though the policy is virtuous enough to be in line with the “brand values” the company wishes to promote. It’s the stuff of dystopian sci-fi.
All Is Beauty – YouTube
Imagine, say, a John Lewis advertisement that reassured you that they’re on your side, that they understand how difficult the cost of living crisis is for their customers, and that if only Granny would forego her expensive medical care and agree to being pushed off her perch then the rest of the family could get that lovely new sofa in the January sales, not to mention freeing up a house for the kids to sell.
We’re not quite there, yet – but this is where it starts. Normalising assisted suicide is the first step to pressuring people that it’s somehow the responsible choice to take.
Which celebrity would be shameless enough to front such a campaign, I wonder?
Pehaps if Walkers Crisps tire of that gurning Toby-jug of Woke, he might do it. 


“Dignitas. 
.. Because 
. why be a burden?”

Robin Westerman
Robin Westerman
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Putin offers a free service. You don’t need to ask.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

As you mention transgenderism, what leapt to my mind was the way the threat of suicide is used to persuade parents or partners of people believing they’ve been born with the wrong set of genitalia to affirm this belief to the point of “medical transition”. The mental pain of gender dysphoria is to be cured by drugs and operations paid for by the state, whilst now Canada seems to be pushing for mental pain caused by anything else to be treated by assisted suicide, to save the state money…
The contradictions of this Brave New World are increasingly breathtaking!

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The slippery slope has applied in EVERY SINGLE EUTHANASIA PROGRAMME EVER PUT IN PLACE. While I know those who think life isn’t a gift, and suffering isn’t to be lived with, don’t like this fact, it is so.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

In the end, the extreme ideology gets its way.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

communism works too, it just hasnt been tried yet

J Bryant
J Bryant
11 months ago

I believe assisted suicide should be available to terminally ill people or people suffering from unrelenting pain without hope of cure. I never really bought into the slippery slope argument, but now I’m faced with what’s happening in Canada.
The author expresses her surprise that ultra-liberal Canada tolerates what almost amounts to assisted execution of the despondent but otherwise healthy, but she doesn’t speculate about why Canadians tolerate this expansion of their Maids program.
Modern progressivism (and Canada surely has one of the most “progressive” governments on the planet) has taken the primacy of the individual to an absurd extreme. If a person wants to be a different gender then let them state their preference and we must all respect that decision. If a person wants to be a dog then we must all respect and affirm that decision. Is it such a stretch, under this form of extreme individualism, that if a generally healthy person wants to die then we must respect, affirm and, indeed, facilitate that choice too?
There is a slippery slope at work, but it doesn’t apply to a well-regulated assisted suicide program. It applies to an extreme ideology that places the unfettered beliefs, wishes and, sometimes, fantasies, of the individual at the heart of society.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
11 months ago

Looking at the demographic profile of Western countries, I conclude that (a) laws enabling assisted suicide will be passed in most jurisdictions and (b) vast numbers of elderly patients will be shown the door.
We should remember what happened during the pandemic in care homes.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Your last sentence is nonsense. Yes, many care home residents did not survive COVID but to imply that a policy existed to deliberately allow residents to succumb to the illness is a conspiracy theory. What happened was the result of dimwit ideas and mismanagement.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
11 months ago
Reply to  Rick Lawrence

Some of us were screaming from the rooftops that emptying the hospitals would kill a lot of people BEFORE it happened.
Prior to Covid we were hearing on the news every night about the ‘care homes crisis’. Never hear a word about that now.
Then there is the small matter of putting residents with Covid on the LCP.
Maybe I just got ‘lucky’ in predicting all that before it happened. You can call all that a ‘conspiracy theory’, or call me a cynic, if it makes you feel better.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Yes, it’s a conspiracy theory you’ve got going there.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Yes, it’s a conspiracy theory you’ve got going there.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Rick Lawrence

Exactly.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
11 months ago
Reply to  Rick Lawrence

Some of us were screaming from the rooftops that emptying the hospitals would kill a lot of people BEFORE it happened.
Prior to Covid we were hearing on the news every night about the ‘care homes crisis’. Never hear a word about that now.
Then there is the small matter of putting residents with Covid on the LCP.
Maybe I just got ‘lucky’ in predicting all that before it happened. You can call all that a ‘conspiracy theory’, or call me a cynic, if it makes you feel better.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Rick Lawrence

Exactly.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Even though there are many of us within both the wider UK Christian community, and amongst disabled groups (Tanni Grey-Thomson for instance), who fight against this tooth and nail, I am afraid that I agree with your summation of the situation.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

What? What happened?

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Your last sentence is nonsense. Yes, many care home residents did not survive COVID but to imply that a policy existed to deliberately allow residents to succumb to the illness is a conspiracy theory. What happened was the result of dimwit ideas and mismanagement.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Even though there are many of us within both the wider UK Christian community, and amongst disabled groups (Tanni Grey-Thomson for instance), who fight against this tooth and nail, I am afraid that I agree with your summation of the situation.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

What? What happened?

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
11 months ago

Looking at the demographic profile of Western countries, I conclude that (a) laws enabling assisted suicide will be passed in most jurisdictions and (b) vast numbers of elderly patients will be shown the door.
We should remember what happened during the pandemic in care homes.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago

“What’s especially puzzling about Canada, of all places, having such loose restrictions on assisted dying is that Justin Trudeau’s government is famously — I would say notoriously — Left-wing. It’s the Left that traditionally prides itself on concern for the “vulnerable” (a ubiquitous catch-all adjective I’ve come to detest).”
People on the Left also like to label themselves “tolerant”, which – in my all-too-frequent experience – has proven to be absolutely not the case. I can’t stand the term “vulnerable” anymore either.
Even though this article refers to a number of people with dreadful conditions who must be going through unbearable suffering – Canada’s ultra-liberal approach is indicative of a society which no longer considers the individual as strong enough to cope with anything. If being offended by some innocuous joke or comment is now a serious transgression which can lead to cancellation of the joke/comment-maker because the addressee can no longer be expected to just shrug it off – where does it all end?
It all boils down to the following question: do we see the individual as strong, as capable of a certain level of fortitude and ability/willingness to suffer? Or do we see them as chronically weak and – oh Lord – vulnerable – in need of protection at all times from the vagaries of life (which of course include suffering)?

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

This is the precise point. It’s no surprise you’ve identified it; it’s a frequent occurrence.

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“vulnerable” in lefty speak means freaks, drunks, junkies and ppl attracted to the same sex.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

That’s not what the word means.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

That’s not what the word means.

Dominic S
Dominic S
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Furthermore, the definition of ‘suffering’ is remarkably elastic in the hands of these people. Which inevitably means the slippery slope – as has happened everywhere that euthanasia has been ‘legalised’.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

As someone who identifies as vulnerable I object to your trying to stigmatize the word. I presume you feel the same way about the word victim since you come from the school of “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. This is alpha, male identified and doing the work of patriachy.

Last edited 11 months ago by Clare Knight
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

How about man or woman up and take responsibility for your own life instead of being an attention demanding, narcissistic crybaby?

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Patriarchy? Oh dear. It’s not 1950 anymore. We actually in a matriarchy, which is why the world is f^cked.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I’m not trying to stigmatise it – simply push it back into the scope of its proper use where it can once again be taken seriously. Along with “stress”, “mental health”, “populism”, “fascism” and any number of other words which have been subject to inflationary and distorting use in recent times.
Also: how is being of a “pull yourself together” mentality in any way exclusively male? This implies that women are, by their very natures, weak – which in my opinion does far more to support any patriarchy which may exist than being an open supporter of the “toughen up your hide and get on with it” school of thought.
I’m also a bit confused by the notion of “identifying as vulnerable”. This sounds pretty subjective – surely if someone is vulnerable in the traditional sense of the word, then there is some kind of objective element to it that outsiders can see and understand? Being able to simply “Identify as vulnerable” allows people to just decide to be weak and play the victim card. Which is something I am very definitely against.

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Bravo, well put. ‘Victims’ need to be called out for manipulating people with their self-pitying crap. Sympathy and empathy should be reserved for the people who truly are victims.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

And how do you decide who is a victim and who isn’t, Mr. jugemental.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

In a culture where paranoiacs complain about ‘microagressions’ ‘misgendering’, that ‘words are violence’ etc, and use these ridiculous concepts to attack reasonable human beings via ugly, vile, cowardly mob action (see JK Rowling) lines need to be drawn. Talk about judgemental.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

Are you saying that JKRowling is being attacked or that she’s doing the attacking? It’s not clear what you mean. I support JK Rowling, which may throw you off a bit as far as judging me goes.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Obviously that she’s the one being targeted for stating biological facts and standing up for women’s rights, which are being eradicated by the trans lobby. Glad to hear you support her but you seem to also support the trans activists, which is worse than self-defeating for anyone who supports women’s rights.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Obviously that she’s the one being targeted for stating biological facts and standing up for women’s rights, which are being eradicated by the trans lobby. Glad to hear you support her but you seem to also support the trans activists, which is worse than self-defeating for anyone who supports women’s rights.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

Are you saying that JKRowling is being attacked or that she’s doing the attacking? It’s not clear what you mean. I support JK Rowling, which may throw you off a bit as far as judging me goes.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

In a culture where paranoiacs complain about ‘microagressions’ ‘misgendering’, that ‘words are violence’ etc, and use these ridiculous concepts to attack reasonable human beings via ugly, vile, cowardly mob action (see JK Rowling) lines need to be drawn. Talk about judgemental.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

And how do you decide who is a victim and who isn’t, Mr. jugemental.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

That’s exactly what I said you’d say about anyone being a victim as well as being vulnerable. They’re both feminine as opposed to masculine traits, and as such looked down on in a misogynistic culture. Men shouldn’t be feminine, women shouldn’t be masculine. To be vulnerable is to be feminine. If you don’t like me saying I “identify” as vulnerable then how about “I am” vulnerable and I’ve also been “victimized’. That doesn’t mean I’m not also strong. One can have both qualities.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Bravo, well put. ‘Victims’ need to be called out for manipulating people with their self-pitying crap. Sympathy and empathy should be reserved for the people who truly are victims.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

That’s exactly what I said you’d say about anyone being a victim as well as being vulnerable. They’re both feminine as opposed to masculine traits, and as such looked down on in a misogynistic culture. Men shouldn’t be feminine, women shouldn’t be masculine. To be vulnerable is to be feminine. If you don’t like me saying I “identify” as vulnerable then how about “I am” vulnerable and I’ve also been “victimized’. That doesn’t mean I’m not also strong. One can have both qualities.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

How about man or woman up and take responsibility for your own life instead of being an attention demanding, narcissistic crybaby?

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Patriarchy? Oh dear. It’s not 1950 anymore. We actually in a matriarchy, which is why the world is f^cked.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago