euthanasia

Behind the Curtain of Assisted Suicide Advocacy

The United States assisted suicide movement claims that it wants only a limited “reform” of law and medical ethics, restricting what it euphemistically calls “aid in dying” to competent adults with terminal illnesses for whom nothing else can be done to alleviate their suffering. But this claim isn’t true. Currently, no law permitting doctors to write lethal prescriptions mandates any Read More ›

Obliged to Kill

A court in Ontario, Canada, has ruled that a patient’s desire to be euthanized trumps a doctor’s conscientious objection. Doctors there now face the cruel choice between complicity in what they consider a grievous wrong—killing a sick or disabled patient—and the very real prospect of legal or professional sanction. A little background: In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada conjured Read More ›

The War on the Hippocratic Oath

I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. —The Hippocratic Oath The Read More ›

The Deadly Legacy of Eugenics

We’ve seen it happen: A new assault on the sanctity of human life appears—say, infanticide being promoted in a major bioethics journal, or officials in Iceland bragging that no children with Down syndrome are born there, thanks to prenatal genetic screening—and some horrified opponents respond in horror, “That’s what the Nazis did!” It’s an easy accusation to wield, but rarely Read More ›

Joseph Fletcher’s Dark Dreams Becoming Our Reality

Joseph Fletcher (1905–1991) was one the most influential philosophers and bioethicists of the twentieth century. His advocacy blazed the path for many of the radical social transitions we are experiencing today. He gained fame as the prime proponent of “situational ethics,” popularly known as social relativism. But his work in bioethics eroding the sanctity of human life and promoting a Read More ›

Self-Sacrificial Love in the Bioethics-Sphere

Kiss today goodbye And point me toward tomorrow. We did what we had to do. Won’t forget, can’t regret What I did for love. —A Chorus Line Imagine the pain. Imagine the sleepless nights. One minute you are leading an ordinary life. Then something awful happens to someone you love—a heart attack, an accident, or a disease. Suddenly, not only Read More ›

Attacking the Ties that Bind

Like everyone else, I have been pondering the recent “senseless” slaughters in places as disparate as Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and Sutherland Springs—atrocities in which lone sociopathic gunmen icily annihilated their fellow human beings, including babies and children, with all the moral concern of an exterminator eradicating a termite infestation. I distinguish these mass murders from the attacks committed by Read More ›

Euthanasia for Alzheimer’s Patients?

The medically vulnerable have rarely been in greater jeopardy. Alzheimer’s disease patients are at particular risk. In a recent poll from Quebec—where lethal-injection euthanasia is legal—a chilling 72 percent of caregivers favor permitting Alzheimer’s patients to be euthanized, even if the afflicted person never requested euthanasia. If the patient requested euthanasia in writing upon becoming incompetent, the percentage of caregivers Read More ›

How the Media Promote (Some) Suicides

I began my work against assisted suicide in 1993. The emotional zeitgeist at the time focused intensely—and exclusively—on preventing all suicides. Since then, I have witnessed a very disturbing transition. Today’s society asks us to support suicide in circumstances involving serious illness, disability, and even advanced age. Meanwhile, despite an increase in suicide rates, the intensity of suicide prevention campaigns has declined. As Read More ›