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Medical Martyrdom in Switzerland

Wesley J. Smith


Over the last few years I have grown increasingly alarmed at the push in euthanasia circles not just to legalize assisted suicide, but to force dissenting doctors and medical institutions to be complicit in the killing, a phenomenon I have branded “medical martyrdom.”

We now see that in Switzerland a Christian nursing home has been threatened with the loss of charitable tax status if administrators refuse to permit assisted suicide on the premises. From the Christian Post story:

A Christian nursing home run by the Salvation Army in Switzerland has been told that it must either allow assisted suicide despite its religious beliefs, or lose its charitable status.

The nursing home mounted a legal challenge against the country’s new assisted suicide rules which require charities taking care of the sick or elderly and to offer assisted suicide when a patient asks for it, Catholic Herald reports.

But a Swiss court ruled against the nursing home earlier this month. Other Christian charities across Europe, including a separate case in Diest, Belgium, have also been fined and punished for refusing to allow euthanasia on their grounds.

I hope the home stays true to its Christian calling. Just because something is legal, that doesn’t make it right.

Accepting the martyrdom that comes from standing firm in virtue or faith — in a society that has lost both — is not only required of believers, for the good of their own souls, but can send a salutary message that saves lives.

Don’t think that forced participation in medicalized homicide/suicide won’t come here if assisted suicide is widely legalized.

Conscience is already under attack with regard to abortion and contraception. Should assisted suicide become broadly accepted, purveyors of the culture of death will see religious liberty as no more than an impediment.

Photo: Matterhorn from the Domhütze, by Zacharie Grossen ( [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Cross-posted at The Corner.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.



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