There are never enough assisted suicides for the euthanasia movement. So, while they will promise “strict guidelines to protect against abuse,” they don’t mean it — and are always on the hunt to liberalize laws to make it easier for people to get help becoming dead.
Assisted-suicide laws in the U.S., almost uniquely in the world, require six months or less to live to qualify for a lethal prescription. That limitation will be discarded as soon as the movement thinks it can get away with it politically. In the meantime, they are ever searching for ways to find loopholes to allow more assisted suicides.
Here’s One That Is Just Gaining Traction
If you are not terminally ill under the law, just stop eating and drinking long enough for a doctor to be able to diagnose you as dying. From the McKnights story (taken from a study co-authored by the bioethicist and assisted-suicide proponent, Thaddeus Mason Pope):
People with dementia haven’t been able to use MAID [“medical aid in dying”] because they don’t meet eligibility requirements including decisional capacity, the ability to give themselves life-ending medications, and having a terminal condition with six months or less to live.
“When they still have capacity, persons with dementia are not yet terminally ill with less than six months to live based solely on their dementia diagnosis. Conversely, by the time they are terminally ill, they no longer have capacity to elect MAID,” the authors explained.
That could change because of new laws and the use of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED), which can make a terminal condition worse yet pave the way for MAID approval.
“If combining VSED and MAID is now a possibility for patients with dementia, then clinicians need more guidance on whether and when to support patients seeking to take this path,” authors said in a report published Feb. 5 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
This would be a means to extend assisted suicides to people who are not terminally ill:
“We must develop guidelines and standards for allowing VSED to qualify a patient for MAID, for example, by limiting this to patients with another serious, irreversible, intolerable condition leading them to VSED in the first place,” the authors wrote.
A Few Points
First, if one can starve oneself to qualify for assisted suicide, how can it be restricted to people with early dementia who have years to live? Why not also allow people with disabilities, chronic non-terminal illnesses, the healthy elderly (targets of VSED advocacy already), and the mentally ill to make themselves weak enough to obtain prescribed poison? Indeed, that last quote would seem to advocate just such a course.
Second, self-starvation/dehydration is not an “illness” that is reasonably likely to lead to death in six months regardless of treatment, which is the usual definitional requirement for assisted-suicide qualification. Rather, it is a suicide attempt that can be stopped simply by eating and drinking again. That being so, it seems to me that lethally prescribing under those conditions would break the laws as currently written — not that anything would ever be done about it.
So, once again, the assisted-suicide movement shows itself to be public-policy promise breakers of the most egregious kind and raw zealots for the death agenda.
Cross-posted at National Review.