Euthanasia could easily be explained as “abortion at the other end of life”. The subjects are dehumanised and therefore able to be treated as being lesser human beings, and be disregarded without too much concern. The arguments for both have the same modus operandi.
The Euthanasia debate is always emotional
Proponents of euthanasia use emotional arguments to sell their case because the cold hard facts are condemning, as euthanasia, just like abortion, is in fact taking of life. Emotional buy-in is sought because once the bait is taken; the rational processing of facts is suspended.
Euthanasia and “assisted suicide” activists will give examples of intolerable suffering and pain. Sometimes this happens because the condition simply isn’t managed properly. The reality is that, for a palliative care professional, genuinely untreatable pain is a very rare event, and even these cases further sedation options are available to help to make the dying process tolerable.
Good palliative care can make a world of difference, as it improves the quality of life for patients who are suffering near the end of life. Palliative care is a specialty of medicine often overlooked in budget allocation; sadly there is a shortage of palliative specialists and carers in Queensland. Some recipients of good palliative care can go onto make a remarkable recovery - at Cabrini Health’s palliative care facility in Melbourne, half of their palliative care patients actually walk back out the front door after treatment.
So what’s the euthanasia debate really about?
It’s all about suicide. What activists are really asking for is an exception to the Criminal Code against homicide so they can get someone else to perform the deed.
Not only is this legalisation prone to abuses including elder abuse, it suffers from scope creep, corrupts healthy medical culture, and is inherently dangerous, as evidenced by the over 60 “safeguards” written into the Victorian legislation.
Euthanasia activist groups have always been about suicide. In the US, the Compassion and Choices organisation was originally known as the Hemlock Society until 2003 when it changed its name. In Australia, the right-to-die societies have mostly taken on the Dying With Dignity naming and have hidden their classes on how to die, so they will no longer be seen as extreme and politicians will be prepared to deal with them.
The outlier on how-to-die workshops is Australia's “Dr Death” Philip Nitschke, whom the other groups dare not mention. Having abandoned the legislative approach, he’s taken the technology route instead and has no reason to be anything less than intellectually honest as to what it’s all about.
Euthanasia and its euphemistic step-sister “assisted suicide” undermines government and community efforts to curtail the Australian suicide epidemic.
Ultimately, this is about killing people. We need to be strong and consistent in our stand to protect human life from conception to natural death.