It has been at least a decade since I picked up The Economist and for good reason- the overwhelming stench of self-righteousness that emanates from that magazine it enough to put me off. However, recently, I did notice the cover calling for the legalisation of ‘doctor-assisted suicide.’ “Doctors should be allowed to help the suffering and terminally ill to die when they choose,” it tells us.
As it is The Economist it sets out the case nice and neatly on what they think is a matter of logic. Why should the State stand in the way of people choosing death? “Yet, although most Western governments no longer try to dictate how consenting adults have sex, the State still stands in the way of their choices about death. An increasing number of people—and this newspaper—believe that is wrong.” This is true. Many people do believe this is wrong, people just like Sun columnist and controversialist Katie Hopkins. I bet The Economist did not see that coming.
No doubt many on the left are fainting at the thought that they have anything in common with Katie Hopkins, but they do. And that should tell them all they need to know.
In very similar language to The Economist, Katie asks, “euthanasia should be an option for all of us. Why should the State control when I die?”
Katie also states, “I’m super-keen on euthanasia vans. We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.” The vans “might even have a nice little tune they’d play.” Notice how the right to die swiftly transforms into the duty to die.
If the idea of euthanasia vans make you squeamish yet support a ‘right to die’, then you are a hypocrite. The truth is that if you want a right to die then all you need is a pill that will put you to sleep ‘like a dog’, as Hopkins says, and a happy tune. There is no need for a doctor to assist you.
The only reason the pro-assisted suicide side want ‘doctor-assisted suicide’ is that it seems cleaner and more dignified then the ice-cream-come-death-van scenario.
First, a fact check. The State currently does not stop you from choosing death. If you want to commit suicide you can! This was decriminalised years ago. So if the able-bodied want to sign out in the garage with the car exhaust running there is nothing to stop them from doing so. But this is not good enough for them, they want instead to turn our doctors into killers so their death can be more dignified.
This is what the doctors themselves object to – the decriminalisation of assisted suicide and in particular turning doctors into lethal drug dispensers. The latest Assisted Dying Bill is opposed by the British Medical Association, all of the royal medical colleges and by an overwhelming proportion of GPs. All major disability rights groups are also opposed to it.
The only group of people who cannot commit suicide are those who do not have the physical capacity to do so. The Economist says that doctors should be able to inject them, or assist in self-injection of a fatal dose of drugs, but again doctors are not really required to do this. This is just window dressing to make it seem more palatable – it is just ‘end of life care’ if by care you really mean killing.
The point is doctors are simply not needed to assist anyone in their own suicide. The euthanasia van along with another non-medically qualified person to assist the incapacitated is sufficient. But the pro assisted-suicide side will never admit this, as it is too crass and not ‘dignified’ enough. It is something Katie Hopkins would dream up for goodness sake. And indeed it is – which is exactly why it should be rejected.