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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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HomeCulture WarStarmer and ITV ignore the horrific truth about assisted dying

Starmer and ITV ignore the horrific truth about assisted dying

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SIR Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party and the man on course to be the next Prime Minister, this week committed himself to bringing forward a Bill to legalise ‘assisted dying’, the contemporary euphemism for assisted suicide or euthanasia.

In a telephone call filmed by ITV, Sir Keir assured Dame Esther Rantzen, a cancer sufferer campaigning for doctors to be given more powers to kill their patients, that ‘I’m personally in favour of changing the law’.

He said: ‘I think we need to make time. We will make the commitment. Esther, I can give you that commitment right now. If we are privileged to enough to win the election we will make time for this vote.’ He added that it would ‘definitely’ come in the next Parliament.

‘Assisted dying’ is the latest fad to sweep the decadent post-modern West. Only last week President Emmanuel Macron of France announced, seemingly from nowhere, his intention to bring forward an assisted suicide Bill too.

Campaigners in the UK claim that the time is ripe for change this side of the Channel, citing an opinion poll which purports to show that 75 per cent of the British public want ‘assisted dying’ and that the Muslims are the only constituency to object (ergo it must be good). The poll was welcomed by ITV in a crude piece of propaganda.

Who are they trying to kid with this kind of stuff? Why can’t they simply be balanced? How about, for instance, a piece about how assisted dying, in its mildest form, involves people poisoning themselves with a lethal cocktail handed to them by their doctors, a practice which is often botched as TCW has examined previously here, resulting in deaths which are far from dignified?

Assisted suicide is in fact such a messy business that it will soon lead to pressure for direct euthanasia in which doctors inject patients with the same paralysing drugs used to execute convicts in the United States, killing them by asphyxia. Don’t expect the campaigners to tell you that’s how it works, though they may imply that this is also somehow dignified too, and especially if you’re terminally ill, elderly, a disabled person, a burden or some other kind of nuisance.

The media isn’t the only institution culpable of sugar-coating such bitter-tasting lethal pills. Parliament is at it too.

Take, for example, the recent report into ‘assisted dying’ by the parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee. 

How can the MPs who sat on the committee accept that cases of euthanasia and assisted suicide keep going up in the places where they are legal and not be concerned about it? How could they fail to acknowledge evidence of ‘slippery slope’ abuses when it’s so well documented and so easily available  to the extent that their report made claims that were simply ‘inaccurate’ in the view of the Oxford-based Anscombe Bioethics Centre?

Why didn’t they bat an eyelid when Canadian doctors Ellen Wiebe and Stefanie Green boasted that their combined killings of 700 patients was ‘the most rewarding work we have ever done’?  Are they really that insensitive to such abuses or was it that they simply failed to carry out their research thoroughly? Either way, it doesn’t look good.

This committee also dismissed claims about a deterioration of palliative care services in jurisdictions where assisted suicide and euthanasia have been legalised, though there is clear evidence of this too

For MPs to bring out a report which ignores the dangers to hospices is to produce a whitewash. It smacks of a manipulated and manipulating exercise in softening up public and parliamentary opinion by inaccurately pouring cold water on widespread, horrifying and established facts of abuse.

Professor David Albert Jones, the Anscombe director, said that contrary to the report’s conclusions ‘there is ample evidence of adverse effects in these countries: people having their lives ended without consent; increases in unassisted suicide; people being refused assisted living but offered “assisted dying”; people seeking death not because of physical suffering but because they feel a burden to others.’

He added: ‘There are many problems in end-of-life care but legalising assisted suicide would not solve these problems and changing the law in this way would further endanger many vulnerable people.’

One doesn’t need to look far to find evidence of what ‘assisted dying’ really looks like. Here are two stories from the last week alone, neither of which was reported by ITV.

The first involves an autistic Canadian 27-year-old who was denied euthanasia so she shopped around until she found a doctor who would do it. Then her distraught family were denied access to the reasons for which a lethal injection was granted. 

The second is the latest figures from Belgium which reveal that deaths by euthanasia last year hit a record high, doubling in the space of just ten years.

In almost a quarter of deaths, the reason given was for not for terminal illness but ‘poly-pathologies’ associated with old age, such as loss of vision or hearing, arthritis and incontinence. In half of these cases, the patients were not terminally ill. In more than 75 per cent of cases, a combination of physical and psychological suffering was given as the reason for the euthanasia to proceed, with nearly a hundred patients given lethal injections solely because of their psychiatric conditions or cognitive disorders such as dementia.

Again, the evidence demonstrates a broad expansion of euthanasia with a corresponding decline of palliative care which front-line Belgian doctors have previously told British parliamentarians is real and catastrophic – and not dignifying.

We have to ask why campaigners, the media and politicians are trying to sell a lie, to force-feed the public the empty assurance that ‘assisted dying’ will relieve only a small number of terminally ill people unable to escape unbearable afflictions, when they must know from evidence everywhere that safeguards are futile because they are invariably ignored and swept away once legislation is in place and the killing begins.

The juggernaut in Belgium and the barbarities unfolding in Canada serve as a salutary warning to the rest of the world. It is the facts that count in the end, not the propaganda. That ITV, Sir Keir Starmer and rigged parliamentary committees and their reports pretend that these facts don’t matter tells you all you need to know about them and what they stand for.

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Simon Caldwell
Simon Caldwell
Simon Caldwell is a freelance journalist, formerly of the Daily Mail, whose debut novel ‘The Beast of Bethulia Park’ is out now.. Click on this link to learn more and to order your copy. The sequel is expected in 2024.

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