The Royal College of Nursing is to meet Scottish MP Margo MacDonald to discuss proposals on legalising assisted suicide after the organisation dropped its five-year opposition to the policy.It seems there’s a movement afoot to ‘normalise’ this, supported by polls:
MacDonald, who has Parkinson's disease, is planning to introduce a bill to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland in the autumn.
The move comes as a poll found that 74% of people want doctors to be allowed to help terminally ill people end their lives.However, while I can’t say that I think those who take their relatives abroad to Dignitas should be prosecuted (far from it) I’m wary of this becoming the norm. And I’m not alone.
The survey in today's Times found that six out of 10 people said they wanted friends and relatives to be able to help their dying loved ones to take their own lives, without fear of prosecution.
The Christian Nurses and Midwives organisation said today it regretted the RCN's policy shift. Secretary Steve Fouch said it sent out the wrong signals "at a time when there is growing anxiety about how we will care for the elderly and severely disabled in the future".Their statement will be pooh-poohed as ‘religious scaremongering’. But there’s a grain of truth to it.
Because a glance across the Channel to the continent will show this has already been experienced in the Netherlands:
Euthanasia critics have talked about the "slippery slope" as a possibility; in the Netherlands, it is a fact.Is this just panic and scaremongering? Can it be dismissed as ‘something that can’t happen here’?
Many old people now fear Dutch hospitals. More than 10% of senior citizens who responded to a recent survey, which did not mention euthanasia, volunteered that they feared being killed by their doctors without their consent. One senior-citizen group printed up wallet cards that tell doctors that the cardholder opposes euthanasia.
Well, we are on the right road to it:
What makes the Dutch comfortable with euthanasia? One factor is that their doctors became comfortable with it. "The Dutch have got so far so fast because right from the beginning, they have had the medical profession on their side," Derek Humphrey, founder of the Hemlock Society, told the Toronto Globe and Mail last September. "Until we get a significant part of the medical profession on our side, we won't get very far."So, how has this gained such a grip on the doctors?
Glad you asked:
How did Dutch doctors change their thinking so dramatically in the space of one lifetime?I bet NICE has some of those posters ready to go to the printers already…
The path to the death culture began when doctors learned to think like accountants. As the cost of socialized medicine in the Netherlands grew, doctors were lectured about the importance of keeping expenses down.
In many hospitals, signs were posted indicating how much old-age treatments cost taxpayers. The result was a growing "social pressure" from doctors and others, says Arno Heltzel, a spokesman for the Catholic Union of the Elderly, the largest Dutch senior-citizen group, which favors voluntary euthanasia. "Old people have to excuse themselves for living. When they say that all of their friends are dead, people say, 'Maybe it is time for you to go too,' rather than, 'You need to find new friends.' "
Anyone want to try to argue that this won’t happen here, if the bureaucrats get involved?