Friday, October 26, 2012
As If You Need Another Reason to Despise the Harper Government
One of the most odious and blatantly theocratic affronts perpetrated by the Harper regime is its fierce opposition to physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
Team Harper is now before the B.C. Court of Appeal seeking to overturn a decision in June that struck down the government prohibition on doctor-assisted suicide.
The Harper regime's arguments are the standard, vacuous pap: this is a decision that only government can take and allowing assisted suicide would put vulnerable people at risk of being coerced or even forced to end their lives.
Oregon has a decade of experience with physician-assisted suicide under the state's Death With Dignity Act. Oregon's system incorporates multiple safeguards to prevent the very abuses that lurk within Harper's dark fantasies. The Oregon experience was scrutinized by Eastern Michigan University prof J.M. Dieterle.
Dr. Dieterle found no evidence whatsoever of either involuntary or non-voluntary euthenasia occuring in Oregon. Nothing, nada, zip.
The important point to bear in mind is that the terminally ill who go through Oregon's elaborate process merely receive a prescription for a life-ending drug. They are under no obligation to fill the prescription nor are they required, if it is filled, to take the drug.
What flows from this is that many of the terminally ill never fill the prescription and, of those who do, many never take the drug. They find, instead, they are able to meet death without it. In essence, having the prescription or having the drug at hand merely eases the anxiety of facing death knowing that, should their ordeal become truly unbearable, they can be relieved of it. That is what Harper wants to deny the terminally ill - the right to die without fear and the right to a humane death without unbearable suffering. That is what Harper cannot abide.