Two “great” articles on euthanasia. First, a bioethicist from the University of Tübingen in Germany, Ronald Kipke, has pointed out that “commercial assisted suicide” (CAS) – paying a non-doctor to kill patients – is a logical development of physician-assisted suicide, and a much better deal over-all. It means that we don’t have to involve doctors in killing people.
Commercially available assisted suicide means that you get what you pay for without having to convince panels of doctors who might be having qualms with their consciences. There would be no refusals and referrals, no annoying counseling sessions and having to spend time finding a doctor sympathetic to your cause. It is simply a service that is paid for and performed by people trained just for that one purpose.
The point that he is making, in actual fact, is that commercially available suicide horrifies all of us – even those who approve of doctor assisted suicide and euthanasia. The same reasons that one would use to argue against commercial suicide apply just as well to doctor assisted suicide, and even more so.
… there is not a single ethical reason that speaks persuasively only against CAS. Either the arguments do not apply to CAS, or they do apply but equally or even more so to PAS … To reject CAS while endorsing PAS is, therefore, not ethically justifiable: it is not a coherent ethical position. Therefore, the position of the liberal advocates of PAS has to be revised. Either they have to expand their advocacy to include CAS and therefore radicalize their position considerably or they have to revise their rejection of some arguments that are generally raised against assisted suicide.
And while we contemplate the virtues of commercial suicide, doctors in the Netherlands are working on a scheme to increase the number of organs available for organ-donor transplant – by… you guessed it, harvesting them from people who want to be euthanized. It actually has a name and an acronym; Organ Donation Euthanasia or ODE. According to the Mercator.net article,
Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and the University Hospital of Maastricht have already written national guidelines which are being studied by the Dutch Transplant Foundation.
If the procedures are approved, they would be binding on hospitals and doctors throughout the country.
Now this could prove to be really profitable. Not only could we have for-profit clinics available for killing people, we can harvest their organs and sell them to hospitals doing wonderful life-saving work. Except for the bit about selling them, Oxford bioethicists Julian Savulescu and a colleague, Dominic Wilkinson concur:
Many lives could be saved even if only a small percentage of people opted for ODE… We should encourage and support such altruistic desires.
Herein lies the reason why former pro-euthanasia advocate, Dr. Theo De Boer, has become an internationally known opponent of the practice. He realized that once you legalize killing, the instances of it just get worse and worse. In his words, “once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.”