In light of tomorrow’s Supreme Court decision, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has put out a release noting these specific points:
- If legalized, assisted suicide will create new paths to abuse of elders, people with disabilities and other socially devalued people. The scourge of elder abuse in our culture continues to grow.
- Depression is common [yet treatable] for people with significant health conditions. A study in the Netherlands found that depression was a primary factor for requests for euthanasia.
- Recent cases in the Netherlands include: a woman with Tinnitus, a woman who didn’t want to live in a nursing home, and a depressed recently retired man. The reported cases of euthanasia for psychiatric conditions tripled in the Netherlands in 2013.
- A significant study from the Netherlands found that at least 300 assisted deaths are done each year without request and 23% of all of the assisted deaths were not reported.
No matter what the decision is, our society needs to be reminded that straying from the principles of protection of all human life leads only to abuse.
Dr. Leo Alexander, a Nuremberg expert in medical war crimes including coerced euthanasia noted how Nazi horrors “started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived.” He emphasized how the crimes against humanity began with a “seemingly innocent step away from principle.” “Corrosion”, he said, “begins in microscopic proportions.”
Reference: Dr. Leo Alexander, “Medical Science under Dictatorship,” New England Journal of Medicine, 14 July 1949.