“Scheduled for euthanasia?” In Massachusetts, USA? (Did I miss a news item on the legalization of euthanasia in Massachusetts?)
The story explains. Ventilator-dependant Haleigh Poutre was not “scheduled for euthanasia,” however, they were going to remove her from life support.
Haleigh was in fact scheduled to be left to die of her injuries by the child protection services who had authority over her medical care. In short, there is a lot to condemn in that decision without labeling it euthanasia.
LifeSiteNews reporter Thaddeus M. Baklinski’s use of the word “euthanasia” is wrong. To win the euthanasia debate we use terms correctly. If pro-life advocates call every questionable death “euthanasia” we will not meaningfully engage proponents of euthanasia.
We can debate whether Haleigh’s planned withdrawal of life support was premature, unjustified or motivated by administrative rather than medical imperatives. But it was not “the intentional killing of a person by another for compassionate motives,” which is the definition of euthanasia.
Calling removal of life-support “euthanasia” is a concern for critically ill patients and their families. In Canada for instance, euthanasia is not legally different from murder. Where life-support is often needed to help a patient survive a critical event, it was never meant to maintain life at all cost. Equating withdrawal of life-support – however unjustified it was in Haleigh’s case – with euthanasia may cause families to refuse life-support for their loved ones because of fears over over-treatment. On the flip side, families may request over-treatment for fear of “euthanizing/murdering” their loved ones.
The indiscriminate use of controversial words like euthanasia causes suffering. (See “Thad’s” comment on systemic concerns about addiction to pain killers in dying cancer patients.) Let’s be aware of it.