Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Now it's time for a law


Everyone seems to be asking the same question: Why did she die so fast?

A nice peaceful death by dehydration takes at least ten days. Terri Schaivo took about two weeks to peacefully pass away. Early reports say that her food and water were being replaced with sedatives, so I'll be very interested to know the outcome of the autopsy. There's this thing, you see, called "terminal sedation" and I have heard that the Italian government is going to be asking some sharp questions of the La Quieta clinic. Euthanasia is still, for now, illegal in this country.

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The political question is now the most important one, though. The most efficacious way that the Deathmongers have used around the world to bring in legalised passive euthanasia is to have food and hydration defined in law as "medical treatment" that can be legally refused by a patient (through the proxy of guardians/physicians, of course, in the cases of incapacitated patients). This is the case in Canada where there has been no Terri Schiavo-like test case. But in cases like this, where there has been a celebrity victim, it should be all the easier to put the idea into people's heads that the whole mess can be avoided in future just by saying that food and water are medicine.

Once you've got the right to just quietly stop feeding and watering someone, there is no further need, really, to push for legalising active euthanasia. It is why, I believe, the movement has been so quiet in Canada since the killing of Tracy Latimer. Daddy Robert was such an obvious ne'er do well that he made a very poor poster-child for the movement. The focus now, is just on getting old and disabled people out of the way by dehydration. Cheaper too, especially when you start factoring in the potential costs of lawyers.

How much easier a time of it would we all have if only Tracy could have been denied food and fluid for a week or so after her last surgery on the advice of a qualified medical doctor who could sign off on his opinion that her future quality of life would not support further feeding.

In Italy, the food and water issue is still undefined, so, we will have to wait and see how things play out. I'm enough of a cynic to more or less agree, however, with the assessment of the head of the Italian Exit group:

Silvio Viale, a doctor and manager of the Luca Coscioni and Exit-Italia, a member of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, said the bill is “still a step forward, and a victory for Eluana, regardless of whether it is a bad or prohibitionist law, because it breaks the taboo and the hypocrisy” of the “right to life” movement.

The bill “opens the way for future discussions ... for future changes to the law” in favor of legalizing euthanasia, he said.


Yep. That's what my thought was too.

1 comment:

Louise said...

the bill is “still a step forward, and a victory for Eluana, regardless of whether it is a bad or prohibitionist law, because it breaks the taboo and the hypocrisy” of the “right to life” movement.

What "taboo"? What "hypocrisy"?