Assisted suicide: Canada reports a ten-fold increase in 5 years, to over 10,000 deaths in 2021
The subject can be easily boiled down to its essence, for discussion
Some people are in a great deal of distress around their time of dying, and should be assisted to go easily and peacefully if they wish.
Assisted suicide opens up a slippery slope whereby assisting death in those in extreme discomfort can expand to:
a) doctors deciding who should live and who should die;
b) allowing people with depression or substance abuse or poor socioeconomic conditions, who may briefly want to die, to do so without sufficient time and consideration
I have always felt that the decision to go ahead with an assisted death should not be made by doctors, as we can have biases or conflicts of interest (as employees of a hospital, for instance, that may benefit financially from shorter duration admissions).
But then, who should it be made by? Before I was familiar with the legal system, I thought it should be made by an unbiased judge. But now I wonder how many of them exist.
If there is no one you can rely on to make the decision… well, perhaps you set up a system involving a religious counselor and a psychologist, or involve an outside doctor? In the end, we all have biases, but maybe involving 2 professionals could offset this?
Ten thousand deaths in a year does not seem like a lot, but Canada has one tenth the population of the US. In the US that would equate to 100,000. This is equivalent to about one person in every 3,000 receiving an assisted suicide every year. And the number availing themselves of this option, according to the Canadian government, is growing rapidly.
Assisted deaths are an open secret in countries where it is not explicitly allowed. And so we should start any discussion of this subject by acknowledging that.
Here is my take: assisted suicide in appropriate cases is a good thing. But it can get out of hand. It is a slippery slope, and we are already concerned about covert methods of population control. I think it needs to be reviewed carefully and yearly, and if the numbers continue to expand, especially when the participants are not terminally ill, I predict it will become a huge problem. Maybe this is one of those things that is best left an open secret?
Addendum: 2 AP articles detailing abuse of assisted suicide in Canada. And a list of where assisted suicide has been legalized: Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain — plus several states in Australia. It seems there is considerable overlap with the nations imposing the severest lockdowns…