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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Quebec Doctors Forced Into Homicide?



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No one should be forced to kill or participate in killing. But if a recommendation of a Quebec euthanasia commission to legalize doctor-administered death are followed (discussed in more detail here) every Quebec physician will be conscripted to participate in homicide as a condition of practicing medicine.  From the “Dying with Dignity” Commission recommendation:

By definition, medical aid in dying could only be provided by a physician. Under their codes of ethics, physicians and nurses are entitled to conscientious objection, meaning they can refuse to perform an act that goes against their values. Of course, physicians and nurses will retain this right where medical aid in dying is concerned. However, a doctor who refuses to provide medical aid in dying for reasons of conscience will have the duty to help his patient find another who is prepared to do so, as quickly as possible

That would make every doctor in Quebec a potential accomplice in homicide.

Think of it this way: If a hit man were approached by a man to kill his wife, but the murderer didn’t kill women, so instead, referred the husband to a killer he knew would kill females, the original killer would be complicit, indeed, an accomplice in the woman’s murder–even if he didn’t personally pull the trigger. That is akin to what the above recommendation would require of all doctors if it becomes law–forced participation in homicide.

Such a conscience-obliterating law already exists in Victoria, Australia, regarding abortion. (When I traveled the country in 2010 on a speaking tour, I met doctors who moved from their homes to other provinces rather than risk becoming complicit.) The Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) also has issued a similar ethics opinion.

It is a very sad day when doctors must participate in killing as a condition of practicing medicine. But then, we shouldn’t be surprised. The culture of death brooks no dissent.  



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