Politics & Policy

The Corner

Delaware Push for Intellectually Disabled Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide/euthanasia advocates want a very broad and easy latitude to have death by overdose or lethal jab. 

They hide this truth behind blithe assurances of strict protections and feigned desires to limit assisted suicide to the very few as a “safety valve.” They say it will always be limited to the competent. But sometimes, they let that cat out of the bag before legalization.

Such is the case in Delaware where the sponsor of that state’s assisted suicide legalization bill has amended the proposal to include the terminally ill ”intellectually disabled,” who by definition, will often not be able to fully comprehend the nature of what is being discussed.

First, note the definition of “intellectually disability,” standard in the field. From Amendment 2 to House Bill 160:

“Intellectual disability” means a disability, that originated before the age of 18,  characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills.”

This means disabled people with significant intellectual impairments. They could be eligible for assisted suicide if a social worker says they understand (my emphasis):

(b) If the patient has a documented intellectual disability, the attending physical shall refer the patient to a licensed clinical social worker who shall ensure that the patient fully understands the information provided pursuant to § 2504B(3). 

No medication to end a patient’s life in a  humane and dignified manner may be prescribed unless the licensed clinical social worker has confirmed in writing to the attending physician that the patient understands the information provided pursuant to § 2504B(3).”

These are people who can’t legally enter contracts! They can’t control where they live! They can’t make their own medical decisions! They also can’t vote, pursuant to the Delaware Constitution!

No person adjudged mentally incompetent . . . or incapacitated under the provisions of this Constitution from voting, shall enjoy the right of an elector. DEL. CONST. art. 5, § 2.

Yet, if they have a terminal illness, they are going to be able to commit assisted suicide if a social worker–who may be ideologically predisposed in favor–confirms that they “understand” that they are receiving a poison prescription? 

It doesn’t even require approval of a guardian, as would corrective surgery or treatment to cure or palliate. Good grief!

Assisted suicide corrupts everything it touches. For those with eyes to see, let them see.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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