Politics & Policy

The Corner

Euthanasia Not About Ending Uncontrollable Pain

The euthanasia movement fear mongers its agenda as a means of preventing an agonizing death in pain that cannot be controlled. It’s all a false pitch. That’s not why it’s actually done.

Rather, existential anguish drives people to seek doctor-administered or prescribed termination. That has been experience in Oregon. Now too, Canada. From a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine;

Those who received MAiD [medical aid in dying] tended to be white and relatively affluent and indicated that loss of autonomy was the primary reason for their request.

Other common reasons included the wish to avoid burdening others or losing dignity and the intolerability of not being able to enjoy one’s life.

Few patients cited inadequate control of pain or other symptoms.

These are important issues that need to be addressed through vigorous suicide prevention and other mental health interventions.

But they are not provided. Instead, the desire to die for fear of being a burden or losing autonomy is validated with the lethal jab or the poison pills. And then, that type of death is pushed toward normalization.

Not providing vigorous interventions for existential anguish is like depriving a cancer patient of morphine, and then helping her die because she is in so much pain.

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

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