The Corner

Quebec Moves Toward Euthanasia for Alzheimer’s

Our neighbor to the north demonstrates vividly how the logic of euthanasia consciousness spreads like a virus.

Once a society generally accepts killing as an acceptable response to human suffering, the killable categories expand exponentially–clearly seen in the Netherlands and Belgium where psychiatrists kill the mentally ill, sometimes coupled with organ harvesting.

Abuses? What abuses?

Canada is driving that same road with the pedal to the metal. Quebec is now actively considering expanding euthanasia to include the mentally incompetent if they asked to be killed in an advance directive. From the Montreal Gazette story:

A consensus is emerging among Quebec parliamentarians to launch a public debate on the appropriateness of legalizing medically assisted suicide for persons unable to give informed consent, such as patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

My mother died of Alzheimer’s, so I know what this disease is like.

I also know that it would have been wrong to allow her worst fears about what her life was going to be like when the illness began to bite, to allow her to order herself poisoned to death when she lost capacity. 

Even in my mother’s very difficult final days, there were good moments in which she was able to receive and give love.

To say she would have been killable because she was so ill would have been to say that her loss of capacities rendered less than human. Not on my watch.

And that brings up an ironic point: At the same time in which concerted efforts are being undertaken to reduce the categories of animals killed by euthanasia–a worthy cause–similar efforts are underway where euthanasia is widely accepted to expand the number of people so killed. 

That path leads to extreme moral peril.

The same progression we have seen in Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and now Canada, will happen here if assisted suicide ever becomes widely accepted. It’s only logical.

And here’s the worst part: When that happens, people won’t care because society’s adherence to the equality/sanctity of human life will have been fundamentally subverted. 

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

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More