The Corner

Health Care

Assisted-Suicide Advocates Oppose Real Protections

Assisted-suicide advocates sell their hemlock by promising “strict guidelines” to protect against abuse.

The thing is, the guidelines are never really “strict,” and they don’t offer much protection.

Convincing people of that can be daunting because it takes a lot of explaining. But something just happened in Maryland that illustrates the con in which the suicide pushers engage.

The usual kind of phony-baloney legalization bill passed the House of Delegates, but members of a Senate committee decided to add some — very soft — teeth to otherwise pretty meaningless guidelines. As a consequence, Compassion and Choices (formerly, the Hemlock Society) withdrew its support for the bill.

What were the protections C & C opposed? From the Baltimore Sun story:

Under the bill heading to the full Senate, a terminally ill patient with a prognosis of six months or less to live could request a prescription of fatal medication from their doctor. To qualify, the patient must:

» Be at least 21 years old, a change from 18 in the original bill.

» Have their diagnosis confirmed by their attending physician and a consulting physician. Those two physicians cannot be in the same practice or have a financial relationship

» Ask for the prescription three times, including once in private with a doctor and with witnesses.

» Undergo a mental health evaluation.

The senators also set a stricter definition of who would qualify, saying they must have an “irreversible” condition that affects their quality of life and that “within a reasonable degree of medical certainty” will result in death within six months. The original bill’s standard was “reasonable medical judgment” that the individual is likely to die within six months.

Doctors also would be required to give patients written information about treatment options that are available for their condition.

And the senators stripped a requirement in the original bill that would have shielded doctors from civil lawsuits related to prescribing the fatal drugs.

Don’t get me wrong. Assisted suicide should never be legalized. Dying people who ask for suicide should receive suicide-prevention services like all other suicidal patients. Their lives are just as important and valuable.

But when very modest additions to the usual “strict guidelines” pabulum — like the doctor having to provide written treatment options — are decried by activists as, “Too tough!”, the lipstick is off the pig.

C & C and I agree. Don’t pass the bill. Let assisted suicide die in the Maryland Senate.

Post Script: New Mexico just defeated assisted suicide. So did Arkansas. Let’s keep that string of successes going!

Most Popular

U.S.

In Defense of Coleman Hughes

Picture the scene: A young man walks into a congressional hearing to offer witness testimony. His grandfather was barbarically brutalized by people who are now long dead. The nation in which he resides built its wealth of his grandfather’s brutalization. The question: Should his fellow citizens pay the young ... Read More
Film & TV

Toy Story 4: A National Anthem

The Toy Story franchise is the closest thing we have to an undisputed national anthem, a popular belief that celebrates what we think we all stand for — cooperation, ingenuity, and simple values, such as perpetual hope. This fact of our infantile, desensitized culture became apparent back in 2010 when I took a ... Read More
Education

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More
Elections

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Madcap Caution of Donald Trump

The worry last week was that the Trump administration was ginning up fake intelligence about Iran blowing up oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz to justify a war against Iran. Then, this week, President Donald Trump said the Iranian attacks weren’t a big deal. The episode is another indication of the ... Read More
Film & TV

Fosse/Verdon and the Dismal #MeToo Obsession

In the final episode of Fosse/Verdon, one of the two titular characters, Bob Fosse, is shooting one of the greatest films of all time. The other, Gwen Verdon, is having a quarrel with her unspeakably dull boyfriend about whether he approves of her performing in a road-show production of a Broadway musical. These ... Read More