The Corner

Assisted Suicide: Medical Martyrdom in Switzerland

Over the last few years I have grown increasingly alarmed at the push within euthanasia circles not just to legalize assisted suicide, but also to force dissenting doctors and medical institutions to be complicit in the killing, a phenomenon I have branded “medical martyrdom.”

We see that now in Switzerland where a Christian nursing home has been threatened with loss of charitable tax status if administrators refuse to permit assisted suicide on premises. From the CP World story:

A Christian nursing home run by the Salvation Army in Switzerland has been told that it must either allow assisted suicide despite its religious beliefs, or lose its charitable status.

The nursing home mounted a legal challenge against the country’s new assisted suicide rules which require charities taking care of the sick or elderly and to offer assisted suicide when a patient asks for it, Catholic Herald reports.

But a Swiss court ruled against the nursing home earlier this month. Other Christian charities across Europe, including a separate case in Diest, Belgium, have also been fined and punished for refusing to allow euthanasia on their grounds.

I hope the home stays true to its Christian calling. Just because something is legal, that doesn’t make it right.

Accepting the martyrdom that comes from standing firm in virtue or faith–in a society that has lost both–is not only required of believers in terms of their souls, but can send a salutary message that saves lives. 

Don’t think that forced participation in medicalized homicide/suicide won’t come here if assisted suicide becomes widely legalized.

Conscience is already under attack with regard to abortion and contraception. Should assisted suicide become widely accepted, religious liberty will be seen as an impediment by the purveyors of the culture of death.

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

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