Human Exceptionalism

First Colombia Medicalized Killing

Colombia’s first legal euthanasia has just been carried out. That makes four countries with currently legal euthanasia; Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Colombia.

Canada will soon join that list once the Supreme Court’s imposition goes into effect next year. The Province of Quebec currently allows euthanasia. 

Switzerland does not technically allow euthanasia, but does permit non-medical assisted suicide and suicide clinics.

Three U.S. states allow assisted suicide by statute, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont. Montana’s status is in doubt thanks to a muddled state Supreme Court ruling, and one county in New Mexico permits it, due to a trial court ruling now on appeal.

Meanwhile, back in Colombia–the regulations of which impose medical martyrdom–the Catholic Church has issued a portentous warning.  From the BBC story:

Colombia’s Catholic Church has said euthanasia is morally unacceptable and it has threatened to close its hospitals across the country.

That’s not only the right approach, it is the only moral course. No one should be forced to be complicit in the intentional taking of human life.

The obvious solution is comity: Objecting doctors and institutions should be able to opt out without penalty.

If countries that permit medicalized killing continue to move toward forcing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals to participate in the intentional ending of human life, expect civil disobedience and/or the closing of Hippocratic and faith-based professional offices and medical institutions.

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