August 7, 2014

"Merkel's Christian Democratic Union political party has vowed to stop organizations and doctors it claims are profiting from vulnerable patients seeking to kill themselves."

"Euthanasia foes are also concerned that Germany is surrounded by countries with pro-euthanasia and assisted suicide laws, some of which are being broadened."
Michael Brand, who is coordinating the CDU and its allies' efforts on the ban in the German parliament, says... that the question of assisted suicide is particularly sensitive in Germany because of his country's Nazi history and the Holocaust.

"We live in a society where everyone today is productive, fit and healthy," Brand says. "We need to be careful not to put pressure on those who are nearing the end of their lives, who are sicker, who are disabled. Who has the right to decide what life is worth living or not?"

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know. As long as they are only killing Germans I'm okay with it. (I kid. I kid. Dads family is German so I can say that.)

Roger Sweeny said...

"Who has the right to decide what life is worth living or not?"

The person who's living it?

tim maguire said...

I support assisted suicide, but euthanasia crosses a line. It is a pretty word for murder.

Anglelyne said...

[Elke Baezner, who is president of the German Society for Humane Dying], says that she understands politicians' desires to protect vulnerable patients from unscrupulous individuals or groups seeking to take their money, but that dragging out patients' care against their will at great expense is also abuse.

"Our goal is to find a safe, secure way for people who want to die to be able to do so peacefully and without pain," Baezner says.


Well, there's the rub, eh? (Who's in favor of painful, fear-racked death?) Is it possible to write nice, neat, rationalized, "humane" euthanasia codes that don't run away from us? I doubt it. I doubt that it's possible to do that in a modern bureaucratic state, and glib invocations of "choice" (as if this could all easily be kept between and individual, his conscience, and his doctor) don't fix that. I doubt there is any better "solution" than what must have been "off the record" understandings between patient and physician, but that assumes a world of personal relationship and medical practice that no longer exists.

We all have the choice to kill ourselves; the devil is in the recruiting of medical professionals, institutions, the law, "bioethicists" (God help us) and government bureaucrats (God help us even more) into the act. The opponents are rightly dubious.

MaxedOutMama said...

Tim - but what's the real difference between assisted suicide and euthanasia? Can you state a clear dividing line?

Jim said...

What's "Death Panels" in German?

Smilin' Jack said...

Who has the right to decide what life is worth living or not?

Obviously that decision should be placed in the hands of the wisest and most virtuous among us--the politicians.

Fen said...

Why are the patients "vulenerable" ?

If its because you think anyone who wants to take their own life is batty, then no. And mind your own business.

We had a family friend who was diagnosed with a horrible cancer. When it got to its worst, he decided it would be better to eat a shotgun barrel than spend 6 months in excruciating pain.

Who are you to tell him different?

And if a doc wants to make a profit off my rational and humane decision to end my suffering, who the frack are you to complain?

YoungHegelian said...

When a cash-strapped state pays your medical bills a "right to die" can quickly become an "obligation to die".

The Crack Emcee said...

Roger Sweeny,

"Who has the right to decide what life is worth living or not?"

The person who's living it?"

Yeah, but does that account for things, like depression?

American blacks have lived in a situation where our meager efforts to free ourselves are pitted against a vast arsenal, by comparison, backed by a committed foe.

Can you IMAGINE the minority business a euthanasia "clinic" could do, here, for no other reason than blacks are the "tip of the spear," forced to face white supremacy head-on?

Devastating,...

tim maguire said...

MaxedOutMama--yes, the dividing line is quite clear. In assisted suicide the person ends their own life. With euthanasia, somebody else ends it for them.

The bright line that they are on different sides of is who makes the final, irrevocable decision.

Scott said...

Roger Sweeny said...
"Who has the right to decide what life is worth living or not?"

The person who's living it?

Nuff said....

Peter said...

Did anyone who wrote this think, "Hard cases make bad law"?

There will never be a bright line between "They tell me I have a right to die when and how I choose" and, "They tell me I have a duty to die already."

This guy can probably find a way to end his life when he thinks it's time without a law permitting others to help him. May we please consider the negative, and probably irreversible, downsides of such legislation?

Anglelyne said...

Fen: Why are the patients "vulenerable" ?

If its because you think anyone who wants to take their own life is batty, then no. And mind your own business.


Nice day for a rant against hypothetical busybodies who make no appearance in the article, is it?

We had a family friend who was diagnosed with a horrible cancer. When it got to its worst, he decided it would be better to eat a shotgun barrel than spend 6 months in excruciating pain.

Who are you to tell him different?


Who's this "you" who's all worked up about an act that has nothing to do with legalizing euthanasia and "assisted suicide"?

Strangely, a lot of us who have reservations about legalizing euthanasia have had experience with friends and relatives suffering excruciating pain from fatal illnesses, whom we not only wouldn't have prevented from offing themselves, but probably would have helped out if they'd asked. And not have had much in the way of moral qualms about it. Once you've calmed dawn from from your strictly emotional reaction here, you might want to ponder why that is.

And if a doc wants to make a profit off my rational and humane decision to end my suffering, who the frack are you to complain?

Sure, no moral ambiguities ever attend, nor negative consequences ever flow, from legalizing euthanasia in the libertardian unicorn paradise, Fen. All for the best in the best of all possible worlds within the perimeter of that neat little triangle of contract, consent, and profit. Out in the real world, the adults have to think a little harder about these things.

MayBee said...

Shouldn't euthanasia be between a woman and her doctor?

n.n said...

It would seem that people do learn from experience. Germany is struggling to reconcile the choice between normalization and tolerance. Whether a civilized society will grant and even promote exemptions for certain classes of murder, thereby devaluing human life, and selectively degrading an individual life. This differs from what happens without social oversight (e.g. in the "back-alley"), which cannot be remedied until after an illegal and immoral act has already been committed.

John Lynch said...

It's not hard to kill yourself. People with incurable illnesses have been doing it since there have been people.

That's not what this is about. What's at stake is societal sanction for suicide. It's supposed to be yet another choice that we can't judge and by implication we must endorse. We won't be able to say that suicide is wrong, because that might offend someone.

It's wrong. If you want to kill yourself, fine, no one will stop you. But don't expect me to say it's OK. That's the only possible moral choice. Leave it in the hands of the individual, but don't make it socially acceptable.

Dr Weevil said...

Are people here unaware that the Nazis began their killings by murdering severely handicapped children, and only then moved on to handicapped adults, Jews, Gypsies, and gays? 'Kinder-Euthanasie' was a trial run for the better-known uses of the gas chambers, and Merkel is quite rightly opposed to anything that looks like a rerun.

Also, anyone worried that American euthanasia would disproportionately affect blacks should know (should already know) that the suicide rate for black Americans is in fact less than half the rate for white Americans.

Dr Weevil said...

Sorry, forgot to include the link for the last point: CDC.

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