Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Targeting People With Mental Illness and Dementia for Euthanasia | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Think about it. If the point of allowing suicide by doctor is to eliminate suffering — and if eliminating suffering can include eliminating the sufferer — how can facilitated death be forbidden to patients, such as those with dementia and mental illness, who may suffer far more extremely and for a much longer time than the already dying? It makes no sense.
Despite continuing disapproval of euthanasia for mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association, that point is increasingly being made in the media and professional journals. For example, an article just published in the American Journal of Bioethics argues that since “the suffering associated with mental illness can be as severe, intractable, and prolonged as the suffering due to physical illness,” as a matter of “parity,” in “severe” cases, “PAD” (physician-assisted death) should be made available to mentally ill patients with “decisional capacity” — even when they have “a relatively long expected natural lifespan.” The authors, University of Utah psychiatry professor Brent M. Kious and noted assisted suicide advocate and bioethicist Margaret (Peggy) Battin, go so far as to suggest that “psychiatrists and other mental health professionals” could one day become “gatekeepers for PAD” once “a metric for suffering in both mental and physical illness” is established.
Ponder this for a moment. Instead of being duty-bound to save the lives of all their suicidal patients, mental health professionals would become approvers for and facilitators of self-destruction. That should be unthinkable.