Skip links

California Plans to Kill Terminal-Illness Requirement for Assisted Suicide

I am always amazed when people still believe legalized assisted suicide/euthanasia is about terminal illness. It isn’t. That limitation is an expedient — an-entry level policy, if you will — to make assisted suicide seem less radical, to get a law enacted, and to persuade people to accept the principle that killing is an acceptable answer to suffering.

The idea is to loosen suicide criteria once it is legalized, after which the “safeguards” used to sell the policy are redefined quickly as “obstacles.”  Now, planned legislation in California would repeal the existing six-months-to-live requirement and open the door for easy access to death. From Senator Catherine Blakespear’s “fact sheet” on her plan for the bill, SB 1196:

Since becoming law in 2016, it has become clear two provisions [the six-months-left-to-live and capacity requirements] are needlessly excluding many Californians from accessing aid-in-dying medicine.

See what I mean? The proposed answer to not enough people having access to assisted suicide — as always — is to radically loosen the qualifying criteria:

SB 1196 will replace “terminal disease” with “a grievous and irremediable medical condition.” A grievous and irremediable medical condition is a serious and incurable illness or disease that meets all of the following:
– Places the individual in a state of irreversible decline in capability;
– Causes the individual to endure physical or psychological suffering due to illness, disease, or state of decline that is intolerable to the individual and cannot be relieved in a manner the individual deems acceptable; and
– After taking into account all of the individual’s medical circumstances, it is reasonably foreseeable that the condition will become the individual’s natural cause of death. [Emphasis added.]

That definition is broad enough to drive a hearse through. It could include all manner of conditions, from diabetes, to early stage cancer, to an elderly person becoming frail, to MS, to paraplegia. And remember, it permits someone to qualify even if they decide they don’t want treatment that is medically proven to be capable of ameliorating their symptoms. Indeed, this would allow people with ailments access to hastened death no matter the potential efficacy of care options.

Read more at National Review 

Share with Friends: