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No Justification For Legalising Euthanasia

Informed Consent Or Excessive Pain Are No Justification For Legalising Euthanasia

The Christian Heritage Party (CHP) contends that those who argue that killing the innocent should be State sanctioned have failed to produce a cogent case. The role of the state is to protect the innocent from aggression not to facilitate it.

“The claim that euthanasia is justified because it eliminates pain is plainly question begging. The fact that a practice reduces suffering does not automatically qualify it as ethical.” Matthew Flannagan CHP Justice Spokesperson said today.

“One could eliminate suffering by robbing a bank and donating the money to hospices, we could eliminate pain by killing one person and donating his organs to several others who need them. Are we to conclude because these acts could alleviate pain that they are ethical? That they should be State sanctioned?”

“Attempts to eliminate suffering are acceptable only if the means used are ethical. The claim that euthanasia should be legal because it eliminates *assumes* that euthanasia is ethical from the outset, it does not provide us with an independent reason for thinking that it is.”

Flannagan was also dismissive of appeals to consent and autonomy. “If proponents of the Bill really believe that autonomous decisions to be killed should be respected then a then they should be decriminalising more than just euthanasia. Any form of consensual homicide would, by this reasoning, be permissible. This includes blood sports, gladiatorial matches with voluntary contestants, voluntary human sacrifice and a whole host of similar practices. In fact teenage suicide for any reason should, by this reasoning, be facilitated by public hospitals.”

Flannagan also challenged the claim that laws against euthanasia were cruel. “The question I have for those who say that is this: Should parents of children who suffer the same terminal illnesses that adults do be legally required by to kill their children? A child with a particular disease suffers no less than an adult does, hence if it is cruel to not allow euthanasia to one it must be cruel to the other.” “By opposing euthanasia for children, supporters of this bill apparently think, that cruelty to children is acceptable until they turn 18. Only when they can rationally ask us not to be cruel should we refrain. On the other hand if they support parents voluntarily administering euthanasia then parents have a right to *choose* whether to be cruel to children.”

“If what proponents of euthanasia contend were correct parliament ought to make it compulsory for parents to kill their children in such circumstances. No one has the right to decide to inflict “cruelty” upon children. No sane government allows parents to torture their children because of religious or moral scruples. When people say that opposition to euthanasia is cruel, they reveal the true nature of their position. They may attempt to con the public that they support only voluntary euthanasia for people over 18, However the logic of their position suggests otherwise.”

CHP strongly urges the government to turn their focus from eliminating the patient to eliminating the suffering. Improvements in palliative care, family support in caring for the sick, depressed and dying and access to pain relief specialists would benefit patients far more than rendering them dead - for once dead how can they enjoy any benefit?

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