Assisted Dying III

I suggested last year it was all about the money. Depressingly, it looks like I was right.

A new report has been issued on the cost of physician assisted suicide (which became legal in 2016) to the Canadian health care system. It looks like the savings will be about $139 million a year. More if more people opt for the “service.”

It is no secret that our health care system has financial restraints. Here in Ontario, for example, 41 per cent of all government spending is designated to health care, and the amount is increasing.  Governments are always looking at ways to reduce costs.

It is also no secret that for most of us the majority of the money spent on our health care will come in the last couple of weeks of our life. The transition from life to death, and the attendant care, is expensive. From a policy perspective, it is better for the system if people choose to end their lives early and save some taxpayer dollars.

Far be it from me to suggest that the current or any future government would advocate for the death of its citizens, but is the idea really that farfetched? If times are tough, and health care expensive, doesn’t it become your patriotic duty to ask your physician to kill you? Wouldn’t that be better for your family as well as the state?

This is, at this point, all conjecture on my part, but I think it is a valid observation. We have lost touch with the idea that humans are created in God’s image, which frees us up to treat end of life issues no differently than we would deal with a pet in the same situation. On more than one occasion I have had to make the choice to end a pet’s life due to economic considerations. Why is it different if there is a human involved? The dollars and cents are the same.

If there is no distinction between humans and other creatures, then why should economics not rule? Forget about death with dignity, forget about palliative care, and forget about expensive treatment that may only add a few days or months to a person’s lifespan.

We could, if money got really tight, be proactive about the matter. The elderly are the ones needing the most health care services and consuming those precious dollars. Think of the money we could save if there were no elderly!

It is, of course absurd to think that government would ever bring in a law requiring citizens to avail themselves of physician assisted suicide on, say, their 75th birthday. Such a thing would never happen.

Yet 25 years ago gay marriage was unthinkable. Fifty years ago so was abortion on demand. Do you want to bet what our society is going to look like 25 years from now? Mandatory killing of the elderly is not so unthinkable when you consider it.

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4 comments

  1. It’s good to see that amid all the furore about “freedom to choose” and “right to die” that there is a sane voice who sees the culture of death that lies beneath it, where death is prescribed as a cost-effective medical treatment – first to those who feel they need it, then to those who just want it because they are depressed, then to those who cannot judge for themselves and so have the choice made for them. Once we take this road, we all slide down the slippery slope to a so-called society where we support anyone who wants to die and encourage death for those who are a burden. Anyone who doubts this should look at the situation in The Netherlands and Belgium to see just how slippery and steep the slope can be.

  2. Great comparison: put the person ‘down’ as you would a pet.

  3. Prophetic words.

  4. Part of a song I wrote 20 years ago.

    Unwanted babies and crippled grannies,
    Don’t think twice, roll the dice, don’t you crave,
    Convenience, convenience

    And dying with dignity has become a dignified way to die
    convenience, convenience

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