Canadian lawmakers recently introduced legislation to delay a planned expansion of their Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) program for three years. Without this delay, the rapidly increasing Canadian suicide rates will explode as those suffering from mental health conditions will be allowed to commit suicide with the help of a medical professional.
Not to be outdone, some Colorado legislators seem eager to expand the culture of death outside the womb and constitutionally enshrine a nonexistent “right” to death inside the womb. They are making the expansion of death a “hill to die on.”
House and Senate legislators have introduced the so-called “Medical Aid-in-Dying” bill. The bill goes much further than voters previously approved with the 2016 Proposition 106 on physician-assisted suicide. This bill would greatly expand Colorado’s assisted suicide laws, significantly increase access, and reduce the waiting period for those choosing death by medical professionals from 15 days to 48 hours, or even less under certain circumstances.
Once adopted, a culture of death expands rapidly. Assisted suicide now accounts for 4 percent of all deaths in Canada. The ill-advised program has already increased the number of physician-assisted suicides to more than 13,000 in 2022. MAID was initially scheduled to expand to mental health cases this March, but the proposed delay to 2027 is merely to prepare their medical system for implementation, not because it’s an inherently immoral plan.
No wonder Canada long ago abandoned the Hippocratic oath despite pro-life advocacy to revive the pledge. Once a person is convinced life in the womb is disposable, it’s not a long leap in moral logic that life outside the womb is likewise valueless, especially when it becomes difficult.
A similar trajectory is occurring in Colorado. Having obtained a Democratic governing trifecta, the Colorado Legislature is busy pushing leftist ideas like SB24-068. The bill has several poison pills in it, including the removal of the requirement for patients to be state residents. The Colorado medical tourism industry of abortion and transgender surgery on minors will expand to support end-of-life participants. The devaluing of life across the Centennial State continues apace, even claiming moral superiority.
As our good friends to the north have already shown, this won’t be the last expansion of the slippery slope that is immoral killing. Although not required by many modern medical schools, the Hippocratic oath influenced the medical profession to adopt the common mantra of “doing no harm or injustice” to patients. Interestingly, the original translation goes on to say the following:
I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly, I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
In purity and according to divine law will I carry out my life and my art.
Expansion of the so-called “right to die” in Colorado will not stop with SB24-068 and will fundamentally alter the nature of medical care and societal views concerning death. Colorado’s ever-expanding abortion protections and Democrat transgender “care” policies have already demonstrated that once unleashed, the medical profession has an almost limitless ability to bring misery and death, whether patients want to be there or (like babies in the womb) have no voice in the matter. Those who choose suicide to “reduce the pain” are acting on a logical error called an appeal to ignorance. How does one know that death eliminates pain? Most world religions accept some form of existence beyond the grave; to assume they are all incorrect is risky.
The immoral expansion of suicide authorized by SB24-068 will follow the same path as Canada until even those in a mental health crisis, who most need the empathy of medical professionals, may be encouraged instead to commit suicide. Eventually, suicide will be argued as the moral high ground, perhaps even a moral imperative. Abortion has followed a similar trajectory from “safe, legal, and rare” to “shout your abortion.” There is little reason to think euthanasia will not follow a similar trajectory.
Once normalized, euthanasia has the potential to be far less expensive than years of medical treatment or counseling. Which long-term outcome will insurance providers support? Although SB24-068 anticipates that concern and restricts attempts to coerce those with a terminal illness to request suicide pharmaceuticals, how can this restriction be enforced, and will that injunction last as Colorado slides down the slippery slide of progressive eugenics?
There is a better way, created by the Greeks well before the invention of modern medicines and passed to modernity in the Hippocratic Corpus. Within the words “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked” is an acknowledgment of the intrinsic value of human life. This belief is enshrined in the Judeo-Christian understanding that God ordains life from conception until natural death. Accordingly, the U.S. Declaration of Independence posits that our Creator endows us with a “right to life,” not a right to death. America has long understood and protected the value of life, even and especially for those in the most difficult and painful circumstances.
The wonders of modern medicine have produced massive improvements to the quality of life and medical care during all seasons of life. Why would the Colorado Legislature reverse that progress, negatively influence the medical profession, and continue the rush to cheapen life and encourage suicide? It seems the ancient Greeks were on to something; maybe the Colorado Legislature should listen.