I HOPE you didn’t think my headline was sensational hyperbole – it is just an efficient summary of historical fact. In 1933 the New York Times was still a newspaper, that is, mainly concerned with actually reporting the news (instead of its modern preoccupation with woketivism). However the penchant for euphemisms to comfortably couch the unconscionable was in full display even then by fascistic euthanasia apologists.
Pictured below is an actual New York Times article from 1933 about the policies being promoted in America and Germany in that time in history.
The truth grasped at without success is the universal ambition of euthanasia supporters and opponents to “end the tortures of incurable patients.” Euthanasia, though, only ends life, rather like a nuclear bomb would also ease the daily suffering of whomever it was dropped upon. It is irrational for a prisoner to accept execution as a substitute for freedom, and it is equally irrational for a society to accept “therapeutic” homicide as a substitute for actually ending the suffering of sacred lives in a health care system with inadequate funding and training in palliative care.
Like Western Australia, Victoria, next New Zealand and soon to be Queensland if Labor are returned to power and every jurisdiction with liberalised euthanasia laws, the 1930s Nazis designed “safeguards” into their legislation. In fact, they designed more stringent requirements than the progressive governments of the new millenium are currently enacting or proposing.
“According to the present plans of the Ministry of Justice, incurability would be determined not only by the attending physician, but also by two official doctors who would carefully trace the history of the case and personally examine the patient.”
Brendan Malone observes, “Yet, in the end, that euthanasia law killed several hundred thousand men, women and children without consent.”
The New York Times also reported Catholics were bound not to accept euthanasia, and:
“In Lutheran circles, too, life is regarded as something that God alone can take.”
Contrast this Christian ethic of the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death with the Nazi ethic of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a theory that determines right from wrong by focusing on outcomes. According to this ethic, the value of a person’s life is not inherent, but subjective to desirable outcomes such as personal usefulness, necessarily diminishing the personal worth of the disabled and infirm, the elderly and preborn humans.
“The [Nazi] Ministry believes a guarantee is given that no life still valuable to the State will be wantonly destroyed.”
It is willfully ignorant for New Zealand and Australian voters to ignore the lessons of history in allowing the State to become the arbiters of the value of human life.
It remains a fact there is no jurisdiction in the world where euthanasia has been permitted by law for any significant period of time where there has not been unintended casualties of such a seismic shift in the social moral order. The risks are immense. Such unintended but clearly foreseeable fatal outcomes of legislation intended to reduce suffering must be avoided at all costs. Laws are not made for individuals, but whole societies.
It also remains a fact that modern palliative care science and standards have nearly totally eliminated unbearable suffering at the end of life, and what little remains can be almost entirely attributed to insufficient training in and insufficient funding of palliative care.
Surely legislators & voters owe it to our most vulnerable citizens to thoroughly exhaust all reasonable medical & funding solutions to what little suffering remains before we cavalierly embrace the nuclear option.
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Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]