Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Canadian psychiatrists fear patients with severe depression could qualify for assisted suicide
In our CAMI support group (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) which meets every Thursday, we often speak about living in a society that less and less recognizes the truth of the sanctity of life. In our present time, so many believe in abortion which is clearly taking the life of a baby in the womb. Our present culture believes in assisted suicide which will easily go from your right to die to your duty to die.
Mercy killing is becoming more acceptable than ever in many countries. As a group which is composed of families of the mentally ill and those who have a mental illness, we especially take note of laws and agreements that talk about society creating the enabling of suicides. Heartfelt Counseling Ministries in all of our literature (which includes our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It) and our CAMI Study Guides, does the opposite of enabling suicide. We fight it!
I have been so depressed that if you gave me an out, I may have taken it. The grace of God has helped me stay alive and he has used Christians to help. Society more and more believes in an ethical hedonism that says the avoidance of pain and suffering is our goal. The Bible talks about purposeful suffering. We have discussed in our CAMI support groups the possibility of living in a society which would actively recruit mental health professionals to help end lives. It would come under the rubric of showing mercy toward their patients by helping them commit suicide.
I am reminded of Adolf Hitler's philosophy of Eugenics (the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics). It was developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race. It fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis. Hitler, after invading the Netherlands,ordered that Dutch physicians kill those persons with mental afflictions, deformities, etc. Many would not comply so he killed the doctors and then killed the "challenged" "misfits."
The slippery slope of assisted suicide is beginning to be realized in the mental health arena in Canada and in the United States
Canada's historic criminal code provisions allow doctors to aid and abet suicide After practicing for generations to prevent suicide, psychiatrists across Canada could soon be asked to help some people kill themselves — thrusting the profession into what some of its members are calling the untenable role of “suicide enablers.” In its historic ruling striking down the Criminal Code provisions prohibiting doctors from “aiding or abetting” suicide, the high court granted adult Canadians suffering a “grievous” and “irremediable” condition the right to die a doctor-hastened death.
“I have been approached by many psychiatrists who have serious concerns about physician assisted death being applied to mental illnesses,” said Dr. Padriac Carr, president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Alberta.
“Legal definitions are extremely important here,” he said. “Remediable” could be defined as treatable, or curable. In psychiatry, he said, “complete cures are quite rare.” Most treatments are directed at relieving symptoms.
“If ‘remediable’ implies a cure, then almost all psychiatric illnesses could be considered ‘irremediable,’” he said.
If, on the other hand, “remediable” is defined as treatable, most psychiatric illnesses wouldn’t meet the standard, “because there are almost always treatment options we can try,” Carr said.
The ruling is creating deep discomfort in a field of medicine where “cures” are rare, and where many worry there is every possibility severe depression and other mental illnesses could meet the test for assisted suicide, or even euthanasia — death by lethal injection — as set out by the court, as long as the person is competent and can provide free and informed consent.
The United States is not immune to this type of adjustment of the criminal code regarding the sanctity of life.