Fulfilled living in later life
When money comes first and lives second

Friday 22nd January 2021

When money comes first and lives second

Louise Morse

The danger of euthanasia is very real. In 2015, a study found that in Belgium, over 13,000 patients had been euthanised by doctors without their, or their families’ consent

If euthanasia and assisted suicide were legal in the UK today, when thousands of older patients are in hospital fighting for their lives, it could mean thousands would risk being denied medical treatment and instead come under pressure to choose death, according to Care Not Killing (CNK).

The danger of euthanasia is very real. In 2015, a study led by Professor Cohen-Almagor of Hull University found that in Belgium, over 13,000 patients had been euthanised by doctors without their, or their families’ consent, based on the doctors’ subjective view of their quality of life. There have been reports of similar individual cases in other countries. In Oregon, USA, where assisted dying is legal, an HMO (Health Management Organisation that pays individuals’ medical costs) offered a patient facing prolonged treatment funds for assisted dying, as part of the option. A survey in Oregon in 2019 found nearly 6 in 10 of those ending their lives cited the fear of ‘being a burden on their families, friends and caregivers,’ as a reason for seeking death.

Fears are that as more countries adopt euthanasia, disabled and elderly patients will be offered assisted dying as a medical option. It shows a huge failure on the part of the profession to provide appropriate care and support, but it saves health providers a great deal of money. A study referred to in a major Canadian newspaper said that, ‘Of all the financially grim statistics confronting Canadian health care, this ranks among the grimmest: about 25 per cent of all health-care costs are devoted to caring for patients in their last year of life.’ Read here.

In 2017, the same newspaper reported, ‘Canada's medical-aid-in-dying law could save the country's health-care system as much as $138.8 million a year, depending on the number of people who chose to hasten their deaths with the help of a doctor or nurse … and could result in substantial savings.’

In its new appeal this month CNK noted that celebrities supporting euthanasia have been given radio and press platforms to air their eugenic views, including broadcaster John Humphrys who questioned the wisdom of awarding equal value to the lives of patients when deciding on treatment.

CNK warns of grave threats facing the elderly, disabled and terminally ill in the UK. There is currently an assisted suicide bill being discussed in Scotland, continuing pressure for a review of the law at Westminster, and a policy move that would see the U.K.’s largest doctors’ group dropped its current opposition to assisted suicide. Also, MP Andrew Mitchell has asked health Minister Matt Hancock to collect data on suicides of terminally ill people in order to inform future debates in Parliament about assisted suicide and euthanasia. ‘Make no mistake’, says CNK, this is a push by Andrew Mitchell for legalising assisted suicide.’

It is a frightening thought that money is now more important than the lives of vulnerable people, and that people who have trained to cure and save lives are being enrolled to end them. We know that our battle is a spiritual one, as Ephesians 6:12 describes. It is a time for prayer. Do visit CNK’s website, at www.carenotkilling.org.uk/, and add your prayers to ours and theirs.