I have chided women's groups for the inconsistency of supporting choice and freedom from government coercion when it comes to decisions about their bodies, but at the same time lobbying for universal government health care. If after my previous posts you still fail to see the inherent contradiction, try this story:
A Winnipeg case currently winding its way to its grim conclusion pits
the children of Samuel Golubchuk against doctors at the Salvation Army
Grace General Hospital. According to the pleadings, Golubchuk's doctors
informed his children that their 84-year-old father is "in the process
of dying" and that they intended to hasten the process by removing his
ventilation, and if that proved insufficient to kill him quickly, to
also remove his feeding tube. In the event that the patient showed
discomfort during these procedures, the chief of the hospital's ICU
unit stated in his affidavit that he would administer morphine.
is an Orthodox Jew, as are his children. The latter have adamantly
opposed his removal from the ventilator and feeding tube, on the
grounds that Jewish law expressly forbids any action designed to
shorten life, and that if their father could express his wishes, he
would oppose the doctors acting to deliberately terminate his life.
response, the director of the ICU informed Golubchuk's children that
neither their father's wishes nor their own are relevant, and he would
do whatever he decided was appropriate. Bill Olson, counsel for the ICU
director, told the Canadian Broadcasting Company that physicians have
the sole right to make decisions about treatment "” even if it goes
against a patient's religious beliefs "” and that "there is no right to
a continuation of treatment."...
The claim of absolute physician discretion to withdraw life-support
advanced by the Canadian doctors would spell the end of any patient
autonomy over end-of-life decisions. So-called living wills, which are
recognized in many American states, and which allow a person to specify
in advance who should make such decisions in the event of their
incapacity, would be rendered nugatory.
I find the discussion of the "duty to die" to save the state money especially chilling. This story is also in the save vein.