Monday, 13 June 2011

Twenty facts we did not learn from Terry Pratchett’s BBC ‘documentary’ on assisted suicide in Europe

The Sunday Times, in line with its new editorial policy, ran a typically effusive article last weekend about last night’s ‘documentary’ in which we saw a British man, Peter Smedley, kill himself on screen by drinking poison at the Dignitas suicide facility near Zurich.

Earlier this year I suggested that the BBC was acting in the role of cheerleader for assisted suicide through its partisan coverage of this issue; and I blogged earlier about how this particular programme was further evidence of BBC bias and would fuel more suicides by way of the Werther effect.

But I was also interested to see Mr Pratchett’s (brief) description in the Sunday Times about how the documentary came to be made in the first place.

‘Late last year the BBC, which had earlier transmitted my Dimbleby lecture on assisted dying, asked me to "learn something about assisted dying practices elsewhere in Europe" and also to speak to Britons who had signed up with Dignitas… Of course I said yes.’

Here are twenty things the programme did not tell us about assisted suicide and euthanasia in Europe:

1. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal in every country in Europe with the exception of Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands – just four of the fifty sovereign states.

2. Margo Macdonald’s End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill, which would have legalised both euthanasia and assisted suicide in Scotland, suffered an overwhelming defeat by a 85-16 margin last November because MSPs were convinced that its ‘safeguards’ were not safe.

3. On 20 January 2011 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that while there is a ‘human right’ to suicide, the state has no obligation to provide citizens with the means to commit suicide.

4. On 25 January 2011 the French Senate rejected proposals to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia, by 170 votes to 142. Francois Fillon, the French prime minister, had spoken out strongly against the proposals.

5. The German Medical Congress, representing German Physicians, decided on 1 June to oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia, leading to a change in doctors’ guidance which will prohibit doctors from participating in both assisted suicide and euthanasia.

6. Using organs from euthanasia victims is now an established procedure in Belgium.

7. At least 300 cremation urns containing human remains have been dumped in Lake Zurich near the controversial Swiss suicide facility Dignitas.

8. A recent study found that in the Flemish part of Belgium, 66 of 208 cases of ‘euthanasia’ (32%) occurred in the absence of request or consent.

9. In Belgium, nearly half of all cases of euthanasia are not reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee. Legal requirements were more frequently not met in unreported cases than in reported cases and a written request for euthanasia was absent in 88%.

10. Dozens of disabled children have been killed under the Groningen protocol in the Netherlands despite the fact that this is illegal.

11. In 2006 the Royal Dutch Medical Association declared that ‘being over the age of 70 and tired of living’ should be an acceptable reason for requesting euthanasia.

12. Many who have died at the Dignitas facility are not terminally ill. Ludwig Minelli, the Director, has helped people who are chronically ill, disabled, depressed or frail elderly to kill themselves and has suggested the relations of the terminally ill could also take a lethal drug cocktail even if they are in perfect health.

13. The Dignitas facility had to move from the residential apartment block it was located in after residents complained about encountering body bags in the lifts.

14. Jacques Attali, former President of the European Bank for reconstruction and development, has said, ‘As soon as he goes beyond 60-65 years of age man lives beyond his capacity to produce, and he costs society a lot of money...euthanasia will be one of the essential instruments of our future societies.'

15. Almost half of Belgium’s euthanasia nurses have admitted to killing without consent, despite the fact that involuntary euthanasia is illegal in Belgium and that nurses are not allowed to perform even voluntary euthanasia.

16. In 2007 approximately 10% of all deaths in the Netherlands were connected to the practice of terminal sedation. Many of those deaths were caused by dehydration, by the physician sedating the patient and then withholding hydration until death occurs, which usually takes 10 - 14 days.

17. Soraya Wernli, a nurse employed by Dignitas between 2003 and 2005, has accused the organisation of being a ‘production line of death concerned only with profits’.

18. According to a 2005 House of Lords Select Committee Report a Dutch-type euthanasia law in Britain would result in 13,000 deaths per year.

19. Grand Duke Henri, the monarch of Luxembourg, opposed the euthanasia law and as a result was stripped of his executive power to veto laws.

20. The Nazi holocaust began in 1939 with the killing of 6,000 disabled children and 70,000 patients in geriatric and psychiatric institutions. Leo Alexander, a psychiatrist who gave evidence at Nuremberg in 1949 said that ‘its beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans.’

26 comments:

  1. Andrew Rowland13 June 2011 13:01

    I suppose people should call me a fence sitter on this issue as I am neither pro nor anti assisted dying.

    What I do not see anywhere are those who are anti speaking out against the medical profession to stop prolonging life beyond a persons natural lifespan.

    In other words the medical profession along with many other groups do not want assisted dying, as this is playing God.

    But isn't prolonging the life of someone with say Motor Neurone just plain downright playing God, it is not that long ago that people with many of the diseases about today would have died.

    Let us have no more assisted dying, but similarly let us have no more medical intervention,at any stage in a person life.

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  2. @Andrew

    Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?" (Luke 6).

    The way in which the euthanisers are playing God is by destroying life. It's a perfectly legitimate and totally different thing to heal.

    Are you really calling for no medical intervention in anyone's life? Sounds like you're on the wrong side of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    Of course, wisdom is needed when working out how long to artificially sustain life...

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  3. Wow, I read this assuming credibility until you likened it to Nazi Germany. Godwins, anyone?

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  4. Godwins law is not applicable when you're discussing things they actually did.

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    1. Except that the Nazis never cared about informed consent or the rights of others.

      Even Daniel Callahan, an anti-choicer, concedes this.

      "Those of us who use such arguments against euthanasia should realize that, for all their intuitive plausibility, they rest upon a calculus of probabilities that has little grounding in history or experience. The often-invoked Nazi analogy has little value in our situation. The Nazis did not start with voluntary euthanasia and move on to involuntary euthanasia; they started with the latter, and their rationale for involuntary euthanasia had nothing to do with either self-determination or the avoidance of medical over treatment. These slippery slope arguments are, then, not fully adequate."

      Jonathan D. Moreno, Editor, Arguing Euthanasia (Simon and Schuster, 1995)

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  5. I agree with Anon above me. Legalising heavily controlled euthanasia is not going to lead to far right extremism. That you imply it will makes this whole article a joke

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    1. Far left, you mean. Nazism is a form af Fascism which is a leftist school. That you a) didn't know that and b) can't tell the difference between a statement of fact (which is what the article did) and a simile/metaphor (neither of which is in the article) brings your competency to bring intelligent, relavent commentary to the issue into severe question.

      Hint: Only morons believe in Godwin's Law. Same idiots that buy into ECREE - intellectual laziness at its most repugnant.

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  6. The article simply lists twenty facts the programme did not tell us about assisted suicide and euthanasia in Europe - of which the 20th is undoubtedly one.

    You should read the two articles linked from the paragraph in question before making any judgements.

    It is factually correct that the Nazi holocaust began in 1939 with the killing of 6,000 disabled children and 70,000 patients in geriatric and psychiatric institutions. And Alexander did actually speak the words quoted at Nuremberg.

    What you conclude from it is up to you.

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  7. I wonder how old Jacques Attali is now? Has he undertaken euthanasia? In this matter, there are no easy answers. However, euthanasia is a slippery slope that could lead to genocide - as history has shown.

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  8. When abortion was legalised it was 'heavily controlled'. But now ... We sit at the top of a very slippery slope

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  9. It's obvious why the idea of people being killed for mental illness would be worrying to people who talk to an imaginary friend they can't prove to anyone but other crazy people.

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    1. You don't need to believe in God to be very worried about the idea of exterminating sick people. Now, where is your proof that God is "imaginary" when all the evidence suggests otherwise?

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  10. "Heavily controlled" - ha ha. Anyone who believes that "heavy control" will not lead to "far right extremism" has to be either a moron or extremely ill-informed. It has already happened in the Netherlands, and will most certainly happen here if legalised. Get real.

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  11. Raghuram said...

    >> It's obvious why the idea of people being killed for mental illness would be worrying to people who talk to an imaginary friend they can't prove to anyone but other crazy people.

    I expect you are talking about theists as opposed to atheists like yourself, presumably. I think you need to get wise - euthanasia is opposed by almost all but a *minority* of doctors in the UK. The majority of these doctors are atheists/agnostics.

    So it is stupid to make this issue about religion or a belief in God. Only an ignoramus would do that. Euthanasia is a legitimate concern for many, and one does not need "imginary friends" to be worried regarding the slippery slope it can lead to.

    Raghu

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  12. Thank you Sir Terry Prachett for this programme. Whilst everyone is arguing about the rights and wrongs of Voluntary Euthanasia has anyone given a thought to those people who simply havn't the money to end their lives in Switzerland in this dignified way. No one ends their life flipantly - but for those who truely want to they will find a way. Its not a pretty sight identifying a loved one. So please lets move forward UK - and show compassion to those who are at their most vunerable.

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  13. Anonymous above me - hopefully when the economy has recovered enough they'll be able to take out a loan the go to Switzerland.

    Dr Saunders - you definitely have undermined the credibility of your argument by bringing up Nazi Germany. It is completely irrelevant to this issue. And in response to your assertion that you're factually correct, you could write an endless list of irrelevant facts if you wanted, but that wouldn't make your argument more convincing.

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  14. Thanks for this Peter. People need to know the facts about assisted suicide and euthanasia. The disabled people's movement is firmly opposed to the legalisation of assisted suicided or euthanasia. Disabled people's lives are viewed as being of less value. Scope, the national disability organisation, published a report this week demonstrating that disabled people are increasingly victims of hate crime and abuse. Health services already place Do No Attempt Resuscitation Notices on patients with severe impairments, against their wishes, because their lives are not viewed as being of worth. With all of the inequality that disabled people face, legalising euthanasia for disabled people, should never be on the agenda. A very small minority of celebrities seem to be speaking on behalf of disabled people on this issue, but do not reflect the wider view of the disablity community. I was involved in the campaign against Margo's Bill last year and out of the many I spoke to, Ionly came across one disabled person who was in favour of the Bill. Catherine

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  15. Tom,

    Nazi Germany is VERY much relevant to this issue. They did not start by gassing all the jews and homosexuals and gypsies. Had they done so, there might have been opposition from within their own ranks. Instead, they started off in a very small way, by killing those whose lives were considered "worthless". From that to killing able-bodied people of "inferior" race/religion, was but a small step - but had they not started off in a very "reasonable" and "protected" way, with all manner of "safeguards" which were slowly eroded, they would never have gotten away with it. It is similar to a frog being slowly boiled - people are more amenable to small changes, but those small changes can eventually result in a holocaust.

    That is what happened with the abortion legislation - from "medical" reasons, it has now become "on demand", and for purely social reasons, with women claiming it as their "right" to decide about the life of another human being (the fetus is a living being, even while it is carried inside the mother's womb).

    Soon the euthanasia debate will turn into the "right" of people to kill of their elderly family members who are no longer "productive" and whose lives are "not worth living". It is simplistic to imagine that the Nazis started off as monsters. They did not - they began as small-time killers who gradually evolved into mass-murderers.

    Anyone who thinks these sorts of things cannot occur again are mistaken. As they say, those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.

    Raghu

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  16. Before euthanasia became legal in The Netherlands doctors were provided with a booklet that listed the cost of all treatments.

    In the 1960's a British physician wrote:

    "A decision concerning the senile may have to be taken within the next twenty years. The number of old people are increasing by leaps and bounds. Pneumonia, 'the old man's friend,' is now checked by antibiotics. The effects of hardship, exposure, starvation and accident are now minimised.

    Where is this leading us? ...What of the drooling, helpless, disorientated old man or the doubly incontinent old woman lying log-like in bed? Is it here that the real need for euthanasia exists?" (Source: Euthanasia, Clinical Practice and the Law, ed. L. Gormally)

    Healthcare funding allocations, shortages of beds and nursing staff, as well as an increasing elderly population in the future, will undoubtedly influence policy makers and doctors to look at euthanasia as a means of cost containment.

    (Taken from: http://www.life.org.nz/euthanasia/euthanasiapoliticalkeyissues/economics/)

    You can read about the Nazi T4 Programme here http://www.life.org.nz/euthanasia/abouteuthanasia/history-euthanasia6/

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  17. A very interesting article, thank you. I watched the film with my wife and we were both stunned at so much. It's hard to say what was the worst bit!

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  18. 1. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal in every country in Europe with the exception of Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands – just four of the fifty sovereign states.
    Irrelevant. We do not base our laws on what other countries do. We should not base our decisions on what other countries do

    2. Margo Macdonald’s End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill, which would have legalised both euthanasia and assisted suicide in Scotland, suffered an overwhelming defeat by a 85-16 margin last November because MSPs were convinced that its ‘safeguards’ were not safe.
    Irrelevant. Just because they were not happy with the safeguards does not mean that the basic idea is wrong.

    3. On 20 January 2011 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that while there is a ‘human right’ to suicide, the state has no obligation to provide citizens with the means to commit suicide.
    Irrelevant. Just because the EU says the state doesn't legally have to provide this service does not make it wrong to do so.

    4. On 25 January 2011 the French Senate rejected proposals to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia, by 170 votes to 142. Francois Fillon, the French prime minister, had spoken out strongly against the proposals.
    Irrelevant. France doesnt make UK laws.

    5. The German Medical Congress, representing German Physicians, decided on 1 June to oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia, leading to a change in doctors’ guidance which will prohibit doctors from participating in both assisted suicide and euthanasia.
    Irrelevant. Germany doesn't make UK laws either.


    6. Using organs from euthanasia victims is now an established procedure in Belgium.
    Irrelevant. Belgium doesn't make UK law.


    7. At least 300 cremation urns containing human remains have been dumped in Lake Zurich near the controversial Swiss suicide facility Dignitas.
    Irrelevant. The UK is not Swtizerland


    8. A recent study found that in the Flemish part of Belgium, 66 of 208 cases of ‘euthanasia’ (32%) occurred in the absence of request or consent.
    Irrelevant. The UK isn't Belgium either.


    9. In Belgium, nearly half of all cases of euthanasia are not reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee. Legal requirements were more frequently not met in unreported cases than in reported cases and a written request for euthanasia was absent in 88%.
    Irrelevant. The UK still isnt Belgium.


    10. Dozens of disabled children have been killed under the Groningen protocol in the Netherlands despite the fact that this is illegal.
    Irrelevant. The UK isn't the Netherlands and the acts that took place there were illegal anyway.

    continued in reply due to posting restrictions on the blog...

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    1. 11. In 2006 the Royal Dutch Medical Association declared that ‘being over the age of 70 and tired of living’ should be an acceptable reason for requesting euthanasia.
      Irrelevant. The UK isn't Holland.


      12. Many who have died at the Dignitas facility are not terminally ill. Ludwig Minelli, the Director, has helped people who are chronically ill, disabled, depressed or frail elderly to kill themselves and has suggested the relations of the terminally ill could also take a lethal drug cocktail even if they are in perfect health.
      Irrelevant. Dignitas isn't in the UK and doesn't come under our laws.


      13. The Dignitas facility had to move from the residential apartment block it was located in after residents complained about encountering body bags in the lifts.
      Irrelevant. Dignitas isn't in the UK and doesn't come under our laws.


      14. Jacques Attali, former President of the European Bank for reconstruction and development, has said, ‘As soon as he goes beyond 60-65 years of age man lives beyond his capacity to produce, and he costs society a lot of money...euthanasia will be one of the essential instruments of our future societies.'
      Irrelevant. Jacques Attali has no say over how any such facility would run in this country.


      15. Almost half of Belgium’s euthanasia nurses have admitted to killing without consent, despite the fact that involuntary euthanasia is illegal in Belgium and that nurses are not allowed to perform even voluntary euthanasia.
      Irrelevant. The UK still isnt Belgium.


      16. In 2007 approximately 10% of all deaths in the Netherlands were connected to the practice of terminal sedation. Many of those deaths were caused by dehydration, by the physician sedating the patient and then withholding hydration until death occurs, which usually takes 10 - 14 days.
      Irrelevant. The UK still isnt the Netherlands. (although this is a good argument for allowing prescribed medicine to end life if the person chooses)


      17. Soraya Wernli, a nurse employed by Dignitas between 2003 and 2005, has accused the organisation of being a ‘production line of death concerned only with profits’.
      Irrelevant. Its not in the UK and she could have an axe to grind about her former employer. Even if it is a 'production line of death' that could be because it is a service thats in high demand.


      18. According to a 2005 House of Lords Select Committee Report a Dutch-type euthanasia law in Britain would result in 13,000 deaths per year.
      Irrelevant. What happens in Holland doesn't necessarily dictate what would happen in the UK.


      19. Grand Duke Henri, the monarch of Luxembourg, opposed the euthanasia law and as a result was stripped of his executive power to veto laws.
      Irrelevant. Patently irrelevant, I wont even explain why.


      20. The Nazi holocaust began in 1939 with the killing of 6,000 disabled children and 70,000 patients in geriatric and psychiatric institutions. Leo Alexander, a psychiatrist who gave evidence at Nuremberg in 1949 said that ‘its beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans.’
      Irrelevant. The Nazi party is not running the UK.

      The fact that you ended by introducing the nazi party into the discussion, without any need to do so and because what you said about them is so irrelevant to the matter at hand; I am invoking Goodwins law. Ergo, you lost the argument/discussion.

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    2. Your list of ripostes are meaningless. The only precedent we have for euthanasia law is in the four countries of Europe that have it. The fact that it has been corrupted horrifically in each one should be a warning. They are 20 facts about euthanasia and are not necessarily supposed to be arguments against it.

      1. We do not base our laws on what other countries do. We should not base our decisions on what other countries do This is absurd. Of course we base our laws on what other countries do. How else can we tell what works or not? If only four countries legalise it, then we should be looking at the reasons why 46 haven't.

      2. Irrelevant. Just because they were not happy with the safeguards does not mean that the basic idea is wrong. Perhaps, but what safeguards would be enough? The safeguards for abortion were considered water-tight enough to get the thing legalised; perhaps we've finally learned from history that there is no such thing as sufficient safeguards.

      3. Irrelevant. Just because the EU says the state doesn't legally have to provide this service does not make it wrong to do so. Agreed to a point. However the fact that the EU have singled euthanasia out specifically as something we are not obliged to legalise is telling. It means that no one may use the 'human rights' argument to push for it.

      4. Irrelevant. France doesnt make UK laws. No but given government's desire to be trendy and keep up with what others are doing this is significant. It shows there's no real demand for the procedure even in lefty France.

      5. Irrelevant. Germany doesn't make UK laws either. Silly argument as the German Medical Congress don't make German laws either. Add to this that the BMA's official position is against euthanasia and it's obvious that despite tending toward the left of centre, the doctors that would be forced to carry out the procedure are almost invariably opposed.

      6-17. All of these show how euthanasia currently works in the four countries where it is legal. Given the 100% corruption rate, what makes you think Britain is so special? It does not mean we will necessarily have a corrupt system, but in practical terms it's highly unlikely. Worryingly, yet not surprisingly, the corruptions show a group of people that have lost all respect for human life and dignity. Not surprising given the nature of their profession.

      18 Irrelevant. What happens in Holland doesn't necessarily dictate what would happen in the UK. Read it again. It says introducing a Dutch-type law in to this country would result in 13,000 deaths per year. This is far more than are killing themselves now. The supply provides the demand, just like how the tiny number of abortions before 1967 became the torrent of slaughter of the next generation. You are right in a sense though; the Dutch tend to be a much more conservative as a people (despite their laws). This explains why our solution to all sexual and pregnancy problems as 'more sex education, look at the Dutch' has failed miserably and has made the situation worse. 13,000 might be an underestimate given that we are not Dutch.

      19. Irrelevant. Patently irrelevant, I wont even explain why. Perhaps you won't explain because you can't? It shows that the push for legalising euthanasia is ideologically driven. Had it been any other law, the Monarch could veto it without much of a fuss (maybe not in this country where we are pathologically incapable of understanding the checks and balances of governance but in a country where being rich isn't a crime). The fact that they punished him so severely because he stood up against something he saw as wrong is highly telling of the nature of euthanasia supporters.

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    3. 20. Irrelevant. The Nazi party is not running the UK. The fact that you ended by introducing the nazi party into the discussion, without any need to do so and because what you said about them is so irrelevant to the matter at hand; I am invoking Goodwins law. Ergo, you lost the argument/discussion. Your worst argument of all. Patent misuse of Godwin's law's sub-clause as well as an absurd riposte to begin with. Looking at euthanasia politics in the 1920 and 30s is damned important. The fact is that euthanasia was thought to have died with the Nazis when people realised what the logical conclusion was.

      The Nazis weren't a special form of evil; the holocaust wasn't a one time horror that only the Nazis could carry out. It was the conclusion of a set of politics that saw some people's lives as unproductive or not worth living and allowed the killing of such people. Only a fool could miss the fact that the Nazi Holocaust stemmed from the same philosophy that allows euthanasia. The fact that we have already started seeing 'presumptive' euthanasia is not a shocking outlying event, but a foreseeable consequence. That bodies have been left unattended and urns thrown into lakes is merely the conclusion of a particular attitude to life.

      Godwin's law's sub-clause works on one fallacy: Guilt by association. That is to say that some irrelevant trait (or none in some cases) which you share with Hitler makes you his moral equivalent (e.g. vegetarianism). It works on the notion that the Holocaust and the war were evil because they were perpetrated by the Nazis (rather than the other way round). Now you can argue the sub-clause if you want, but first you have to explain why the Holocaust wasn't evil.

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    4. 1. We do not base our laws on what other countries do. We should not base our decisions on what other countries do This is absurd. Of course we base our laws on what other countries do. How else can we tell what works or not? If only four countries legalise it, then we should be looking at the reasons why 46 haven't.

      No, it isnt absurd and a moments thought will confirm this - We do not base our laws on what other countries do, be they the 46 which dont allow assisted death or the 4 that do. My argument cuts both ways. this also covers points 3,4 and 5 and 6-17.

      2. Irrelevant. Just because they were not happy with the safeguards does not mean that the basic idea is wrong. Perhaps, but what safeguards would be enough? The safeguards for abortion were considered water-tight enough to get the thing legalised; perhaps we've finally learned from history that there is no such thing as sufficient safeguards.

      I am not a law maker, but I think it would be reasonable to expect there to be few enough cases that they could be dealt with by a special court with Judges that have some experience in medicine. I found this story from the BBC to be most relevant. The Judge used his experience and wisdom to decide that the woman should be force fed rather than allowing her to starve herself. This shows the law is a lot less stupid than you would like to make out it is.

      18. Irrelevant. What happens in Holland doesn't necessarily dictate what would happen in the UK. Read it again. It says introducing a Dutch-type law in to this country would result in 13,000 deaths per year. This is far more than are killing themselves now. The supply provides the demand, just like how the tiny number of abortions before 1967 became the torrent of slaughter of the next generation. You are right in a sense though; the Dutch tend to be a much more conservative as a people (despite their laws). This explains why our solution to all sexual and pregnancy problems as 'more sex education, look at the Dutch' has failed miserably and has made the situation worse. 13,000 might be an underestimate given that we are not Dutch.

      Twisting someone elses predictions and then reporting them as fact is a decietful practice but one that Peter has aplied on numerous occasions. If you go and read the bill that was discussed by the Lords (same link as Peter posted) They actually discussed euthanasia laws in two places but Peter only reported the one which gave him a death prediction of 13,000 deaths per year, the other location they discussed was Oregon which would give a prediction of just 650 per annum, I guess that didnt have the impact required though? Additionally the Lords went on to qualify - these latter figures [13,000] probably overstate to some extent the numbers of likely deaths.

      continued...

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  19. continued...

    19. Irrelevant. Patently irrelevant, I wont even explain why. Perhaps you won't explain because you can't? It shows that the push for legalising euthanasia is ideologically driven. Had it been any other law, the Monarch could veto it without much of a fuss (maybe not in this country where we are pathologically incapable of understanding the checks and balances of governance but in a country where being rich isn't a crime). The fact that they punished him so severely because he stood up against something he saw as wrong is highly telling of the nature of euthanasia supporters.

    Really? You didn't get why I said that it was irrelevant? a former head of state who was born into his job and him losing his job because he wanted to be a dictator needs explaining to you, really? Ok, I'll play. A monarchy is an archaic form of leadership and should never be given sole resposibility for the lives of its 'subjects' - whilst we still cling to a monarchy in this country we do not allow the monarch to say how the country is run as it is undemocratic. And whilst our democracy isn't the best in the world, the monarchy would be removed if it ever tried to overrule our elected government.


    20. Irrelevant. The Nazi party is not running the UK. The fact that you ended by introducing the nazi party into the discussion, without any need to do so and because what you said about them is so irrelevant to the matter at hand; I am invoking Goodwins law. Ergo, you lost the argument/discussion. Your worst argument of all. Patent misuse of Godwin's law's sub-clause as well as an absurd riposte to begin with. Looking at euthanasia politics in the 1920 and 30s is damned important. The fact is that euthanasia was thought to have died with the Nazis when people realised what the logical conclusion was...

    I believe it was correct usage of Goodwin's law and I shall explain why. The nazi euthanasia program was never put in place for the good of the people, it was put in place to remove what the nazi's perceived as people who were imperfect or costly to keep alive. This is the absolute opposite of what any assited suicide law would be for. Assisted suicide would be there for the individual to choose so as to put and end to their own certain suffering rather than forcing them to die in pain and distress. It is not something that any political party is trying to impose, nor is it anything which is being foisted upon disabled or elderly people, it is simply allowing those wish to do so to have a choice how to live and die.

    The fact that both you and Peter seem to thing the nazi argument is relevant says far more about your psyche than it does about those of us who think the nazi argument is irrelevant.

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