The insanity offence

There is no further need of slippery slope arguments, once we have reached the bottom of the calving glacier. Last night I devoted a few hours to reading through Canadian media commentary (there was almost no reporting) on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision that mandates “physician-assisted suicide” (now glibly abbreviated to “PAS”). As an additional Shrovetide penance I read the Judgment itself. It is apparent that the country is now morally and mentally dead, though still locomoting on the zombie principle. The unanimous judgment of the court was echoed in nearly unanimous cheering that another victory had been achieved for “human rights.”

A few of the more thoughtful paused to view the slope, now that we have slipt; nowhere could I find a coherent ethical argument, nor the observation that the Justices had not tried to make one, founded in natural law, or in anything. Neither journalists nor judges bothered to acknowledge overturning the central premiss and entire heritage of Western law — the sanctity of human life. Indeed, the only legal history they review is extremely recent.

The journalists go a little beyond the judges, in using flagrantly emotional arguments which they identify as “rational,” and mocking conscientious arguments as “emotional.” Most then announce that a debate in which they could never have participated — given their cruel intellectual limitations — is now closed because the Oracle has spoken.

My excuse for them is that they were raised in a state of complete confusion, on basic principles of law. “The sanctity of human life” was effectively overturned by the legalization of abortion — the murder of an unborn child. That provided the slippery slope to this one. It was compounded in Canada by the legalization of suicide, which is self-murder. The principle in law had been coherent: “You may murder no human being.” It was made incoherent.

That is why the battle was not fought at the top of the hill. It was surrendered at the start, and all resistance was restricted to feeble rearguard actions, such as petition signing. Those opposing the murder of the old, the frail, the disabled, the depressed, the mentally afflicted, the terminally ill, find that they can now do so only on the ground that it makes them feel a little queasy. But once it has been established that some people can be murdered, no line can be drawn, and we are not only down the slippery slope, but at sea.

In this instance we needed at least one journalist to call attention to the judges’ actual argument. A right to “physician-assisted suicide” was found in Section 7 of our (Trudeau-bestowed) Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and in the words, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice” (whatever that now is).

Ludicrous enough: that such rights could include a right to be murdered by a doctor, on request. But to make some more plausible link, all nine judges signed on to the idea that, unless he is guaranteed this new right, the citizen may feel compelled to kill himself while he is still able to do so — thus becoming deprived of life, liberty, and security, in toto. The state is thus held responsible in advance for a citizen’s free act, and must make amends for forcing him to commit the suicide that he did not commit, by killing him at the expense of the taxpayer.

Someone should have mentioned that this reasoning is insane.