And another

Enthusiasts for “physician-assisted dying” should remember the name Clayton Lockett. He was “lethally injected” by a doctor in an Oklahoma prison nine months ago. This didn’t work as expected. The injectee was writhing on the gurney for a long while. I will spare gentle reader a fuller description. The execution was “called off” by the prison director after twenty minutes or so. He’d been phoning around the state, asking for advice. The blinds were pulled down over the spectator windows by panicking staff. Finally, forty-three minutes into his agony, Mr Lockett succumbed to a heart attack. Perhaps gentle reader remembers this item from the colourful history of botched executions. Opponents of capital punishment in the media gathered much sympathy for the late Mr Lockett — a felon whose convictions included murder, rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, assault and battery.

A nurse tells me of her experience with morphine. In one case she administered 2 milligrammes to a big hulking rugby player, who promptly stopped breathing. In another it was 70 milligrammes to a tiny wisp of a teenage girl who then screamed that it wasn’t working. On the other hand, she reads that the anaesthesiologists in Holland, where euthanasia is now commonplace, have got killing people down to a fine art. She assumes they will helpfully share their protocols.

So perhaps this is an unreasonable objection. It is only the first time a doctor murders his patient that he may fumble ineffectually about. With experience and the right training, we can expect him to become a cool, efficient killer, who hardly ever has a “bad hair day.”

If in fact he does his own needlework. It frightens my nursing correspondent that, “the only people who really know how to use those drugs are the gas-passers and Emerg and ICU nurses. Wonder when some doc is going to figure out it’s easier for him to write an order for a nurse to give a fatal dose of propofol than for him to get trained in administering it himself.”

My nurse, you see, is a serious Catholic. She got into the trade to help ill people, not kill them off. She could curl your ears with many other tales from the front line, e.g. standing up to careless doctors, prescribing potentially lethal doses of this and that.

Gradually, nurses and doctors who adhere to the Hippocratic Oath will be weeded out of our monopoly healthcare system.

Under the Orwellian title, “Consultations on Policies and Transparency By-laws,” the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is pushing the envelope against conscientious objectors. If, for instance, they won’t perform abortions, they must refer the applicant to a doctor who will, thus presenting them with the “right to choose”: be complicit in the killing, or find a new trade. New “end-of-life” guidelines are coming down the same pipe. Catholic doctors are already being told that, if they want to remain faithful to their life-affirming creed, they should get out of family practice.

Note that this tyranny is gratuitous. The CPSO could publish an easily accessible list of doctors who would be happy to kill your baby, your granny, your rich uncle, your bipolar aunt, your annoying teenager, your unemployable husband, your simple brother, or anyone who could conceivably be talked into signing his own death warrant in one or another state of mind. Or over whom you might eventually contrive to get power of attorney. But this isn’t good enough. Not only do the activists want evil, they want decent people to be complicit in the evil; and the power to destroy them if they refuse.

But back to my nurse, who wonders where all these “assisted suicides” will take place. “Are people going to turn up in Emerg and announce they can’t take it anymore, and must be murdered immediately? It blurs the lines if we’re setting someone up with an I.V. in one bay to kill him, while pumping the stomach of a psych patient in the next one, to interrupt a suicide.”

The self-regarding geniuses on our Supreme Court, all nine of them, did not bother to think that through — that, or innumerable other conflicts of purpose that their judgment creates, and which will keep coming back to them for adjudication. They triggered a Hurley-burley, tossing a bombshell into Parliament that the Members will be likely to duck, thus leaving all fallout to chance, including the chance that, as already with abortion in this country, all law restricting euthanasia will be vacated. With a short sophistical paragraph, and language gratuitously vague, they overturned centuries of legal precedent. Their irresponsibility is astounding.

What I find most monstrously hypocritical in the pitch for euthanasia is the pretty picture, of “death with dignity,” with all the family and friends gathered round. It is such a howling lie.

People so depressed they want to be dead do not come from that country. Their despair has everything to do with the absence of family and friends, and the indifference to their loneliness and pain, suffered wherever they have been warehoused. The country in which there were family and friends, and neighbours, and religion, and doctors who came to your house, is gone. That was an antediluvian country. The “social conservatism” that glued it together has been washed away.

This is the new country, founded upon contraception and divorce; the country of cradle-to-grave bankrupt care, and activist judge-made law and lawlessness, where faire is foule and foule is faire.

And this is the new love, that has replaced our backward Christianity — for the old, the frail, the disabled, the depressed, the mentally afflicted, the terminally ill. It comes in a syringe, supplemented when necessary.

At least despatch them with something that works, every time, and requires minimal intelligence to operate. May I suggest the Spanish garotte?