Compassion and Choices "Seven Principles" to Death on Demand
Posted Feb 19 2009 6:05pm
Compassion and Choices (formerly Hemlock Society) is the abundantly funded, prime mover and shaker for the assisted suicide movement in the USA. It unquestionably had a good year in 2008 with the passage of I-1000 in Washington and the imposition of a fundamental state constitutional right to "die with dignity" in Montana. It has now issued its "Seven Principles" to "improve end-of-life care and expand patient choices." A clear and literal reading of these "principles," demonstrate that the goal is an essential death on demand. From its press release:
Our Seven Principles can help guide lawmakers and policy experts to remember what’s important, and make sure our health care system and its providers are putting the patient first: 1. Focus. End of life care should focus on the patient’s life and current experience. 2. Self-determination. Individuals vary in their tolerance for pain and suffering. 3. Autonomy. Decisions about end-of-life care begin and end with the autonomous patient. 4. Personal Beliefs. Patients should feel empowered to make decisions based on their own deeply held values and beliefs, without fear of moral condemnation or political interference. 5. Informed Consent. Patients must have comprehensive, candid information in order to make valid decisions and give informed consent. 6. Balance. Patients should feel empowered to make decisions based on their own assessment of the balance between quantity and quality of life. 7. Notice. Patients must have early, forthright and complete notice of health care providers’ institutional or personal policies or beliefs that could impact their treatment wishes at the end of life.
If the Seven Principles prevail, it is the end of medical professionalism as it has always been understood, as the reigning--and only real standard--would be what a patient wants for whatever reason a patient wants it. It is also a prescription for death on demand. Why should anyone have to put up with "political interference" if they believe their suffering is so bad that they want to die? Moreover, since it becomes unprofessional to gainsay the patient's "own assessment of the balance between quantity and quality of life," it is the end of free speech and true communication, since not a negative word can be uttered. (The movement has already destroyed the right of free association in jurisdictions in which it has prevailed, since the law in Oregon and Washington prevent medical organizations from excluding those who assist suicides based on ethical principles. I think these provisions beg a lawsuit--but I digress.)
I also note that the Seven Principles do not require the diagnosis of a terminal illness--even though C and C will continue the charade that end of life is the limitation for assisted suicide for as long as is politically necessary. I mean if you apply the Seven Principles seriously and literally, who could be denied assisted suicide? It is up to the patient to decide between "quantity and quality." Let's just set up the euthanasia clinics and be done with it.
As to # Seven: Physicians and institutions that wish to adhere to Hippocratic orthodoxy will be hard pressed in the new world of non medical professionalism, and will definitely need to publicly proclaim themselves "assisted suicide free zones" and pledge total non cooperation with the culture of death. When that happens, look for efforts to be made by C and C types to coerce complicity in assisted suicide via "duty to refer" requirements--which are already appearing in some legislation --as we have discussed. The answer will be conscience clauses, which will be fought against tooth and tong every step of the way.
Remember, the culture of death brooks no dissent and is not interested in any meaningful limitations. If you do that, the apparent contradictions in death culture advocacy won't drive you crazy.