Pushing back on 'dignity' of death

Friday, June 1, 2018
 | 
OneNewsNow.com Staff (OneNewsNow.com)

euthanasia 2As more people become educated about doctor-assisted suicide, more and more of them are pushing back on the push to take other people's lives. 

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, but other European nations so far are saying no.

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition tells OneNewsNow the latest country to turn thumbs down is Portugal, where lawmakers debated and defeated four euthanasia bills. One of them was narrowly defeated.  

"Nonetheless, even though the vote was close," he says, "a defeat is a defeat and we're very happy with that."

The bills cannot be voted on again until the next national election, which will be in 2020.

Schadenberg, Alex (EPC)Alexandra Snyder, executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, says it's important to push back on the libertarian-sounding argument that people should be free to make their own choices, including taking their own life.

Snyder

"I think that that's what we have to look at and say, You know what? The state does not allow people to do whatever in the world they want to do," she suggests. "And as a matter of public policy, there are specific things that we explicitly prohibit people from doing.'"

Snyder points out that two state courts in California have declared unconstitutional a 2015 law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that allows doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to people with only a few months to live.

"We don't allow people to commit suicide because it is so violative of their dignity," she says. "And yet here we have a case where we're trying to carve out some very vague exceptions to that public policy and that's problematic."

According to Schadenberg, Finland also recently defeated an euthanasia bill and ongoing debate in Spain has yet to produce a new law there.

All of those, he says, are "great victories" for the dignity of life.

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