Jonathon Van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars


Burning the candle at both ends: Killing the pre-born and the elderly

Spain is now the fourth European nation to legalize euthanasia.
Tue Mar 23, 2021 - 10:15 am EST
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Euthanasia Shutterstock

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March 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Back in 2019, LifeSiteNews reported on data indicating that Spain was experiencing what some called a “demographic suicide.” According to the Spanish National Statistical Institute, during the first six months of that year, 215,478 citizens died, while only 170,074 were born. During the same year, Spain had an abortion rate of 11.53 per 1,000 women. It was the lowest birthrate in 80 years. A death rate higher than the birth rate was not only demographic decline — it was a death spiral.

In nation after nation, legalized abortion combined with the collective decision not to reproduce has resulted in aging populations. This, in turn, has placed enormous strain on the healthcare system, as an increasingly smaller pool of taxpayers funds a rapidly growing number of elderly people needing more care. Combined with the fact that people are living longer, predictable crises have arisen — in accessibility (or presence) of long-term care, palliative care, and the funds necessary to sustain a healthcare system in nations where the population is not replacing itself.

In response to this, Western nations have begun to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, beginning with the Netherlands. Canada, where the brutal and scandalous state of long-term care was exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic — the military had to be sent into homes to care for old men and women lying helpless in their own waste after being abandoned by their caretakers — recently expanded government-funded and government-facilitated suicide to the mentally ill.

State broadcaster CBC had said the quiet part out loud during the 2015 debate on initial legalization, when it noted that the healthcare system would save an enormous amount of money from euthanasia. Body bags are cheaper than palliative beds.

Spain has become the fourth European nation (after Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) to legalize euthanasia, with socialist prime minister Pedro Sánchez tweeting after the vote, “Today we have become a country that is more humane, fairer, freer.” (Socialists are known for their commitment to sacrificing some for the greater good.)

Both left-wing and so-called centrist parties voted in in Spain’s lower house of parliament to permit euthanasia when adults with “serious and incurable” diseases with “unbearable suffering” ask for it. It bears mentioning that these are the circumstances each nation begins with—but once death is established as a “right,” this is inevitably expanded.

The law will take effect in June, a stark shift from a previous standard where killing someone at their request could land the perpetrator ten years in jail. The vote was 202 for, 41 against, with two abstentions, with Christian and conservative groups condemning the move and protesting outside the parliament buildings while the vote was underway. Vox, the much-maligned populist right-wing party, has promised to overturn the decision, holding up electronic devices in parliament following the vote, stating, “We will repeal it.

A recent attempt by Portugal’s parliament to legalize euthanasia was overturned by the nation’s top court. Vox has vowed to appeal to Spain’s Constitutional Court, as well.

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The law as passed by Spanish parliament permits either assisted suicide or euthanasia in the case of either “serious or incurable illness” or a “chronic or incapacitating [condition causing] intolerable suffering.” The person must submit a request in writing, twice, fifteen days apart, and be “fully aware and conscious” when doing so. At this point, doctors can reject requests if they feel the standards have not been met; a second doctor and medical evaluation body must also sign off on the procedure; and medical professionals with religious objections or conscience objections can decline to participate.

As other euthanasia regimes prove, these standards are inevitably loosened or eliminated, so we can only hope that Vox is successful and that this law is blocked by the Constitutional Court. If not, Spain will join Canada, Columbia, and fellow European countries in burning the candle at both ends: The killing of the pre-born and the killing of the sick and elderly.

  assisted suicide, euthanasia, spain

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