Coronavirus leaves European doctors tempted to euthanize patients to free up resources
April 8, 2020 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — Doctors in Spain and France have revealed how they are tempted to euthanise elderly patients in order to ease the strain on resources caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “Death is not a substitute for healthcare. We cannot lose sight of our humanity.”
In France and Spain, the practice of euthanasia remains illegal. However, healthcare professionals have reportedly revealed how the pressures created by the Coronavirus have left them feeling “tempted” to euthanise the elderly, instead of caring for them.
The number of deaths caused by Coronavirus in both France and Spain has risen above the official greatly disputed death toll in China, where the pandemic began. In France, just under 9,000 have died, following a diagnosis of COVID-19, whilst just under 14,000 have died in Spain.
It has been reported that the healthcare systems in both countries are facing immense pressures with a growing shortage of resources.
Dr Bernard Devalois, a French Palliative care specialist has warned that a shortage of morphine and midazolam, which soothe patients suffering life-threatening conditions, would lead to a “temptation of euthanasia” — particularly in fields full of vulnerable patients such as care homes.
A third of deaths caused by Coronavirus are occurring in care homes for the elderly.
In Spain, a former Catalonian politician has claimed that elderly patients and those with a limited life expectancy are being left at home with morphine to “avoid the futility of healthcare.”
“We must not lose sight of our humanity”
Mr Robinson said: “It is vital, that even amidst emergency situations, we do not lose sight of the care and respect to which all humans are entitled, especially those with life-threatening conditions.
“Very often, euthanasia and assisted suicide have been presented as ‘substitutes’ for genuine healthcare and treatment. Circumstances such as these prove how easily this can become a reality.
“Patients, no matter the circumstances, cannot be abandoned, and we must not lose sight of our humanity.”
Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.