LONDON, UK, Dec 10 (LSN)—In shocking succession yesterday England’s Royal College of Physicians and the British Government sanctioned involuntary euthanasia.
The Electronic Telegraph reported that the College told doctors they were justified in withholding “treatment, ” which includes killing patients by withholding food and water. The Government added fuel to the fire today with a radical proposal to allow doctors to decide, even against the wishes of next of kin to starve their patients to death.
Under the new medical guidelines, doctors may decide to euthanize patients (by withholding food and water) if “the patient has devastating and permanent neurological injury which is so incompatible with conscious, self-directed activity as to constitute a demonstrably awful life.” Further, the guidelines said there should be agreement by relatives of the patient about the decision to “withhold treatment”, but the consultant in charge should take the ultimate decision, possibly after taking legal advice.
In a green paper from the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, presented to both Houses of Parliament today, the establishment of a Court of Protection with expanded powers was proposed.
Instead of family, the paper suggests that people who cannot make decisions for themselves should be placed under the authority of an independent doctor or a court-appointed manager. Thus the family could be forced to accept medical decisions which include “sterilisation, organ donation, abortion, electro- convulsive therapy and the withdrawal of artificial feeding.”