Scandinavian medical morality

February 2, 2018

There are many on the left who constantly argue that America needs to be more like the Scandinavian socialist paradises of Europe, and one of the things they most admire is government health care that allows assisted suicide and “death with dignity” for the terminally ill. They poo-poo objections that it’s a slippery slope to let the government determine who can live or die because when the budget gets tight (as it inevitably will with government health care), decisions about who lives or dies might start trending more toward who’s costing more money to keep alive than who’s really suffering.

(Of course, liberals often argue that “slippery slope” arguments are never valid, even as they fight tooth-and-nail against even the most reasonable restrictions on late-term abortion for fear they’ll lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned).

But the latest case of assisted suicide to hit the news should give pause to anyone who wants to import the Scandinavian medical morality to the US like an IKEA sofa. Friday in the Netherlands, doctors helped a 29-year-old woman commit suicide who had no physical illness at all. She did suffer from lifelong psychological problems, and she said the demons in her head made every second “torture.” She argued, "I think that after such a rotten life I am entitled to a dignified death…People who have a serious illness get a chance for a worthy ending, so why is it so difficult for people who are psychologically out?"


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Not to diminish her suffering, for which we all should feel sympathy, but the compulsion to commit suicide is by definition a psychological disorder. Should the government help everyone who suffers from it kill themselves instead of treating the disorder?

For the government to okay helping her kill herself because of psychological issues should send a chill through any reasonable observer. But if that doesn’t chill you, try this: In the Netherlands, approximately 9 percent of patients who ask to be killed because they have psychological problems already have their request granted. What made this one newsworthy is that the applicant was unusually young. But now that they’ve crossed that barrier, don’t expect it to remain unusual much longer.

American-based ethicists are pointing out the way that assisted suicide laws, enacted with the noblest of intentions, tend to start expanding the definition of what’s allowed (for instance, “progressives” in the Netherlands are also arguing for helping people over 75 kill themselves, even if they’re completely healthy). This is an issue that’s already taking root in the US: in the first year of California’s assisted suicide law, 111 people were helped to die. Want to lay odds that the number will only grow larger and the reasons looser?


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At the link are more details and responses from medical ethicists, one of whom described the latest incident in the Netherlands perfectly. He said some may call slippery slope arguments a fallacy, but this case shows that "the slope is covered in a sheet of ice."

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Comments 1-33 of 33

  • Mrs Ann Smith

    02/26/2018 04:15 PM

    This is nothing new. PLEASE READ: THE STATE BOYS REBELLION by MICHAEL D'ANTONIO to learn how no less than HITLER applied what the Fernald School did to the boys and girls in this State School viz-a-viz Margaret Sanger and others. It happens in increments.

  • Michael Wait

    02/13/2018 02:55 PM

    Michael
    Agreed, stipulated, that Netherlands are not Scandanavia. Minor point. However, Netherlands are noteworthy for being the nation that brought you: legalized prostitution, legalized euthanasia, legalized abusive drug use, legalized infanticide. Why would anyone be surprised at this latest occurrence?

  • Judith Walker Mullin

    02/08/2018 01:30 PM

    An important story, but for the record, the Netherlands is not part of Scandinavia. The five Scandinavian countries are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

  • Charles M

    02/05/2018 12:09 AM

    The Netherlands is not a "Scandinavian" country - interesting that it was assumed to be that way.
    Also want to suggest to the one woman on here screaming for Socialized Medicine in the US to prevent death consider Planned Parenthood, so beloved by the socialists, that has murdered 3.5 million babies (who had no say in it) in the past few years, mostly subsidized by American tax-payers. Sure makes you proud.

  • Joan Neel

    02/04/2018 05:43 PM

    Mike, love your comments ... Life should end when God decides, not the government. This sounds like Nazi Germany -

  • Mike Smith

    02/04/2018 05:20 PM

    I grew up as a US Air Force dependent in many overseas duty stations and know first-hand that the idea of "morality" is not unique. However, the basis of what we determine to be "moral" is very unique. Each of us makes those value judgments based upon our faith and beliefs that are influenced by our experiences in life. While we certainly find these actions foreign, are we justified in making judgment against their actions? Isn't this also another slippery slope - the idea of us judging another sovereign nation based on OUR morals?

  • Gary L. Koch

    02/04/2018 10:07 AM

    I feel the push for legalizing medical marijuana is also just a slow screen to allow for recreational marijuana and eventually worse drugs to be approved for recreation. And they say smoking is bad for you. What about these tendencies.

  • Elizabeth Honaker

    02/03/2018 10:31 PM

    You have expressed the issues accurately. There is NO such thing as "death with dignity"; it is a myth perpetrated by people who have a morbid fascination with participating in "legal murder."

  • Andy Adams

    02/03/2018 09:22 PM

    One should have the right to end his or her life when your quality of life is such that life is not worth living.

  • Bob Topp

    02/03/2018 08:53 PM

    Thank you, Mr. Huckabee, for an excellent analysis of that slippery slope. Giving liberals an inch and seeing them take a mile should be no surprise to us.

  • Rosalie Gilliland

    02/03/2018 07:00 PM

    There are many disorders the psychological community admits they can't cure, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression. All they can do is try to manage the symptoms with medication. But Scripture demonstrates repeatedly that Jesus sets people free of such debilitating conditions. ie, Mary Magdalene in Luke: 8:2, the demoniac in Mark 5:13, and the epileptic boy in Mark 9:25. It is heartbreaking that the young woman in this report didn't know Jesus could set her free forever from her suffering before she chose to end it all. This is what life is like in a country where the government has replaced God.

  • Elaine Huselton

    02/03/2018 06:21 PM

    I don't want legislators to determine when I can end my life. It's inhumane for us to allow are pets to go through years of pain and suffering.

  • Suzanne Utts

    02/03/2018 06:10 PM

    My friend Marky Lynne Quayle who lives in San Francisco had a horrible time keeping the system in CA from killing her 93 yr old mother. The system finally succeeded.

  • Carol Price

    02/03/2018 05:56 PM

    I am going to be 84 in April. I praise the Lord Jesus Christ that I have half way watched what I eat and tell my body what the Lord says about it each day. I take no medicine, what teeth I have are my own, I do not have arthritis, still drive my grandchildren all over. My point is any one can get free of the worlds system. Before we no longer can get medicine would be good. Trust Jesus and the Holy Spirit and they will help you.

  • Clara Todd

    02/03/2018 05:46 PM

    The culture of death needs to end. No one in their right mind wants someone (Dr. or Government) decide who lives and who should die. We must all respect life from the womb to the tomb. This is murder; and we have laws about killing someone against their wishes. Enforce them. The consequence is prison time.

  • vincent j accardi

    02/03/2018 05:14 PM

    I'd like to know how many of the countries that have social medicine have the same amount of people we have in the USA. Canada has 1 tenth of our population & is now having a hard time trying to not only keep up with the medical issues but the delays are staggering trying to get healthcare. The cost is becoming a burden & drain on their economy. They come over the border to the US when they have any type of crisis situation or unique medical issue to deal with, & it's also due to the length of time it takes & for the quality of care to get a procedure done. It would cost trillions in the US to have this type of healthcare, many would fall through the cracks of the system. You have to consider lack of caring, just like any big Gov't program has. Private doctors have a closer, more caring relationship with their patients than going to a clinic does, I know ! But if you unfortunately don't have the right amount of money, you are forced to utilize what's available & you certainly get what you pay for.

    There are too many people & too many opinions as far a mercy killing goes. This is another instance where social healthcare goes awry since the time it takes to diagnose the problem & the extensive care it takes to possibly correct the issue doesn't fit into the social medicine playbook. It's just easier & cheaper to let these poor souls kill themselves rather than correct the problem. If someone is so terminally ill they have limited time left, quality of life is intolerable & the pain becomes too much to bear, maybe, but other than that people much smarter than I have to make that determination. God, I'm not.

  • kathryn runyan

    02/03/2018 04:54 PM

    scarry

  • kathryn runyan

    02/03/2018 04:54 PM

    scarry

  • Sandy Fields

    02/03/2018 04:13 PM

    The ?s docs are required to ask a senior are all about 'can you take care of yourself?' So, you prolly won't need an illness to be weeded out.

  • Joseph Behrendt

    02/03/2018 03:59 PM

    It is here already in the form of Oprah. She has already stated that old people should die. All she needs to do now is come up with an age in witch to kill us. Does that include herself and all other Democrats or just those who don't vote for them?

  • Wendy Thomas

    02/03/2018 03:48 PM

    That's so called slippery slope is exactly the reason I don't like the government to be involved in my health care, my finances, or much of my life.

  • Karin DeVore

    02/03/2018 02:15 PM

    I read your messages every day, love them all and send them to my friends.
    Today though, I take issue with your headline, not the article, I absolutely agree that assisted suicide should not be allowed and is morally wrong.
    The Scandinavian countries though,Norway, Sweden and Denmark, do not allow assisted suicide. Other countries in Europe do, but not Scandinavia .

  • Dot Whitley

    02/03/2018 02:11 PM

    When a Christian is dying, God is with that person, and there's a lot of communication between that person and the Lord God as the person is leaving this world for the next. There's a lot of comfort in this for the loved one's ,and the Lord might be going to use this time, if it's His will, to open the eyes of a lost loved one. What an awful thing to leave this world without Jesus.

  • wayne hasenoehrl

    02/03/2018 02:04 PM

    ithink half of the peoples brains are phycologically incompatent from lack of moral reasoning i'm not a robot

  • Robert E. Graham

    02/03/2018 02:02 PM

    I suppose I am sensitive to this issue. I was a pastor of an Evangelical church when my wife got sick. The cost to denominations self-finance health care plan was tremendous. Since my wife was born in Ontario their solution was to force me to take one of our Canadian churches. We as Christians should always cherish and protect life including the unborn! It is just as important to protect the life of those who can't afford medical insurance. The problem is how we do it. I wish we could take cost out of this equation but we can't. We can't play God and decide who gets life-saving medical procedures purely on their ability to pay. That is just as immoral as going the other way where the government decides because of cost who dies or who lives. We need to think outside the box for a solution.m Maybe in licensing every doctor and hospital we need to say you have to treat so many people who can't afford insurance. Also make it illegal for treatment to be different then what people who have money and insurance get. It gets hard trying to be a 'Just Society' following Jesus and changing how we operate and think.

  • Mable Alford

    02/03/2018 01:58 PM

    Scary! Good reasons not to have assisted suicide

  • Frank Rivaldo

    02/03/2018 01:57 PM

    Whether its an unborn,unwanted baby, or an adult that wants to die, I believe only the Lord has the right to take that life. There are people willing to adopt an unwanted child, and there is medication than can help make a person comfortable and relieve pain till the Lord calls them home. Killing for convenience is wrong.

  • Mary Ann Schwittek

    02/03/2018 01:52 PM

    Please don’t muddy the waters of the healthcare debate, by insinuating it will lead to uncontrolled euthanasia and ‘death panels’. Stop playing on people’s fears with misinformation. The reality is, we are the only industrialized nation w/o universal healthcare. We pay twice as much for healthcare than these other nations, and have some of the worst outcomes. For example, we have higher than average infant mortality rates. The reason we don’t have Universal care is Congress is owned by the insurance lobby and Big Pharma. Period.

  • Ron Pavlacka

    02/03/2018 01:40 PM

    As a 66 yr old male, who grew up in Chicago on the far south side, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of life and politics over the years. I would like to send two words with sincerity to President Trump. If you would deliver them for me I would deeply appreciate it. They are: "THANK YOU!"

  • Ada Brekke

    02/03/2018 01:38 PM

    I was born and raised in the Netherlands. All my family still lives there. My sister and I just had a conversation about assisted suicide and she told me that the Dutch government was getting pretty strict about it. According to her it took quite a lot to get them to agree to assisted suicide. This article sure proves her wrong.

  • Ann Bruce de Pineda

    02/03/2018 01:21 PM

    I just heard this morning on Oscar Haza's show that Castro's oldest son committed suicide. I didn't hear clearly but think it was Fidel's son, who had studied in Russia and was to be his dad's successor. Please have a Spanish speaker check the news to be sure it's correct but I think you can do more with this news than I can.

  • Fred List

    02/03/2018 01:20 PM

    Perhaps those aging liberal lawmakers should view the movie “Logan’s Run”. Termination at 30. Of course that would change Congress considerably. Hmm?

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    02/03/2018 07:58 AM

    I cannot afford insurance and am a healthy 60 yr old...If I was to be diagnosed with cancer...they would let me die because I do not have insurance...That is assisted at it's worse! I won't be able to get pain meds!