Euthanasia and assisted suicide – contagion and corruption of compassion

Arthur Goldberg and Shimon Cowan have written an excellent analysis of euthanasia and assisted suicide laws from the point of view of Jewish scholars. The article: The contagion of euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion was published in Public Discourse on September 11.

Goldberg and Cowan write about the issue based on several topic areas. They start their article by referring to the quick expansion of euthanasia “MAiD” in Canada.

In Canada, “natural death” must be “reasonably foreseeable” before a doctor may euthanize a patient. In spite of such statutory language, in A.B. v. Canada, a case decided this June, the Court judged that the anticipated natural death need not be “imminent”; it need not even be “connected to a particular terminal disease or condition.” Rather, Justice Paul Perell concluded, “what is a ‘reasonably foreseeable death’ is a person’s specific medical question to be made without necessarily making, but not precluding, a prognosis of the remaining lifespan.” Physician-assisted suicide may go forward as long as a medical professional considers “all of a particular person’s medical circumstances.” One wonders in what sort of case death would not be reasonably foreseeable, under this loose standard.

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