Legal assisted suicide reveals a ‘massive shift in our civilization’
By Josh Tng
Photo caption: Ross Labrie, leader of the North Shore Pro-Life Society, (left) and Dr. Willard Johnston speak after the society's general meeting March 8.
Legalized euthanasia is just one of many changes ahead as society contends with increased liberalism and an emphasis on radical autonomy, says Dr. Williard Johnston.
“We are dealing with a massive shift in our civilization and the euthanasia issue is simply a symptom of the shift,” said Johnston, speaking to the North Shore Pro-Life Society meeting at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary.
Johnston, a general practitioner in Vancouver who is known for his pro-life work, gave a talk, Why Assisted Suicide is not a good idea,” March 8.
Euthanasia is “just one out of scores of changes coming to our society within the next generation,” he said. “We’re going to have to look at, answer, deal with, and in some cases, delay these changes. In all cases, we have to try to understand not to deal out more harm than good in response to these things.”
Legalized assisted suicide offers a quick but permanent solution to individuals who are suicidal or heavily depressed, he said. “What the Canadian law has done is make it legal for a doctor or nurse practitioner to be kind of a walking, talking, high-risk area for depressed people to come near. When depressed people come into contact with one of these euthanasia providers, who think of themselves as angels of mercy, they are suddenly at high risk of being killed.”
Another issue Johnston is concerned about is “medically facilitated elder abuse by greedy relatives” who can potentially give consent for the ailing senior.
He warns that it will be five years before the new law will be assessed, ample time for neglect from the medical profession to take hold. “The mandatory report is going to be full of bland and self-justifying statistics presented by the very doctors who have done the killing. By sanitizing these medicalized suicides and homicides with the now-familiar euphemisms about ‘medical aid in dying,’ the uninvolved public will be reassured that nothing has gone wrong.”
Johnston stressed the euthanasia debate “didn’t drop out of the sky,” but rather had “been cooking for a century” due to modern liberalism and radical autonomy.
Society has followed a specific pattern, said Johnston. “A victim group will be defined. Anyone who raises a question about how the victim group is being helped will be defined as an oppressor, as someone who is backwards and needs to be shut down, whose rights of free speech can easily be supressed because, after all, they’re evil!”
He cited examples of business wiped out for not co-operating with a same-sex wedding, to the popularity of transgenderism, despite “the number of people who are truly transgendered being rather tiny.”
“Unless there is some kind of pushback caused by some kind of general unhappiness in society, this model will continue to march through society,” Johnston said. “This isn’t just about doctors killing people. There’s a lot more going on.”
North Shore Pro Lifepresident Ross Labrie commended Johnston’s vigilance in illustrating assisted suicide abuses in Europe and other parts of the world. “He has been especially alert in showing how assisted suicide has historically been permitted even when patients are not terminally ill, and indeed when they are afflicted with depression and other forms of mental illness, which the providers of assisted suicide have often not properly treated.”
Secular society views doctors in favour of assisted suicide as “angels of mercy,” said Labrie. It’s a view people in the Church might adopt because “it seems like it’s based on good intentions.”