Saturday, June 24, 2017

Look into the dark corners of history

History has a role in the national conversation about medically assisted death, despite protests to the contrary.

A respected physician and scholar recently stepped down as chairman of the expert working group appointed to study the issue of advanced directives for medically assisted death.

Named to this position only two weeks before by the Council of Canadian Academies, Dr. Harvey Schipper was judged harshly in some circles for having authored a commentary in 2014 in which, according to some reports, he had “compared arguments used to justify assisted dying with those advanced by Nazi Germany to justify the Holocaust.”

Schipper was repeatedly characterized as “a strident opponent of assisted dying” for reasons having nothing to do with the tone or substance of his argument. What seemed to cause offence and give rise to a condemnation of “strident” opposition was Schipper’s reference to Nazi-era euthanasia.

None of Schipper’s critics disputed the facts upon which his reference was made, nor should they. As historians have chronicled, the Nazi euthanasia program originated when a father in Leipzig petitioned to end the life of his disabled daughter and Adolf Hitler dispatched his personal physician, Karl Brandt, to authorize her death as “an act of mercy.”  (more...)

H/T to

No comments:

Post a Comment