In the latest example, doctors in the Netherlands are now authorized to euthanize people suffering from dementia without their final consent. That change comes after doctors agreed it was unethical to do so but the permissive slippery slope has now slipped even more.
Rita Marker of the Patient's Rights Council, which opposes euthanasia, says the pattern in Europe is now easy to trace. In the name of dignity, proponents introduced euthanasia based on the assurance that people deserved the right to decide their future on their own. There were “safeguards” put in place, too, she says.
“And so they start to remove the barriers,” Marker says of that process. “Some places stronger. And some places faster. And this is just another example of that.”
In the United States, where assisted suicide has been embraced in some states, Marker says that same pattern will come when courts and legislators loosen the restrictions.
“And then there will always be an attempt,” she says, “to remove those so-called safeguards.”