George Santayana’s aphorism that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it came to mind quite forcefully this week. And, I thought, if ignorance of history is so deleterious, what are we to say of the ignorance of philosophy, of revealed truth, of Christ and His salvific message of hope in suffering?
Well, you get the horror show unfolding before us, with Trudeau’s ‘Liberal’ government – scare quotes since I don’t think they quite know what ‘freedom’ is – pushing through the expansion of euthanasia. The legislation is currently back in the House of Commons after being expanded even further in the Senate. Such was predicted when ‘MAiD’ – my disdain for that acronym defies words – was first legalized in 2016, with its flimsy ‘safeguards’.
Now, under the auspices of its reincarnation as Bill C-7, euthanasia will now include the mentally ill – we may presume those suffering depression and anxiety, but what of Down’s syndrome, developmental delay, autism? Along with that, they are also removing requirement that death from one’s condition be ‘foreseeable’. All in all, it will soon be death on demand, by a doctor near you. And although many readers cannot find a physician to help keep them healthy and alive, I’m rather confident there would be one available to send you efficiently into eternity, for such, we may presume, saves money, freeing up resources for those who want, or deserve, to live.
I was speaking with someone recently about a hospice going up in his area, and the controversy over its funding, for the hospice committee will not commit to not offering and carrying out euthanasia, in their slippery legalistic doublespeak; all four physicians currently hired to staff the facility have already carried out ‘MAiD’ elsewhere, making them paid assassins, albeit of the urbane and lab-coated variety.
We should recall, while on the theme of remembering history, that it was with their own physician-inspired-and-carried-out euthanasia program that the German National Socialists – the Nazis – began their own descent into barbarism. This little book by Fredric Wertham, M.D., comprising two chapters from his longer work A Sign for Cain, on the history of human violence, is an excellent, if disturbing, overview of the Nazi euthanasia program from 1939 to 1945, from a physician’s perspective (even if, in a brief aside, he gets the numbers put to death in the witch trials and the Spanish Inquisition woefully exaggerated, we might forgive him that). The killing began with ‘problem children’ – epileptics, developmentally challenged, delinquents – and moved on from there to the concentration and death camps, and the final solution. Once you’ve got a taste for death, and the people have become inured to it, it’s hard to give it up. Young people deemed ‘undesirable’, but with no moribund conditions, would be taken into hospital for ‘treatment’, and never come out, with parents receiving a letter that they had died of ‘tuberculosis’ or some other fiction. The physicians, many of them psychiatrists, in their warped and seared conscience, saw their victims as ‘patients’, for whom they were doing good.
Well worth a read, if you can find a copy, offering some glimpse of where we may soon be headed. As Dr. Wertham writes:
The administrative mass killings of the Nazi era constitute something new in the rich history of human violence. Even individuals cannot be completely understood henceforth without a realization of how easy it is for a civilized society to revert to a state of brutality.
For more details on the grisly killings of innocent children, and eventually adults, peruse this chilling video. The deaths were approved by doctors, but carried out by nurses, whose nature is to care, but that compassion was perverted by relentless propaganda.
Are we a ‘civilized society’, with our decades now of murdering the unborn, now moving on to the elderly, sick, vulnerable and, yes, ‘mentally ill’? As Pope Saint John Paul II put it bluntly in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, in reference to our descent to infanticide, we ourselves are reverting to a state of barbarism which one hoped had been left behind forever (14), and one wonders how far the barbarians would even have gone.
Of course, history never exactly repeats itself, but rather echoes in a new key, often a darker one: They’re now thinking of harvesting the organs of euthanasia victims, which even the Nazis did not do (due to limited technology, one might surmise). After all, why let all those much-needed kidneys and lungs go to waste, especially if they belonged to a younger, physically robust, mental patient – say, a young man who just went through a bad breakup, and no longer considers life worth living – rather than to an ailing septuagenarian avoiding the final days of suffering from bone cancer?
What comes also to my mind is the 1977 novel on that theme, Coma, made into a film a year later, about a hospital deliberately putting healthy patients ‘under’, faking their deaths, so they could have their pick of organs from the still sort-of-living bodies, hanging in vast underground bunkers. The movie poster haunted my own childhood, and this new law should even more so haunt anyone brave enough to enter hospital. What’s now to stop them hurrying you along, even by subtle coercion?
Life imitating art, imitating history. Odd. You’d think people would see that we are becoming what we most feared, and even despised, just a few years ago. Never again! Was that not the motto of Nuremberg? How quickly we forget, and how blind, how complacent, how, well, comatose.
We must wake up, before it’s too late. Write to your MP to vote against Bill C-7, and we can hopefully stop euthanasia dead in its tracks. For that death train is coming for us all, someday sooner than we might think.