British Case Builds “Duty to Die”
Mr. Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on modern ethics within medicine, especially issues relating to end-of-life. One of his latest books is entitled, “Forced Exit – the Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder”.
But back to the disturbing case of Leslie Burke. He is a British citizen who has sued the government to secure his right to continued feeding should he lose the ability to swallow. The good news is that he won at the trial court level. The bad news is that various medical authorities, as well as the central government of Great Britain have filed an appeal.
The British government is actually challenging Burke’s right to basic feeding. And while the socialist form of medicine in that nation is part of the problem – the real culprit is a growing endorsement by medical professionals of something called “Futile Care Theory”. Under that new form of medical ethics – doctors and hospitals can refuse care to a patient if, in their view, his “quality of life” does not justify the resources.
Wesley Smith argues that this new ethic is a result of greed, that it’s about the money. No doubt the establishment of rules which can justify rationing of medical care will save governments and insurance companies a bunch of money. But I don’t believe money is the heart of the matter.
We are growing more spiritually ill as a culture – the once precious regard given human life is being undermined on numerous fronts; the poisoned fruit of a secularized civilization. In modern times, it began with a mechanized assault on the preborn; now the infirm and old are the targets.