Single Payer Health Care and Euthanasia

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

To the Editor,

Discussions of single payer health care must include the topic of euthanasia, as this becomes a heavy -player once the system is controlled by government, and taxpayer funded. Remember how abortion was initially meant to be safe, legal and rare? 

The eventuality has become reality: we are now fighting against  the legalization of killing babies up to the moment of birth, and Democrats will not even agree that babies who survive abortion shouldn’t be left to die. This same decomposition of values occurs with euthanasia, as evidenced by the Canadian system. 

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Ontario-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition said to The National Catholic Register (NCR), "We’ve crossed the line we shouldn’t have crossed. The question should be ‘Should we kill you or should we not kill you?’ Once you’ve crossed the line and allowed state-sanctioned killing, everything is open to negotiation, and this is where we’re going and we’re going there very fast.” 

He said this in response to a recently expanded euthanasia law in Canada that Liberal PM Justin Trudeau’s government legalized 4 years ago. This expansion enforces new regulations allowing suffering —but not dying—patients to have access to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)--euthanasia. The results?  

“Mental-health issues who aren’t responding to treatment” would have access to MAiD, stated Quebec’s health minister, Danielle McCann in a Jan. 21 news conference. MAiD recently was employed to euthanize a British Columbia man suffering from depression, against his family’s wishes. 


Advanced directives are now being considered which would mean someone who has Alzheimer’s, can make an advanced directive stating they give their consent to be euthanized in the future should specific circumstances occur, if at that future time, they’re no longer able to consent. 

“Advance-directive measures mean that legally you can’t change your mind,” said Schadenberg. He refers to a case in the Netherlands that caught media attention wherein a demented Dutch woman unknowingly received a sedative in her coffee, then was restrained by family members while doctors gave her a fatal injection. This means that once a patient is labeled mentally incompetent after they’ve signed an advanced directive requesting euthanizing, the directive MUST be enforced, and the patient is powerless to overturn it.

The principle at play here is the concept of “A Life Not Worth Living (LNWL),” as referred to in the current  Journal of Medical Ethics, says NCR. In a discussion of the public’s view of “allowing disabled children to die,” Julian Savulescu and Claire Brick, ethicists from Oxford and Monash University (in Australia), define “LNWL” as a “life in which future burdens for the individual outweigh benefits. There is negative net future well-being.”

 I know a man severely disabled by cerebral palsy who claims, “I’m a very lucky man.”

Socialized medicine furthers an infestation of moral degradation, limiting our freedoms (as big government will do) to refrain from participating in the devaluation of human life. Cost will be king and government will decide at these profound moments, whether you live or die.


Cynthia Marble

Red Lodge