I've been a bit tied up with other things and have not done much blogging (for me) lately, so I've fallen behind. Wesley J. Smith, however, has not fallen behind, and several of the pieces of news he has been reporting are very important. So here goes:
--Quebec has put a stacked commission onto the question of assisted suicide. Predictably, the commission has produced a set of truly awful recommendations. These include, inter alia, the requirement that doctors who refuse to murder their patients, that is, to assist their patients to commit suicide, must refer the patient to a doctor who will do so. In this case, the assistance provided would probably be significant, because doctors are often reluctant to cooperate in assisted suicide, so the patient might otherwise have trouble finding one. Assisted suicide clinics, unlike abortion clinics, aren't yet the norm in Canada or in the U.S. Such a referral would definitely be direct and knowing material cooperation in evil, akin to knowingly telling a suicidal person where to find a loaded gun. And this is the commission's notion of accommodating doctors' conscientious objections! I'd hate to see what their idea is of being coercive.
Occasionally our cousins up north get a tiny bit defensive when Americans say, "Oh, Canada!" and assume the worst. And it is fair to point out that often the United States isn't all that far behind in some disastrous social experiment. Yet the fact remains that usually, and in a number of areas, the Canadian provinces tend to push the really bad experiments before we down here do, and that our own "progressives" watch their buddies up north for inspiration. As far as I know, even in Oregon doctors are not thus forced to refer for assisted suicide, so the Hemlock Society has to "help" suicidal patients to find willing doctors.
It remains to be seen whether Quebec's lawmakers will accept the commission's recommendation, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they will.
--Moving much farther south, a bad law is in the works in Texas, and we should hope it doesn't pass. It would permit doctors to put a DNR on a patient's chart without the permission or consent of the patient or surrogate, even if the patient is conscious. The law would graciously permit the patient to pay for a "second opinion" if he agrees with the DNR. But that apparently doesn't mean the patient can actually stop the DNR. And if the patient is expected to die within "days to weeks," no notification or opportunity to seek a second opinion is even required. Unilateral placement of DNR. And doctors would be protected from lawsuit as well in such cases. Bad, bad news.
It's important to remember, too, that DNRs are sometimes used beyond what the name would imply--that is, they are sometimes used to block not only resuscitation, such as CPR, but also to authorize the removal of food and water. In the case of Zach McDaniel, the placement of a DNR was closely correlated with the removal of nutrition and hydration, and his life was saved only because (for a change) his family was able to find a transferring facility.
--A teen girl's parents are trying to force her to abort her child. Even though this post is called "bad news," the news at the moment in this case is good, as far as it goes: A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the parents. This is one of those "choice devours itself moments." I'm waiting for all the left-wing outrage. I may wait long. It sounds like these particular parents are especially negligent and not a model for what most elite lefties aspire to be. So maybe the latter wouldn't actually plot to spike their daughter's drink with a pill they hope will be abortifacient (as these parents did) or be physically abusive. Instead, they just ratchet up the psychological pressure until the girl gives in and says, "I don't have a choice." And then they have no qualms of conscience. Anyway, kudos to the judge in Texas, and may the young mother bear her baby in safety and get her life together.