Canadian Margot Bentley was, when she was compos mentis, a big advocate of euthanasia and other pro-death ideas. She wrote up an explicitly pro-death living will directing that she be euthanized if she could no longer recognize her children and also that she not be kept alive by "heroic measures" or "artificial means" as well as that "no nourishment or liquids" be given to her if she were "beyond recovery." Now she has Alzheimer's. Since Canada isn't (yet) Holland, Alzheimer's patients are not euthanized even based on previous statements that they want to be. (Good.) And as it turns out, Margot Bentley doesn't require any "heroic measures" or "artificial means" to receive nutrition or liquids. She's being spoon fed and is taking the spoon feedings.
Or, as the National Post article puts it, she is "kept alive only through regular spoon feeding." You know, like babies are "kept alive only through regular bottle feeding." The National Post also snippily informs us that Vancouver has no "shortage of seniors" who are dying more handily than Margot, so obviously there is something wrong here.
Her children are trying in every way possible to make sure she is starved and dehydrated to death. The nursing home declares that spoon feeding isn't medical treatment under the law and is therefore refusing to starve and dehydrate her.
The children's claim is that, even though she's taking the spoon feeding, she isn't really "doing it by choice" and that therefore she is being forced to accept food. The group Dying with Dignity implies that the spoon feeding is "treatment."
Let's get this straight: Nobody is forcing Margot Bentley to accept spoon feeding. She isn't being tied down or forced physically. It's just that she is following her normal instincts and accepting the food. Who knows whether, counterfactually, her perverse devotion to the god Thanatos would give her the willpower to refuse physically to receive food and fluids if she were mentally all there. That is a counterfactual we cannot know the answer to. Hunger and thirst are normal and powerful urges that might, in that case as well, lead her to accept the kindly ministrations of those caring for her. But all of that is hypothetical. Right now, she's taking the food and water and, darn it, living.
So the upside-down logic is that Margot Bentley's perfectly natural acceptance of food and water is a case of "force" and that depriving her of food and water and then drugging her (the children have, of course, specified that medication would be "mercifully administered," cough cough, once food and water were removed) so that she doesn't experience the pain of prolonged dehydration is actually going along with her choice.
And, from the perspective of their mad premises, one can see how they get to their conclusion. But their premises are mad. And also not really about choice.
Again, choice devours itself: The principle that individuals must have the all-important choice of Death means that individuals who aren't in fact choosing death now, who are in fact instinctively choosing life, must have their current choice (such as Margot Bentley's present desire for food) ignored and even thwarted so that the thing that is dubbed Real Choice--namely, Death--can be honored. It reminds one of this case, in which those who had chosen suicide were subsequently actively murdered, their hands and bodies held down, when they tried to remove the deadly face masks pouring gas into their bodies.
May the Maplewood House nursing home (apparently in Vancouver) continue to resist the forces of murder, and may God work, even now, in the soul and heart of Margot Bentley through the corporal works of mercy of those feeding the hungry.