Culture of Death


The culture of death has overtaken Europe.

And I’m not even talking about abortion. Of course, there are abortions, but there is another menace plaguing these lands besides the will to, despite other alternatives, proceed with terminating a pregnancy. I am talking about the looming cloud of despair, of existential nihilism. This is death, and it is infecting hospitals.

The Hippocratic Oath is an honor code that has been used by doctors the world over for centuries. The classic version goes as such:

  • I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation—to reckon him who taught me this Art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him, and relieve his necessities if required; to look upon his offspring in the same footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this Art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that system of regimenwhich, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art. I will not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further from the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not, in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times! But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot!

The one thing I would like to point out here are two key elements:

  • I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel;
  • and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.

Now, most pro-lifers (well, all pro-lifers) can agree on the second point. Abortion is bad.

You may be asking yourself: “why did the original Hippocratic Oath even include the second point if we see abortions happening so often nowadays?”

Unfortunately, the Oath has been revised in the past and has since been replaced by the Declaration of Geneva which was implemented in 1948 by the World Medical Assembly. Other revisions have since been made, but the original Oath is still the main transcript that all other Oaths have since borrowed from.

Back to my original point, the first element that I pointed out from the 2500-year-old Hippocratic Oath states that:

  • I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel;

This is interesting.

The doctor or physician pledges to protect the patient’s life and preserve it at all costs, no matter who asks. I trust you see where I am going with this.

Europe is known for its assisted suicide program. Several European countries have already legalized assisted suicide including Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and it is unclear if these laws will spread to other European nations. Some statistics of this European crisis are included below:

  • There are no official data in Switzerland on the numbers of assisted suicides that take place each year, as the rate of assisted suicide is not collected centrally. Griffiths et al observe that there are approximately 62,000 deaths in Switzerland each year and academic studies suggest that between 0.3% and 0.4% of these are assisted suicides. This figure increases to 0.5% of all deaths if suicide tourism is included (assisted suicides that involve non‑Swiss nationals).
  • Around 3.7% of deaths in the Netherlands in 2015 were due to euthanasia. The Netherlands’ regional euthanasia review committees reportedthat there were 5,516 deaths due to euthanasia in 2015. That is out of a total of around 147,000 – 148,000 deaths in the Netherlands that year. This figure represents an increase of 4% of deaths due to euthanasia compared to 2014.

This crisis is extremely troublesome as these laws have become accepted in their respective nations. Now I am all for national sovereignty, but I do not even think that the legislators of these nations are acting in their own best interests, not to mention the patients’ best interests.

We all know that European birth-rates are declining dramatically, and birth rates in Japan are dropping dramatically. What will happen when the native citizens of said nations stop producing future generations and instead opt to kill themselves?

Now this may sound a bit dramatic at first, but when you take into consideration the migrant crisis that has become out of control in nations such as the U.K., Germany, France, Sweden, and more—it’s difficult to turn a blind eye.

Just recently, Alfie Evans of the United Kingdom has been placed under hospital confinement and taken off life support, against his parents’ will, because the doctors have found his life to be not worth living anymore. Is this what we as humans want? Do we want to give up when the going gets tough? Do we want to abandon all hope and kill our own populations?

Now I understand that Europe is a different case than America altogether, but is it really?

Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, and California already have legalized assisted suicide programs, and I don’t know about you, but I think there is something fishy going on here.

Clearly everyone can agree that living is better than dying, right? Clearly, we can push others to improve when they are feeling low, and we ourselves can strive to the highest levels of self-improvement along the way.

I refuse to believe that people want to live this way. I refuse to believe that people truly want to see others die, and I absolutely refuse to watch it happen myself.

It’s time to start seeing the forest through the trees: doctors are not always correct, and every human’s life is worth fighting for.

 

Ciera Harris is an advertising junior at the University of Texas at Austin. She is an active member in the Young Conservatives of Texas and a seeker of truths.

 

Sources:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2658261

http://theconversation.com/in-places-where-its-legal-how-many-people-are-ending-their-lives-using-euthanasia-73755

https://www.assistedsuicide.org/suicide_laws.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hippocratic-oath