Why are humans spreading anti-humanism?

It’s an ideology that sees humans as the scourge of the earth. How can any human get behind that?

But terribly many are, including people in high places. You can’t get your head around it, if you think straight and with the leveling force of reason. But those qualities aren’t necessarily prerequisites anymore for academics or legal scholars or members of government. And those groups are among the people who believe the world is endangered not by man’s inhumanity to man, but by humanity itself.

One of America’s leading experts in bioethics, Wesley J. Smith, has a new book and companion documentary out about this pernicious ideology, and we talked about it on radio Wednesday.

Wesley spent years that turned into decades fighting assisted suicide and euthanasia that turned his attention to bioethics and (as he said)

the idea that there was such a thing as ‘human non-persons’ and the idea that we could take away basic food and water from helpless human beings, as happened in the Terri Schiavo case, and then, good grief, I saw the issues of embryonic stem cell research come along, and then human cloning and then animal rights as a desire to create moral equality between animals and human beings, and it occurred to me that there is an overarching connection.

These are not just separate distinctions. What connects them is the desire to destroy the idea that there is such a thing as human dignity, which I came to call human exceptionalism. And I called it that not only because human beings have separate and unique value, which we do, but we’re also the only species with obligations and duties. So what duties do we have? We certainly have duties to each other, and we have duties to our posterity. No other species thinks about what will happen to their posterity one hundred years from now. We are the posterity of the founding fathers of the United States. They were thinking of us, and look what they gave us, because they were thinking of us.

We have duties to animals, to treat them properly, to not be gratuitously cruel. We have duties to treat the environment in a proper way. And this book is about how environmentalism has gone from that, understood as the proper role of making sure we dealt with these obligations properly, to, I’m afraid, one that is increasingly being infected with a radical view that sees human beings as the enemy of the planet.

Wesley continues, and the information continues to astound.

Sir David Attenborough, one of the great naturalists, who’s done so much in terms of his wildlife documentaries and so forth, has said that human beings are a plague on the planet. He has actually supported China’s one-child policy, which involves forced abortion, female infanticide, saying it has kept them from growing too big. But think of the tyranny of the one-child policy, eugenics.

It hasn’t stopped the population from growing, but people like Sir David Attenborough say ‘we don’t only have to stop the population from growing, we have to actively cut it.’ And if you’re going to actively propose cutting human population, you’re talking about some very drastic and tyrannous measures to bring down the numbers to ‘save the earth’. It’s very dangerous and it’s anti-human. It’s insidious because it seeks to stop human thriving and it seeks to transform us to seeing ourselves as just another animal in the forest. And then that’s precisely how we’ll act. We’re not animals. We’re not amoral agents. We have moral duties. We think in terms of right and wrong and ‘ought’. “

As he points out, the environmental movement rightly ordered has always been important. But this ideology not only undermines human beings, it also undermines proper environmentalism, which helps create a cleaner and better world for us.

It’s all documented in Smith’s book The War on Humans.

The ‘mission creep’ of euthanasia

It was never legitimate. Expediency disguised as compassion may have sold a lot more people on the idea of ending a human life, but it is what it is. It is not a right. It is a wrong.

Now the folks behind Dutch euthanasia law are tweaking their rules.

A new position paper just published by the Dutch Physicians Association (KNMG) says unbearable and lasting suffering should not be the only criteria physicians consider when a patient requests euthanasia.

The KNMG says the new guidelines will clarify the responsibilities, possibilities and limitations that physicians have within the regulations of the 2002 euthanasia law…

Until now, factors such as income or a patient’s social life played almost no role when physicians were considering a euthanasia request. However, the new guidelines will certainly change that.

Here’s the upshot:

After almost a year of discussions, the KNMG has published a position paper which says that social factors and diseases and ailments that are not terminal may also qualify as unbearable and lasting suffering under the Euthanasia Act.

In the words of a nurse/bioethics expert friend:

Loneliness will be added to the next strict condition to qualify for euthanasia.  This is a perfect example why we must do everything in our power to not allow euthanasia to become law.  Early in the 1990’s, Dr Karl Gunning, Dutch physician and dear friend once lamented:

“We have always predicted that once you start looking at killing as a means to solve problems then you’ll find more and more problems where killing can be the solution.” …

The passing of years have proved how prophetic Gunning’s fear was.

To repeat, we must do everything in our power to not allow euthanasia become law.

Deny conscience and redefine ethics

And still call it health care?

Yes, in many places. Start with Sweden.

The Swedish parliament has overwhelmingly passed an order instructing Swedish politicians at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to fight against the rights of doctors to refuse to participate in abortions.

Read that again. The Swedish parliament overwhelmingly voted to deny doctors their fundamental conscience rights to practice moral medicine.

The Riksdag passed a resolution, by a vote of 271 to 20, to condemn an October 2010 PACE document supporting conscience rights for doctors.

This is surreal. But it’s really happening.

John Smeaton, head of Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, commented: “Sweden’s vote today shows the lengths to which the supporters of abortion are prepared to go to promote the killing of unborn children. There are no international conventions which recognise a right to abortion, whereas conscientious objection is a basic principle of international human rights law.”

This is a new world, and it’s not so brave. It’s seeming more like Wonderland all the time.

In Britain, there’s this:

A survey conducted recently of disabled people in Britain, commissioned by the disability group Scope, found that 70 percent are “concerned about pressure being placed on other disabled people to end their lives prematurely” “if there were a change in the law on assisted suicide.” More than a third were worried they would personally experience such pressure…

“Disabled people are already worried about people assuming their life isn’t worth living or seeing them as a burden, and are genuinely concerned that a change in the law could increase pressure on them to end their life.”

‘Life unworthy of life’ – or lebensunwerten Lebens – as Princeton Professor Robert George often speaks of, whether talking about abortion, euthanasia, Terri Schiavo and the cognitively impaired, or any group marginalized by a more powerful group.

And somehow, powerful groups are increasingly better-positioned to marginalize other human beings they consider unworthy of health care resources by a new calculus and tortured logic. Such as…ethics committees. Or some ethics committees in some places.

Piecing together the clinical picture of a complex patient is difficult enough. Add to the mix the patient’s value system, that of the family and those of various healthcare providers, and a case that might involve difficult decisions becomes even more daunting. That’s where an in-house ethics committee can step in.

That actually sets up a chilling premise.

Let’s jump to the section sub-headed ‘Common Conflicts.’

Patients and their healthcare providers frequently weigh the value of additional cancer-focused treatment versus comfort care only, as well as provision of other care such as dialysis, and artificial nutrition and hydration.

Stop right there. That’s a manufactured term, a misnomer. It was only in recent years that giving a patient basic food and water got labeled ‘artificial’ or ‘extraordinary’ care. For the very tendentious purpose of disqualifying it as basic and routine care.

Advance directives and appropriateness of a DNR order also fall under the goals-of-care umbrella, McCabe says.

As bioethics nurse Nancy Valko said on my radio show, advance directives were originally devised as a tool to facilitate the cause of euthanasia. Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death allegedly because she didn’t want any extraordinary measures to be applied to her care if ever she were to be in an impaired state. Which is far down the dark rabbit hole…but that’s another story for another time.

This is supposed to be about respecting choices, and advance directives are supposed to say what a patient doesn’t want done if they wind up impaired or in need of ‘extraordinary care’, and by redefining extraordinary care, pulling treatment can be ‘justified’ as patient choice.

However, choice falls apart when it doesn’t fit the scheme of withholding treatment or protecting life. Look at the end of this article:

Nurses also should understand their own value systems and set them aside when needed, because other considerations in an ethics case may trump personal beliefs.

Valko replies:

Conscience rights are not an optional ‘personal value system’ that can just be ‘set aside when needed.’ Conscience rights are a crucial protection against the ‘whatever is legal (or can be legalized) is ethical’ mentality that is overwhelming medical ethics.

Dr. George reminds anyone who will listen:

Since the life of every human being has inherent worth and dignity, there is no valid category of lebensunwerten Lebens. Any society that supposes that there is such a category has deeply morally compromised itself. As Leon Kass recently reminded us in a powerful address at the Holocaust Museum, it was supposedly enlightened and progressive German academics and medical people who put their nation on the road to shame more than a decade before the Nazis rose to power by promoting a doctrine of eugenics based precisely on the proposition that the lives of some human beings…are unworthy of life.

The new medical ethics are the old eugenics. And they’re not ethical, no matter what some committee decides.

The death of Terri Schiavo

It was an eruption in the landscape of America, but far beyond these shores her death six years ago by starvation and dehydration set a new marker for how people treat people who are cognitively impaired, but not dying…

It was the beginning of the change in how we think about dying and life.

Immersing my hands in budding greenery, inhaling the earthy scents—it helped to chase away, for a few moments, the looming death which occupied my mind. Later that evening, watching my sister’s pink newborn suck on his tiny fists, I smiled; it was a welcome break from the tragedy that was flooding the airwaves, and leaving me feeling panicked.

Terri Schindler Schiavo was being dehydrated to death in Florida, and I took it very personally.

The non-stop talk about Schiavo, and the almost blithe way her life was being reduced to what she could “do”—as though her value as a human being hinged upon her utility—had meaning in my life.

It did in the consciousness of America, too. Like those exceptional moments in our history when tragic drama stuck the whole nation, and we remember with acute awareness the details. It was wrenching.

I fought pain in my stomach as I listened to Sean Hannity report from Schiavo’s hospice in Florida. What was a woman my age doing in a hospice, anyway? Until her husband had won a battle to remove her feeding tube, Terri Schiavo had not been dying. After his victory, though, even an act of Congress wasn’t enough to save her life.

Books have been written on this saga, but mine has not yet recounted the details of what should have been a legal case the Supreme Court could not reject…at the risk of going down on historical record for responsibility in a citizen’s death. The details are too dramatic for fiction.

I’ve heard so many such tales from my nurse friend, Nancy Valko, for so many years, I would wonder whether we were irretrivably over the cliff at this point….were it not for invincible hope.

To put it in biblical terms which applies nature’s terms, it takes death to bring about new life.

While some are vigilantly tending the garden.