Chinese euthanasia law could be counterpart of coercive abortion policy
18 March 2003
Chinese euthanasia law could be counterpart of coercive abortion policy Westminster, 18 March 2003--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and experts on China have expressed alarm about a new move by Chinese politicians to legalise euthanasia in China. 32 members of the Chinese National People's Congress presented a motion last week calling for so-called mercy killing to be legalised, with pilot laws to be introduced first in Beijing and Shanghai. Steven Mosher, the first ever US social scientist permitted to conduct field research in communist China, and president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), commented: "China's proposed euthanasia law has the backing of the Chinese political hierarchy. For years, the Chinese communist party has been secretly pushing this law." Mr. Mosher said that if euthanasia were legalised in China it would become the counterpart of the country's coercive 'one-child policy,' under which women are forced to have abortions. He expressed concern that the same kind of techniques used to pressurise young women to abort their babies would be used on incapacitated and elderly people, and on those who would defend them, to break their will and fulfil the government's mandate. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, commented: "These 32 Chinese politicians have clearly repudiated the traditional Chinese culture of respect for and deference to the elderly. The 32 will probably draw support from the proponents of euthanasia in the West. The irony of it is that the notion of 'voluntary' action, or personal autonomy, which is used to promote euthanasia in the West, hardly exists in China." "In China, euthanasia could be used to put to death the elderly, the disabled and the burdensome in the same way that abortion is used - as a tool of social policy. The negative attitude of the Chinese leadership to children with physical or mental problems has sometimes bordered on paranoia. In their hands a euthanasia law would be monstrous," Mr Tully concluded.