Now that abortion up to the moment of birth has been legalized in New York state and aggressively promoted elsewhere, it appears that euthanasia is ready to step to the plate on the Culture of Death agenda. In business terms, this would be called “synergy.” Two once-abhorrent anti-life concepts are feeding off each other to garner widespread acceptance in our post-Christian, thoroughly materialist modern West.
Bills legalizing physician-assisted suicide are currently up for consideration in Arkansas, Nevada, Maryland, Montana, New York, and New Jersey. It’s likely this is just the tip of the Right-to-Die legislative avalanche we will be witnessing in the days ahead. It does appear that a concerted effort to legalize assisted suicide is underway that is uncannily similar to the sudden multi-state promotion of infanticide.
The Final Solution
Just like with abortion, the slippery slope is being scaled. Advocates of willful death start off saying their procedures will be strictly performed only under certain rigid circumstances and then of course once the practice becomes normalized things are likely to devolve into anything goes.
Under proposed legislation in Arkansas, physician-assisted suicide would be legalized under a protocol in which the person wishing to die makes two oral requests over a 15-day period and one written request. It must also be determined that candidates are capable adults suffering from a terminal condition who are making an informed decision.
Numerous fallacious assumptions need to be addressed here, especially when dealing with a solution that is permanent. The first is that “terminal” diagnoses are not always as straightforward as doctors make them sound. In New Jersey, where an “Aid in Dying” bill just cleared a state Senate health committee, Kristen Hanson told legislators what happened when her husband was informed he had terminal brain cancer in 2014. According to NJ.com, Hanson said, “He was told he only had four months to live. Three doctors said there was nothing he could do. But he outlived that grim prognosis by four years. If he had assisted suicide pills with him in those darkest moments, he might have taken them. And you can’t undo that. You can’t unmake that choice.”
Of what significance is “informed consent” if the multi-physician diagnosis is not as infallible as it may appear? Doctors, after all, are not high priests or soothsayers garbed in white with a crystal ball in hand. And it doesn’t take much to connect the dots between Big Pharma greed and some physicians who are willing to compromise their Hippocratic oath with corporate money.
The opioid scandal is proof of the damage that can be wrought when medical practitioners are offered incentives to prescribe certain courses of treatment. It is now well-documented tens of thousands of Americans are killed each year by overdoses spurred by painkiller addiction. Who is to say that some of these doctors won’t be inclined to recommend euthanasia if offered similar enticements?
If we have learned anything over the past 20 years, it is that corporate medicine should have less control over life and death, not more.
Euthanasia Might Not be so Easy
And then there is the fatal assumption that euthanasia helps people avoid a slow and painful death. In fact, the procedure can be tortuous. Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition detailed the troubling findings that go against the popular portrayal of assisted suicide as a “good death.” He cited a Kaiser Health News article describing how doctors are seeking to “tweak” assisted suicide drugs because they are causing agony for patients who take them.
“The first Seconal alternative turned out to be too harsh, burning patients’ mouths and throats, causing some to scream in pain. The second drug mix, used 67 times, has led to deaths that stretched out hours in some patients—and up to 31 hours in one case.”
So much for the Hollywood portrayal of suffering loved-ones gently gliding away into the peaceful embrace of the happily-ever-after. Schadenberg also highlights the patent absurdity of the leftist “civil libertarian” ACLU adamantly decrying lethal injection as a grossly inhumane form of execution for convicted murderers while at the same time stridently promoting the inherent right of civilians to die via lethally administered cocktails.
A Door Better Left Closed
In the Netherlands, physician-assisted suicide was first legalized in 2002 as a way to end the lives of those afflicted by “unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement.” It is now used to dispatch into the hereafter those dealing with “psychiatric illness” or related “mental suffering.”
A 34-year-old mother of a three-year-old child was euthanized because she had posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic depression and a personality disorder, The Telegraph reports. When humans arrogate to themselves control over life and death, situations like this can spiral into a place where humans should not tread.
This is not to minimize the horrific reality of terminal suffering and the arduous choices humans must make as death approaches. The point here is that hastening one’s demise is not the surefire solution that it is so often portrayed as being. It is no surprise that a leading group promoting euthanasia in America today has named itself “Compassion & Choices.” Those two tranquil buzzwords are holy writ in our materialist culture today.
But compassion does not trump wisdom and choice is not the highest value in the universe. Our heartfelt sympathy for those struggling with end-of-life suffering should not be manipulated into inducing us to accept hollow solutions that corrode the value of all human life.