Article Courtesy of Right to Life of Northeast Ohio:
People are so used to reading about our battle to stop abortion that they often forget our mission is to protect human life from conception through natural death. They incorrectly assume that since euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (PAS) are currently illegal in Ohio that we don’t need to be overly concerned about end‐of‐life issues. The reality is that we need to be VERY concerned. PAS is now legal in five states, and the arguments used to make this practice legal are as dangerous and twisted as those that the abortion industry used to get people to believe that the killing of an unborn child is healthcare.
A few months ago, an Ohio‐based organization (backed by the wealthy pro-assisted suicide and pro‐euthanasia group Compassion & Choices) formed and received their nonprofit status from the IRS. They’ve been busy contacting physicians, the media, and legislators with the idea that Ohioans deserve the right to die by assisted suicide, using a false message of compassion and dignity. The group is attempting to introduce pro‐PAS legislation to Ohio probably sometime in 2017. Their message is as false as the abortion industry message that abortion is a woman’s reproductive right. They often target vulnerable populations like the elderly, the sick and the disabled with the subtle messaging that they don’t want to be a burden on their loved ones, and that their lives are less valuable than those without any disability. They promote the idea that to die with dignity you must die faster, and choose the time of your death.
The article “20 Reasons Why Euthanasia Corrupts Everything It Touches and Must Be Opposed” published in LifeSiteNews on June 9, 2016 cites many of the consequences and implications that are not adequately considered, or are hidden behind false messaging. Among those reasons are that “assisted suicide creates a new, fictitious right—the ‘right to die.’ This fundamentally undermines the right to life, which cannot be given up, even voluntarily. The ‘right to die’ is an absurdity.” A reason more familiar to those fighting abortion is that with assisted suicide “giving medical professionals a legally‐protected right to kill, even in initially restricted circumstances, is as stupid as it is dangerous. The potential for this right to be misused to cover up, for instance, malpractice or botched treatment is already beginning to manifest itself in European countries where euthanasia is legal.” We know that legal abortion has covered up sex trafficking and sex abuse, yet little has been done to prevent this. PAS cannot only cover up medical malpractice, but has the potential for abuse of inheritance rights and more.
Not Dead Yet (NDY) is a national, grassroots disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination. They demand the equal protection of the law for the targets of so called “mercy killing” whose lives are seen as worth‐less. The recent release of the movie “Me Before You” about the supposedly dignified choice to die by the disabled main character prompted NDY to release the following: “Disability rights advocates in cities across the United States and around the world are protesting the latest Hollywood movie to end with the assisted suicide or euthanasia of the lead disabled character. Ignorance is allowed to promote the idea that if you’re a disabled person, you’re better off dead. We are not ‘burdens’ whose best option is to commit suicide. No one’s suicide should be treated as noble and inspirational. We reject this discrimination. Our suicides should be viewed as tragedies like anyone else’s.”
PAS, like abortion, goes against the purpose of modern medicine which is to heal patients, save lives and reduce pain. Neither PAS nor abortion is healthcare, for both involve the intentional ending of a human life. Many PAS advocates will state that the purpose of PAS is to enable patients with terminal illnesses to die with dignity and end uncontrollable pain. This is a myth as well. Dr. Greg Hamilton, an Oregon psychiatrist stated that “those promoting assisted suicide promised Oregon voters that it would be used only for extreme pain and suffering. Yet there has been no documented case of assisted suicide being used for untreatable pain. Instead, patients are being given lethal overdoses because of psychological and social concerns, especially fears that they may no longer be valued as people or may be a burden to their families.”
Especially troubling is rationed health care coverage due to skyrocketing medical costs. PAS has been legal in Oregon since 1994. In 2008, Fox News reported a story about 53‐year‐old Randy Stroup of Dexter, Oregon. Uninsured and unable to pay for expensive chemotherapy, he applied to Oregon’s state‐run health plan for help. Lane Individual Practice Association (LIPA), which administers the Oregon Health Plan in Lane County, responded to Stroup’s request with a letter saying the state would not cover Stroup’s pricey treatment, but would pay for the less expensive cost of physician‐assisted suicide! Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.
The National Association of Pro‐Life Nurses believes that “nurses are never to be agents of death, regardless of the patient’s prognosis. When the patient is suffering from an incurable disease or prolonged pain, our care is primarily directed at providing relief through symptom and pain management. This is usually termed palliative, or comfort care. The focus is not on death, but on achieving the highest quality of living for the patient. With adequate pain management, suicide becomes a less attractive alternative. ‘We believe,’ as one nurse aptly said, ‘in assisted living, not in assisted suicide.’“
In his book Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, Wesley J. Smith says that our public health care policies and medical protocols need to be grounded “in a granite‐like adherence to the sanctity and equality of each human life.” Can we do that? We believe that we can as long as we look beyond the well-crafted messaging that wrongly promotes the taking of a human life as a compassionate duty. We need to remember that part of our purpose is to oppose the use of medical science for any deliberate destruction of human life from the time of conception until natural death; and to demand due process of law and equal protection of law for all human beings regardless of size, degree of development, sex, physical or mental competence, or political, religious, economic, social, ethnic, or racial characteristics. God gave us life, and we cannot allow that life to be taken prematurely.