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Ethics & Religion
November 16, 2016
Column #1,838
Assisted Suicide Is Growing
By Mike McManus

 

By a vote of 11-2 the Washington D.C. City Council approved a law that would allow physicians to prescribe fatal drugs to terminally ill patients, which is expected to be signed by the mayor. However, the measure will be sent to Congress for a 30-day review. If it takes no action, the measure will become law.

This law should be opposed for many reasons. Readers should write their Member of Congress, urging that it be vetoed. This immoral act must be defeated.

Colorado voters also approved a similar measure on Nov. 8. Assisted suicide has already been authorized in Oregon, Washington State, California, Montana and Vermont.

With what result? Consider the case of Randy Stroup of Dexter, OR who suffered from prostate cancer. Uninsured and unable to pay for chemotherapy, he applied to the state for help. He received a letter from the Oregon Health Plan, saying the state would not pay for his expensive treatment, but would pay the cost of physician-assisted suicide ($1.20).

"It dropped my chin to the floor," Stroup told Fox News. "How could they not pay for medication that would help my life, and yet offer to pay to end my life?"

Dr. William Toffler, a professor of family medicine, was horrified by Oregon's chilling response: "It absolutely conveys to the patient that continued living isn't worthwhile."

That's only one reason for the public to oppose D.C.'s assisted suicide law, and 18 other states considering similar action. Here are 10 more reasons to fight it:

  1. Assisted suicide laws go against the Law of God. The 5th Commandment states: "Thou shalt not kill." That prohibits the murder of oneself or of others. State law has no right to approve laws contrary to the moral and Divine Law.

  2. History demonstrates that the gap between "assisted suicide" and mandatory suicide can be very narrow. Who can guarantee that the legalization of "assisted suicide" today won't prepare the way for a new version of Auschwitz cremation ovens tomorrow?

  3. In fact, "The Netherlands has moved from assisted suicide to euthanasia, from euthanasia for the terminally ill to euthanasia for the chronically ill, from euthanasia for physical illness to euthanasia for psychological distress and from voluntary euthanasia to involuntary euthanasia (called `termination of the patient without explicit request'). In fact, the Dutch now kill patients and babies born with deformities," writes Dr. Herbert Handin in Psychiatric Times.

  4. In Belgium euthanasia is allowed for teens and not limited to the terminally ill, but to any who are suffering (physically or psychologically) and desire to be euthanized - for depression, schizophrenia, dementia and even autism.

  5. Assisted suicide laws put the poor at risk. Suicide becomes the cheap alternative for the poor who cannot afford costly treatment and medication. Passage of assisted suicide laws gives the state a way to save money.

  6. It pressures dying people to end their own lives. Social acceptance of physician-assisted suicide tells elderly, disabled or dependent citizens that their lives are not valuable. Doctors who participate communicate hopelessness, not compassion.

  7. Physician assisted suicide creates legal opportunity for hidden elder abuse. Elders are put at risk for abuse by relatives tempted to coerce or pressure them to die prematurely for their benefit.

  8. Some terminally ill people recover and get well. A hospice nurse told Jane St. Clair of a 24-year-old given three months to live - who is still alive five years later and is now mother of a child. "Offer them suicide and you take everything away from them. You take away hope. You take away their lives," writes Ms. St. Clair.

  9. Oregon's assisted suicide law has encouraged a suicide rate that is 35 times the national average. It had been declining before Oregon voters approved the law.

  10. The Hippocratic Oath, taken by physicians for 2,600 years states: "I will keep (the sick) from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect." The American Medical Association states: "Allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician's role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks."

You can make a difference to halt the growth of physician-assisted suicide. Write your Member of Congress and/or U.S. Senator to urge them to overturn Washington D.C.'s new law. Do it now. In 30 days the nation's capital will have legalized doctors to prescribe legal drugs to kill patients.

"Thou shalt not kill."

_____________________________________
Copyright (c) 2016 Michel J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous columns go to www.ethicsandreligion.org. Hit Search for any topic.
 

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