Ethics & Religion
November 16, 2016
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
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
"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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"Thou shalt not kill."
Copyright (c) 2016 Michel J. McManus,
President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous
columns go to
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