Marlowe's Shade

Monday, April 11, 2005

Culture of Death: A Clearer Picture Emerges

In the past week the life-affirmers on the blogosphere have roused themselves from their grief and torpor and started the Herculean labor of documenting the sources of the culture of death that recently claimed Terry Schiavo.

Hyscience and Blogs for Terri had their own take on euthanasia in hospices. This post featured an email from the invaluable Ron Panzer of the Hospice Patients Alliance that was first posted on MichNews

Right to life organizations have been out-maneuvered by the so-called right to die organizations. How did this occur? We have to look at the history of the right to die organizations and then the answer will be clear.

Before the Third Reich, before World War II, the eugenics and euthanasia advocates were quite active in the U.S. The Euthanasia Society of America, formed in 1938 in New York, having failed in getting passage of laws legalizing euthanasia, changed its tactics. Realizing that the sanctity of life ethic was alive and well in the U.S., they sought a way to chip away at the bedrock blocking their way. Commissioning research to learn what phrases their dark agenda could be palatably sold to the American public, they came up with terms such as ‘choice in dying,’ ‘dying well,’ ‘the right to die’ and ‘patient choice.’

In the 1960s they changed their name to Choice in Dying, choosing to focus on incrementally advancing the euthanasia agenda. Living wills, advanced directives, and do not resuscitate orders were successfully sold to the U.S. and accepted by the mainstream health care industry policymakers.

Simultaneous with the introduction of the living will and the advanced directives initiative, hospice care arrived on the scene, suggesting that we avoid aggressive acute hospital care when such interventions may be burdensome and intrusive for patients who are truly dying. Providing compassionate care to the terminally ill, relieving their suffering while allowing a natural death in its own timing ... who could object?

What the public did not know is that the first hospice in our nation, the Connecticut Hospice, was founded by a major representative of the euthanasia movement, Florence Wald, MSN, who stated that assisted suicide should be available for just about any reason at all...

Ron's message ends on this chilling note, which directly links the founders of the euthanasia movement to Terri's executioners:

…The euthanasia advocates have taken over the national policymaking circles of the entire hospice industry. Doubt it? Well, remember the Euthanasia Society of America? It changed its name to Choice in Dying, which sounds great, but was clearly an early indication that the choice they really wanted to promote was the choice to have physician-assisted suicide and/or euthanasia.

Choice in Dying completed its mission, the nationwide acceptance of incremental changes in our attitude toward life, substituting a ‘quality of life’ ethic for the ‘sanctity of life’ ethic. Having done its job, it looked forward to the next step: the direct control of the hospice industry. Choice in Dying merged with the hospice industry coalition, Partnership for Caring, whose goal was the changing of state and federal laws to favor utilization of hospice. Partnership for Caring merged with Last Acts, one of the largest hospice coalitions in the world, funded by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, to become Last Acts Partnership. Many who have served as Last Acts Partnership's directors also serve on the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization board.

For example, Mary Labyak, C.E.O. of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, served as secretary at the Partnership for Caring and is a prominent leader in the hospice industry, having served on the boards of Last Acts and the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. It is Labyak's hospice, Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, which has actively participated in accepting a non-terminal patient, Terri Schiavo, into the hospice, for the express purpose of euthanizing the ‘unworthy of life’ victim, Terri Schiavo.

Those who think hospice is the safe alternative to open euthanasia have been outfoxed. The euthanasia society has run circles around the well-meaning but naive right to lifers. So whether euthanasia is legalized openly or ‘back-doored’ through hospice, euthanasia is here, and it has been here for a long time. The National Right to Life Committee has known about the hospice killings for years, yet has refused to expose these killings.

Sherri posted this timeline from Tree of Life of the influence of the euthanasia movement on the right-to-die agenda. This is a goldmine of information and I'll be referring in future posts to the light it sheds on some of the players, many of whom we've encountered before.

And thanks to Nana and Fiery Celt for this ominous report from Europe:

Nearly half the newborn babies who died in Flanders over a recent year-long period were helped to die by their doctors, a new study reported yesterday.

Paediatricians in the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium either discreetly stopped treating the babies or, in 17 cases, illegally killed them with lethal doses of painkillers.

The study, published in The Lancet, examined the deaths of every baby who died within a year of birth in Flanders between August 1999 and July 2000.

The results of a survey on the causes of death were stark: paediatricians who responded to the survey admitted they had taken "end of life" decisions in more than half the cases.

Can't happen here? Recently two bills were proposed ( S.1629 & H.R.3127) specifically to set new guidelines for pallative care and end of life treatment for children. Note the recent medical guidelines for palliative care that define it in opposition to life-saving care.
papijoe 6:09 AM