Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Lawmaker Speaks Out Against Euthanasia

Deborah Grilli has launched an interesting pro-life blog called, appropriately, Choose Life.

This past Sunday she posted an address to the California legislature by California Assemblyman Ray Haynes in opposition to AB 654, a bill modeled on Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law.

Everywhere it has been authorized this form of “voluntary euthanasia” has turned houses of healing into killing fields. In the Netherlands, many of the aged and/or infirm will not go into a hospital out of fear that the doctors in those hospitals will order their deaths. In Oregon, in the two short years that their “compassionate” statute has been in effect, there have been five documented cases of people who died under suspicious circumstances using this statute.

About 30 years ago, a court held, in the case of Karen Ann Quinlan, that medical care could be withheld from a comatose patient. Twenty years ago, a court held that food and water are medical treatment, and a person can refuse that treatment if he or she is mentally competent. Today, we have hospitals and hospices essentially requiring people to terminate food and water “treatments” on the grounds that helping some people would just be futile (read “too expensive” in the era of managed care). What was once an “individual choice” has turned into a medical mandate requiring the old and the infirm to forego treatment that can alleviate or cure the symptoms of a disease.

In 1933, Joseph Goebbels produced a movie in Nazi Germany extolling the virtues of “death with dignity.” Six years later, in the midst of the war, to “save money” the German government built a number of gas chambers which were then used to euthanize the physically and mentally disabled. Three years after that, those same gas chambers were used to solve the “Jewish” problem in Germany. Our country has rejected euthanasia and “death with dignity” for the last 70 years for a reason. History has taught us that these concepts have been used by governments throughout this world to justify the most horrible injustices that people have ever visited upon their fellow human beings. It is always sold as an instrument of freedom, and it always ends of as a tool of terror.

Assemblyman Haynes "gets it", and it is encouraging to hear at least one lawmaker who has a strong grasp of the issues. A few more like him in the Florida legislature and Terri Schiavo might be alive today.

More emphasis should be given to cases like this that occurred under the Oregon Death with Dignity law:

October 16, 1999: Oregon's "safeguards" against abuse may have failed after a recent assisted suicide case where an 85-year-old woman with cancer and early-stage dementia was given a lethal overdose. The woman's daughter shopped around for physicians until she found one that would conclude her mother was competent to choose death.

Tomorrow if time permits we'll take a look at some of the other problems with Death with Dignity and similar laws.
papijoe 6:32 AM