It is often said that whoever controls the language controls the debate. This is true when it comes to the “compassionate left.” They clothe their words in such flowery language as “compassion,” “death with dignity, “personal choices,” and other words that would lead you to believe that only a Nazi would oppose such things. When we speak of assisted suicide, such as practiced in three U.S. states, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, such flowery words are far from the truth. What they’re selling is death, killing and possible rampant elder abuse. Recently, the Los Angeles Times, to its credit, published an opinion piece by a doctor, called “We should Think Twice About Death With Dignity.” Click here to read it.
This is a hot-button issue. Unfortunately, many people are hugely uninformed about it. I would not want to have my life prolonged by any extreme means. I’ve put this in writing in my Living Trust. However, assisted suicide is another story and needs to be carefully investigated before we decide where we stand on it. No matter where you stand on this issue, the most damaging and scariest part about such a law is the slippery slope that it creates. Once the door is open you can never close it again. Can we afford this? Here are some facts to consider:
In the Netherlands and in Belgium where they have such laws, the slippery slope is no longer slippery, it’s an avalanche. In Belgium twin brothers who were going blind decided to kill themselves because they could not stand not being able to see each other once blind. Click here to read their story. Dutch doctors report that assisted suicide is out of control and impossible to regulate. Additionally, the law in the Netherlands has morphed into doctors administering euthanasia without a person’s consent. The Ohio Patient’s Rights Council reports these findings: “In addition, 8,100 patients died as a result of doctors deliberately giving them overdoses of pain medication, not for the primary purpose of controlling pain, but to hasten the patient’s death. (13) In 61% of these cases (4,941 patients), the intentional overdose was given without the patient’s consent.”
Oregon’s law is equally impossible to regulate or supervise. See additional details related to Oregon in particular later in this article. The possibility of abuse is huge and uncontrollable.
In California there is a pending bill, SB 128, which will bring assisted suicide to California. Once this is legal in California it will spread like wildfire to all other states. The experience in Oregon, Vermont and Washington has shown that there is little or no oversight at all. Lethal medicine can be picked up and administered by a family member. In many cases, the sick and feeble are under immense pressure to take their own life, not wanting to burden their family.
Margaret Dore, a Washington attorney who specializes in these cases, has written extensively on the dangerous practices that occur in each state that has this law. Click here to read her compelling and shocking analysis.
Another huge issue is who supervises the execution of these laws and how effective can they be controlled? We’re not just losing money, we’re losing lives, human lives. Here is an example of the non-supervision of the Oregon law as published by the Ohio Patients Rights Council:
Under Oregon’s law permitting physician-assisted suicide, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) – previously called the Oregon Health Division (OHD) – is required to collect information, review a sample of cases and publish a yearly statistical report. (1)Since the law, called the “Death with Dignity Act,” went into effect in 1997, ten official reports have been published. However, due to major flaws in the law and the state’s reporting system, there is no way to know for sure how many or under what circumstances patients have died from physician-assisted suicide.
Statements made by individuals who have been involved in assisted suicide in Oregon — those who implement it, compile official reports about it, or prescribe the lethal drugs — clearly show that the law’s “safeguards” are not protective and that effective monitoring is close to non-existent. (2)