Assisted Suicide is Neither Compassionate nor “Death With Dignity:” Oppose California’s SB 128

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)

They Have Eyes to See, but They Don’t See; They Have Ears to Hear, but They Don’t Hear

Yesterday I attended “One Life LA,”  the first Los Angeles, California, Walk for Life.  The event started at Olvera Street, the IMG_0067 famous Downtown Pueblo de Los Angeles historic monument dating back to Spanish California.  About 15,000 people attended.  The purpose of the walk was to show Los Angeles that life is precious and should be protected from conception to natural death as Archbishop Jose Gomez, and many other speakers mentioned in their talks.  As I predicted, the main stream media completely ignored it.  EWTN, a Catholic Television Network, televised the talks live, but no other media showed up.

Later that evening, as I was heading to church, I was listening to KNX News Radio in my car.  Among the things of the day that they reported was that about two dozen marched in honor of Martin Luther King Holiday in Long Beach,  No mention of the 15,000 people in Downtown Los Angeles marching for life.  This morning, the Los Angeles Times failed to even mention the event.  Now, compare this to when a couple of dozen anarchists, bent on violence and destruction, showed up in Downtown Los Angeles, not long ago, demonstrating against the Police killings of two black men in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.  For a month the nightly news was filled with marauding hoodlums and news reporters interviewing people on the street about why they were there.  But, when an event that the leftist media (all media except Fox News Channel), disapproves of or does not comport with their world view, then they just ignore it. Whenever  a few hundred people gather for an immigration rally, something the leftist media loves, they’re all over it, but when 15,000 pro-life people have and event, they just look the other way.  They have eyes to see, but they don’t see; they have ears to hear, but they don’t hear.

Do What I Say, not What I Do

After the death of Governor Mario Cuomo of New York this past week, the press was reporting on his controversial stand on abortion, even though he claimed to be a faithful Catholic.  His response was that, although he personally opposed abortion, he would not make a law banning it.  This is the position of liberal Catholics and Christians.   This position is also the most senseless, illogical and mind-bending position that shreds any sense of logic.  Cuomo defends his position by claiming that his pro-choice supporters are the same people who do the “social justice” that the Catholic Church promotes.  What?  As long as you do some good, you can do some bad and it’s ok?  By that measure Hitler did some good too.  He revived Germany from a defeated, starving nation to a booming economy; do we forgive him for the evil that he did then?

The magazine, First Things, has a fine piece on Cuomo’s position on abortion. Cuomo is apologetic about his position, stating  “that as a legislator he was not responsible for passing laws to protect those lives. In an address at the University of Notre Dame, he said: “What is ideally desirable isn’t always feasible, that there can be different political approaches to abortion besides unyielding adherence to an absolute prohibition.”  This is pure gobbledygook.  It makes no sense.  By this logic you could say that although murder is wrong, I would not want to legislate against it, because there are people out there who don’t think that murder is wrong, that it’s just “women’s health.”   Legislation is all about making value and moral judgements.  Why do we have a law against drunk driving?  After all, many people enjoy drinking. The piece on First Things debunks this reasoning in detail and is well worth reading.  Click here to read it.

Stephen Hawking and the Dignity of the Human Person

Last week I saw the movie “The Theory of Everything,” the story of the great British scientist, Stephen Hawking.  As a young man out of college, Hawking got the shocking news that he has what is now known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The movie has an emotional scene where the doctor explains to Stephen Hawking the bad news.  The doctor tells him he has no more than two years to live and he can do nothing for him.  Hawking, not only has a brilliant mind, a genius, if you will, he has lots of courage.  He is not defeated.  He gets along as best he can.  He marries, has children, and becomes one of the world’s best scientists.  The disease takes its toll on him, rendering him completely paralyzed and unable to speak.  He not only did not die in two years, as the doctors predicted, but 50 plus years later is just as prolific a scientist as ever.  He is still alive today.

While watching the movie I could not help but think of the recent case of a young 29-year-old woman, Brittany Maynard, who committed suicide via euthanasia in Oregon, after moving there for this purpose.  Brittany made her case very public and indicated that she chose this path voluntarily, with no regrets.  Doctors had given her six months to live.  Who is to say, that something could not have happened in the next six months that would have mitigated her condition, as unlikely as it was?  Certainly, Stephen Hawking’s condition was just as serious.

The question that we must answer is, do we have the right to take our own lives?  Why or why not?  I would want to err on the side of doing the right thing.  Committing suicide, under any circumstances, does not seem to me to be the right thing.  Who gave us life?  Those of us who believe in a supreme being, believe that it was God.  It then follows that only God can take a life.  Indeed, in the 6th Commandment, God orders us not to kill; this includes ourselves, in my view.

In an earlier piece on this blog, I wrote a piece on “Pascal’s Wager.”  In short, Pascal’s Wager, is a hypothetical bet.  If you bet that there is no God and lose, you’re finished.  If you bet that there is a God and it turns out there is, you end up on the right side and save your eternal life, if you lose the bet, you’re in darkness forever.  When it comes to ending a life, I want to bet on the right side of things and not on my own understanding or ease of things.

“The War on Women”?

During the last election cycle in the United States, the Democratic Party promoted what they called “the war on women.”  For example, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, and Wendy Davis, who ran for Texas Governor,  based their entire campaign on this false narrative of “the war on women.”  One of my favorite speakers on the pro-life circuit, Greg Kokul, is fond of what he calls “the Columbo method.”  The Columbo method is based on the old TV character of the 1970s, Columbo, starring the great actor, Peter Falk.  Columbo is famous for always asking the crucial question.  After stumbling thorough questioning  a suspect, he turns to leave, but has “just more thing” – then he asks the crucial question that brings final clarity.

What is the crucial question about the so called “war on women”?  You have to ask for clarity from anyone using this false moniker.  Excuse me, but what do you mean by “war on women”?  Only after you get an explanation can you address the issue.  What the left defines as “a war on women” is shorthand for:  abortion for any reason, contraceptives paid for by someone else, free sex as you want it and no rules barring whatever you want in these areas.

Now, those of us who are for protecting the unborn child, the most vulnerable human being in the world, or if we have objections on religious grounds against paying for contraceptive drugs, we are considered to be waging a “war on women.”  We want to protect unborn children from being ripped apart by abortion, piece by piece from a woman’s womb, because this causes the death of a human being.  In our culture, killing another human person is considered murder and a crime, not a personal option, nor “women’s health,” as the left calls it.  Not giving you free contraceptives is not a “war on women.”  We are not saying we’re against you buying your own, which you can do for no more than $9 per month at Target. The cost is not the issue, the issue is why do I, or anyone else, have to pay for your choice of taking contraceptives, something that is totally elective on your part?  Why should an employer owe this to an employee?  The “war on women” is a false narrative, pure and simple.

Why the Left is Anti-Christian

The recent Hobby-Lobby Supreme Court case highlights why it is a contradiction to be a Christian and a leftist or a liberal Democrat.  Immediately upon hearing the court decision the left went nuts.  Let’s back up and pretend that we’re Lt. Columbo.  What is the issue here?  The issue here is simple:  nobody should be forced to violate their religious beliefs by paying for an abortifacient.  Simple as that.  Nobody is preventing anyone from getting these drugs.  As a matter of fact you can get this drug at Target for no more than $9.00 per month, even if you don’t have insurance.  Who is forcing whom?  I say that the political left is trying to force their view on everyone else.

To add insult to injury, the political left, in the name of the Democratic Party, and Senator Patty Murray proposed a law that would override the Hobby-Lobby case.  Click here to see the story on the very leftist Huffington Post.  What more smoking gun do you need that left is anti-Christian and anti-religious freedom.

The Arrogant Delight in Their Arrogance

I often wonder how intelligent and educated people can be so fooled and refuse to see or even investigate some of their beliefs.  I’m speaking of “pro-choice” people.  Many of my friends and my fellow Catholics who are “pro-choice” are also intelligent and well-educated people.  How can they fail to see the logic of the dignity of the human person?  How can they fail to understand, as does science, that life begins at conception?

I’ve come to one conclusion, although I cannot prove it, and that it that these people who are “pro-choice” simply refuse to investigate the issue..  They simply want to believe what they’re comfortable with.  I know this from my experience with my “pro-choice” friends.  whenever I mention science, logic, or reason, it just goes over their heads.  A common response is “I just think that every woman should choose for herself.”  A rhetorical question I have is what is she choosing?  She’s choosing the death of a human being.  Can this be a choice?  To put it in plain terms, can you choose whether you can kill your children who are under two, for example, as long as it’s your choice?  What is the difference?

In the Book of Proverbs Chapter One states it this way:  “The arrogant delight in their arrogance, and fools hate knowledge,” Pv 1:23.  You have heard the phrase, “don’t bother me with facts.”  This reminds me of this example.  You see, I was that person for the first 40 years of my life.  I was “pro-choice” but could not tell you why except that I thought we should be able to make such decisions ourselves.  It was not until I investigated the issue that I found I had no basis for such beliefs, indeed, the evidence was totally against me.