Special Bonus Report
by Sandra Myers

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Sandra Myers

Sandra Myers

Mankind Was Out. Of. Control.—And Still Is

“Canadian mom, 57, diagnosed with aggressive stomach cancer was told to consider assisted suicide by doctors who said country’s (Canada) universal healthcare system could not save her” stated the Daily Mail headline.

    Instead, she was dismissed with the offer of “AiD” service. That’s Medical Assistance in Dying. When Allison Ducluzeau asked about treatments, she was promptly told that she didn’t qualify. When she asked if or when she could see an oncologist, she was told it could take weeks or months, if ever, to get an appointment (but the doctor had told her she likely only had 2 months to 2 years to live if untreated).

    The Canadian doctors washed their hands of her and wanted her to do her duty—and that is to go home, take a pharmaceutical cocktail and die.

    She didn’t accept that pronouncement. Allison and her husband came to the United States where she received successful treatment. Her U.S. doctors, when discussing the treatment Allison received, regularly talk about 20-year survival rates. (Don’t get me started about the desire by so many in the United States for this same socialized healthcare.)

The Hippocratic Oath

The discussion of assisted suicide and euthanasia has been around since Greek and Roman times where the Hippocratic Oath was conceived. The original oath, translated from Greek to English states in part: “I will do no harm or injustice... Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.”

    The modernized Hippocratic Oath includes the following: “Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.” (I think they have overlooked that last part about not playing God.) As of 2018 all US medical school graduates made some form of public oath but none used the original Hippocratic Oath.

Euthanasia in the United States

Although much discussion happened previously, the United States’ legalizing euthanasia was first proposed, unsuccessfully, in Ohio in 1906.

    In 1940 at a meeting of the Euthanasia Society of America (ESA) Charles Francis Potter stated, “Euthanasia, or merciful release from suffering, is rapidly emerging from the stage when it was considered merely the obsession of a few left-wing social reformers [my emphasis] to the period when it is being recognized as an important social measure in the same class with birth control and eugenics.” Thirty years later, at another ESA gathering, clergyman Henry Pitney Van Dusen echoed much the same thing. “Popular attention centers on Planned Parenthood... at the other end of life,” and “euthanasia is concerned with the responsible termination of life. The more we can relate these two movements practically the better, because they are both concerned with the responsible care of human life, one at its beginning and the other at its end.” (They want to get you coming or going.)

    Fast forward to 1994, about the time that Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian, was on trial for murder, Oregon voters by a slim margin approved the “Death With Dignity Act,” making it legal for a doctor to write a prescription to painlessly end someone’s life. The act took effect in 1997.

    According to a 2011 article reviewing histories and autopsies of Dr. Kevorkian’s “patients,” The Economist reported on Kevorkian’s claimed 130 assisted suicides saying: “Studies of those who sought out Dr. Kevorkian suggest that though many had a worsening illness... it was not usually terminal. Autopsies showed five people had no disease at all... Little over a third were in pain. Some presumably suffered from no more than hypochondria or depression.”

    Voluntary euthanasia is currently legal in Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and New Zealand. It is also legal in the following U.S. states: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Montana, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington.

    Vermont and Oregon have gone a step further and dropped the requirement that people who receive a lethal prescription must be citizens of the state, thereby creating “suicide tourism.”

Expanding the Scope for Assisted Suicide Targets

The Mentally Ill: Canada has already expanded who may participate in assisted suicide to include the depressed or mentally ill; The elderly and infirm: With Baby-Boomers set to overwhelm the medical system there is increasing support for enabling people to legally end their life at will; Children: In Germany, Adolf Hitler carried out a program to exterminate children with disabilities (with or without their parent’s permission). Today, we have an explosion of acute autism, Down syndrome, and other conditions in which children will never progress to caring for themselves. Will they be added to the rolls of euthanasia?; How about the poverty stricken and destitute with the hopeless feelings? Dr. Kevorkian was also a proponent of live human experimentation and thought that death-row inmates should be allowed to volunteer.

The Sanctity of Life

Scripture points us to the sanctity of mortal life, and to our imperative as God’s image bearers to protect life and commit our days to his glory. We are made in His image and He breathed life into us (Gen. 1:26, 2:7, Acts 17:25); We are told not to kill (Exod. 20:13, Rom. 13:9); We are the Lord’s (Rom. 14:8). God retains ownership over our lives and our days. He is the only one who can determine when our service is done, our intended purpose fulfilled.  

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