Skip to comments.Once the killing starts, there's no stopping it (euthanasia)
Posted on 01/29/2007 5:09:42 PM PST by neverdem
Remember Jack Kevorkian? He's the American euthanasia doctor behind bars for second-degree murder. He's also the one who wanted to look into the eyes of those in the process of dying for his "obitiatric research".
Despite his ghoulishness, Kevorkian is revered by those such as Derek Humphry, co-founder of the pro-euthanasia group the Hemlock Society, who described Kevorkian's incarceration as "a tragedy for an honourable man". Kevorkian assisted or lethally injected at least 130 people, mostly middle-aged women. More than 70 per cent were not terminally ill. Most were disabled or depressed.
Recently, the Swiss group Dignitas, which has assisted hundreds of suicides and promotes euthanasia, has petitioned the Swiss Supreme Court for permission to assist the suicides of the chronically depressed and mentally ill.
In Australia, our most vocal euthanasia advocate, Philip Nitschke, is on record for advocating a suicide pill for the depressed, the elderly bereaved and troubled teenagers.
At the heart of this issue is the belief that everyone should have the right to die on their own terms: when, where, and how they want, with social, legal, and medical support from the state. While in the first instance this would take the form of legislation for difficult cases, it would not stop there.
As we have learnt from the Netherlands, legislating for hard euthanasia cases cannot be contained. Once the state legislates for the killing of any of its innocent members, even upon their request, it has breached a principle that protects us all. When the state legalises euthanasia, all are at risk.
In the Netherlands, assisted suicide soon turned to euthanasia. At the outset, only for the terminally ill. Now the chronically ill. Initially for physical illness. Now for psychological distress. At first, strictly upon voluntary request. Thousands of cases of euthanasia now occur without a request from the patient. Some doctors just know best. The Dutch recently legislated to permit euthanasia for 12- to 16-year-olds, and dozens of disabled babies have been illegally euthanased at Groningen Hospital, by doctors who are now pressuring the Government for permission to terminate infant lives.
Despite the rhetoric about strict criteria, mandatory reporting and tight regulation, it is impossible to safely manage legalised euthanasia. As Herbert Hendin, medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, puts it: "One hardly knows which is more chilling, the widespread flouting of the scant and effectively toothless legal regulation of euthanasia in Holland, or the sangfroid with which it is defended by the Dutch practitioners."
This is why every major body of inquiry worldwide has rejected voluntary euthanasia, and why modern communities should continue to do so.
Greg Pike is director of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute.
I don't understand why it's humane to euthanize suffering animals, but intelligent humans are not allowed the same dignity.
Like abortion only for the life of the mother, decades ago....
That didn't last too long did it..?
LIFE IS cheap IN A LIBERAL WORLD..
and humans are nothing but a statistic divided by colors, age, and race... this from the most enlightened party..
OH, I don't know, maybe it's that little thing called a SOUL?
There is also a Lancet study that reports 8% of Dutch infant mortality is due to lethal injection.
So if you were permanently disabled, you would have your two children spend the rest of your life, and the rest of their resources, caring for you?
Given a choice, I'd rather not, thank you.
Oh you mean like Terri Schiavo, who was murdered by the order of the courts.
Show me a study of disabled dependents and what choice THEY would prefer.
In the UK Catholics have special id cards that say in case I am sent to a hospital please contact a priest, and I wish to be given hydration and food. There was a thread here on FR they have given out over 2,000 of them.
No, I mean like intelligent articulate permanently disabled ones who clearly do not want to burden their families.
It is very bad in the UK. many doctors are making decisions to end life based on economics.
My wife and I would like to each get one of those cards.
I suspect and hope many of those families would be willing to accept that burden.
According to those who support the notion of suicide it is a very heroic act.
If it is heroic, then it should be done by the suicide himself.
If they don't have the ability to kill themselves then they shouldn't be allowed to degrade the medical profession by encouraging or requiring doctors and nurses to participate.
Instead they should hire a paid assassin to kill them.
That's a lot more dignified than degrading an already degraded profession and making a mockery of the Hippocratic Oath.
Hey, I will see if I can find the article I think it was in the Telegraph. I forwarded it to a priest friend of mine who has a show on Sirus radio
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Well, here's to your good health.
Amen sister, amen.
There is a distinct difference between doing nothing to prolong life and taking an active step to end life. That is the moral line that we cannot cross. We do not give life nor should we take it. Sorry, this one is not about me (or my children), but about a power higher than us all.
It's about what YOU would do, given a choice.
Obviously, you would choose to see your children deplete themselves on your behalf.
I would not.
You are making a lot of assumptions that would not hold true overall:
(1) That you wouldn't change your mind when you found yourself in that position. A healthy 25-year-old who says "I wouldn't want to live like that" isn't in possession of all the facts.
(2) That your children wouldn't want to hurry up their inheritance before it's "depleted" . . . they might decide they didn't want to waste money even on basic care . . . they might even falsify an affidavit when you are too drugged or sleepy to know what you're signing . . . and THEN you have a real problem, because there will be nobody to speak for you, once the general prohibition against murder is removed.
(3) That your doctor wouldn't want to hurry up your demise in order to get your hospital bed, or because your insurance limit had been reached. Another real problem, once the doctor has permission to kill.
Laws are not made for the good and altruistic, but for the evil and greedy. Once you give permission, people take advantage. It has already happened in the Netherlands.
May you never find yourself in that position.
You are correct.
It is not a decision which should be brought to bear upon anyone else but the one still in posession of their faculties.
The point is, we don't want anybody to find himself in that position.
If euthanasia is permitted, it opens the door for fraud and surreptitious murder-for-gain. I guarantee you that there are many wicked but cowardly people in the world who would take advantage of that door once it's open, while they aren't brave enough to take a lockpick or a sledgehammer to a locked door.
In an earlier thread some months ago, someone disputed this comment...so I'll post the references again to avoid any squabble.
Starting with the abstract fom the Lancet article...
"...In 2001, 20% of neonates and infants died suddenly and unexpectedly. Of all deaths, just under 70% were preceded by an end-of-life decision. Almost all these decisions withdrew or withheld potentially life-sustaining treatments (63%). In 29% of all deaths, the decision to forgo life-sustaining treatment was followed by the use of possible life-shortening drugs to alleviate pain or symptoms (or both), and DECISIONS IN 8% were followed by the use of drugs with the explicit intention to hasten death. The decision to give a possible life-shortening drug to alleviate pain or symptoms (or both) to infants who were not dependent on life-sustaining treatment preceded 3% of deaths. In 1% of all deaths, a drug was given with the explicit intention to hasten death to infants who were not dependent on life-sustaining treatment. Compared with 1995, the number of end-of-life decisions in 2001 had risen by 6%..."
"...But Dutch doctors have engaged in infanticide for more than 15 years. (A Dutch government-supported documentary justifying infant euthanasia played on PBS in 1993. Moreover, a study published in 1997 in the Lancet determined that in 1995, about 8 percent of all infants who died in the Netherlands--some 80 babies--were euthanized by doctors, and not all with parental consent; this figure was reproduced in a subsequent study covering the year 2001.)..."
FYI..another good FR post with statistics...
I don't think contemplating suicide is a rational choice in the first place so therefore you could not be of sound mind if you were contemplating it as a "choice".
Any relation? The name is awful close.
Committing suicide is relatively easy. Preserving the sanctity of human life is not. There is no way I would ever give the state or a medical doctor to ability euthanize any person.
This reminds me of an essay I wrote in college in 1977. Here it is:
The Final Solution to Overpopulation
Of course, abortion is the best form of birth control. Condoms break, you can forget to take the pill, and IUDs can pierce a womans uterus and scar and injure her. Spermicidal jellies and foams are messy and not likely to be used. Tubule ligation and vasectomies work only for those who are willing to make such a commitment, as does abstinence. Pregnancies caused by birth control mistakes are proverbial in our culture. The surest solution to the worlds greatest problem, that of overpopulation, is abortion. It is safe when done early in pregnancy, and 100% certain to eliminate an unwanted pregnancy. However, abortion doesnt go far enough in reducing population growth, and in reducing population itself.
The worlds population has increased nearly three billion since the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade in 1973. World population under the best estimates will stabilize at eleven billion after 2050. The worlds ecosystem is already severely stressed with the six billion people on the earth. More needs to be done to reduce population. What is the next step?
Roe v. Wade determined the first 23 weeks of pregnancy are eligible for abortion since the fetus is not yet viable. More recent court rulings have permitted abortions through the last trimester of pregnancy for the health of the mother, mental and physical. Using the principle of viability and the principle of what is best for the mental and physical health of humanity, the next logical step is to permit post natal abortions (PNAs) on non-viable post natal fetuses (PNFs).
Although the majority of PNFs are wanted, not a single PNF is viable. It cannot survive without an adult caregiver. Further, they are a mental and physical burden upon the caregiver and should not be permitted to live without the full and willing desire of the caregiver. Why should PNFs be permitted to burden our sorely taxed ecosystem by allowing unwanted ones to grow to full maturity? Is it not kinder, gentler, and more humane to safely terminate them should the caregiver find them a burden? Is not the caregiver fully within their privacy rights to manage this life form within their own home as they see fit?
There need be no moral qualms about this policy whatsoever. Our society has already established the legal morality of abortion up through the end of the third trimester. What difference should the simple process of parturition make to morality of removing a non-viable life form from a possibly miserable existence? Just as abortion removes the burden of an unwanted fetus from society, so a PNA can terminate the mental and physical burden of an undesired PNF. A simple injection of potassium cyanide or a pill of the same can quickly and painlessly remove this ecological disaster waiting to happen.
The benefits of PNAs cannot be exaggerated. They are safer than abortions in the third trimester. They alleviate a financial burden on the family and society in general, reserving resources for those individuals chosen to enter the human family. With a worldwide policy of PNAs, all individuals will be wanted. Without undesired PNFs, the negative influence of humanity upon the earth will decrease, not increase. Air and water pollution will begin to decrease. The welfare rolls will decrease, reducing the tax burden.
Yet, even a vigorous, worldwide program of PNAs, administrated under the auspices of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) does not go far enough. There are millions and billions of individuals worldwide who are no longer viable. Although they were human at one time, they are no longer self-supporting. Many can no longer communicate and are not conscious. They are all draining societys resources and all require care of some other human being. Using the same moral principle as Roe v. Wade and other pro-abortion rulings, we may safely and ethically consider such entities as post human lives (PHLs). In view of human induced global warming and the possible worldwide catastrophe that is pending, is it not nobler to remove these life forms from existence than to permit them to continue to consume the worlds limited resources? Such an act of mercy would spare the functioning, productive humanity this unwanted burden, and more importantly, would reduce the space pressures humanity puts on endangered species worldwide. Concurrent with a program of PNAs there must be a worldwide program of post human abortions (PHAs).
As good as PNAs would be, PHAs would be even better. PHLs consume far more resources than PNFs. All the benefits enumerated for PNAs would be multiply true for PHAs. Society would become free of all individuals who are not productive. Taxes could be reduced, or the freed up funds could go toward art, literature, and good public works. Cares and worries of old age would be a thing of the past. Once a person becomes a burden to anyone, they are simply considered a PHL and given a gentle PHA. The social security trust fund will become adequate and even generous, with a reduced future burden upon working humanity.
PNAs and PHLs have benefits even beyond these. They will give birth to a new age of medical research. There will be an unlimited supply of organs and stem cells for the benefit of human population. Very likely, the human lifetime will be considerably extended. This will create additional population pressure, so PNAs and PHAs need to be executed and enforced ubiquitously.
How is a sweeping, worldwide program of PNAs and PHAs best to be administrated and implemented? It should start with the UN. As part of UN membership, every country should have laws that require every caregiver to sign a certificate of humanity to their offspring or to any non-viable entity in their care. At a minimum, these certificates should be renewed annually, like drivers licenses. Each country may add additional requirements for their definition of viable humanity. This allows each country to retain its own sovereignty and cultural distinctiveness. By entrusting such a critical definition to each federal government, we can be sure the same care and wisdom shown in governmental taxing and welfare programs will be applied toward this critical program of PNAs and PHAs.
It is expected that some countries will put political requirements into their definition of humanity, some will put religious requirements, some physical requirements, such as a certain height, weight, body build, or skin color. Aside from promoting cultural diversity, this mosaic of laws will catch PHLs who travel from one country to another and further reduce world population. The varied laws will also purify the human gene pool, catching the ignorant and unwary, classifying them as PHLs and terminating them, protecting mother Earth from the corrosive effects of their former human existence.
Even such a beneficial program will surely have opposition. Religious extremists and radical anarchists are likely to resist blessing mankind with a healthier, less intrusive life upon this earth. A simple and effective method of dealing with such evil-minded beings is to classify them as PHLs and perform PHAs upon them. This action will quickly bring about worldwide consensus for this uniquely effective approach to population control.
With unwanted PNFs eliminated through PNAs, with burdensome PHLs removed through PHAs, with humanitys genetic lines improved through the forced evolutionary selection of diverse laws worldwide, a new age will dawn. No longer will pollution wreck our planets rivers, lakes, and oceans. No longer will smog dominate cities. No longer will teeming millions suffer and starve. No longer will species die out through human encroachment upon their habitats. With the moral principles put forth in Roe v. Wade, logically extended and applied, humanity will joyfully march forward into a brave, new world.
I understand why euthanasia will never be allowed in this country.
I also understand why an articulate, permanently disabled person would choose to not burden their beloved family.
Our laws are meant to protect those who cannot decide for themselves.
You mean, like abortion?
Geez. There's even websites.
Laissez-faire, do-it-yourself suicide has always been with us. Sad, but --- face it --- universally available.
The purpose of legalized euthanasia is to grease the skids for people who are NOT choosing suicide --- or not choosing it promptly enough to gratify the more powerful individuals and government and corporate entities in their lives.
It's really not a matter of liberty for the individual. The whole point is cost-containment for healthcare/insurance systems, and--- especially for sick babies and stressed women --- a cold-blooded, enforceable buh-bye.
Free market rules?
You didn't notice that a form of euthanasia, assisted suicide, has been legal in Oregon since 1997?
Yes, I've heard of families taking care of their elderly and the drain on their resources was terrible. Couldn't afford a second car, had to cancel Showtime and Cinemax, their teenagers couldn't have cell phones or playstations or rent a limo for the prom. It was really sad.
Finally they sat the kids down and said, "Look if we kill grandma you can both get iPods..."
AND in Florida.
AND in Florida.
Perhaps one day if you have raised grown children, you will have a less cynical view. Good luck.
Disability does not diminish the value of life. Perhaps you should spend some time on the "Not Dead Yet" website.
Most animals are euthanized not for suffering but because they are inconvenient.
That's the point of the article...
May you never suffer the indignity of inconveniencing your loved ones.
I don't understand why it's humane to euthanize suffering animals, but intelligent humans are not allowed the same dignity."
Is that you Feinstein?