LANSDOWNE, Virginia, June 2, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Anti-euthanasia advocates from around the globe gathered last weekend at the Second International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide to join in a rigorous discussion sketching the past and laying the groundwork for a broad-based coalition against euthanasia across the world.
The symposium took place May 29-30 at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Virginia. An audience of 120 listened to information-packed sessions describing the history of the euthanasia movement, analyses of recent success and failure, current dangers, as well as countless personal stories from around the world.
Rita Marker, the executive director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, opened the Friday sessions with a penetrating look at the history of the euthanasia movement and its roots in the Hemlock Society of a quarter century ago. Noting the overall trend of success in defeating assisted suicide laws in America, Marker criticized the notion that the euthanasia legislation passed in Oregon and Washington were "inevitable," and urged activists not to be fooled into complacency after individual bills are defeated.
"Not many - some, but not many - people on our side work until they're so dog tired they can hardly move, but they keep working more," said Marker. "But on the other side, they do, because they're truly dedicated to what they're doing. We need people who are dedicated."
Attorney Margaret Dore, who analyzed the strategy on either side of Washington State's assisted suicide initiative, pointed out that the words of the initiative include no safeguards against involuntary euthanasia - contrary to the claims of its proponents. "It's not about choice. 'Choice' is a lie," said Dore.
Renowned bioethicist Wesley Smith offered his thoughts on what he calls the "coup d'culture" that has turned society towards "an obsessive fear and ... avoidance of not only suffering, but difficulty."
"It is distorting our culture, and it is changing it, and it is mutating it, into something that is not as compassionate as we should be, that is not as caring as we should be," said Smith. "If the point of society is to make sure you don't suffer, that will often be making sure there aren't any sufferers. Which isn't only about making sure the sufferer doesn't suffer, but putting the sufferer out of our misery."
Randy Richardson, father of Lauren Richardson, and Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo and founder of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, told of the fight to resist pressures to withdraw food and hydration from loved ones incorrectly diagnosed as in a "persistent vegetative state." Lionel Roosemont of Belgium also shared the story of his struggle to raise a child with severe disabilities amid the entrenched euthanasia culture in his country. . .
"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
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Washington, DC -- One of the leading pro-abortion members of the Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's pro-abortion credentials following a private meeting with her. Sen. Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says Sotomayor is pro-abortion.
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