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Colleen Carroll Campbell: Terri's fight continues
STLToday ^ | 7/28/11 | Colleen Carroll Campbell

Posted on 07/30/2011 1:36:30 PM PDT by wagglebee

he death of Terri Schindler Schiavo in 2005 is a distant memory for most Americans. But for the family that spent seven years fighting Terri's estranged husband and the court system to stop the starvation of their daughter and sister, recollections of the 13 days Terri lingered without food or water before finally succumbing to death remain vivid and painful. And the knowledge that other brain-damaged patients could suffer a similar fate has propelled this once-ordinary family into around-the-clock activism.

"It was almost like there really wasn't an option," said Terri's sister, Suzanne Schindler-Vitadamo, when I interviewed her last weekend in Kansas City, Kan., at an end-of-life ethics conference sponsored by the St. Gianna Physician's Guild.

Along with her mother, Mary Schindler, and brother, Bobby Schindler Jr., Schindler-Vitadamo now works full time for the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, a non-profit group that advocates for disabled patients threatened by health-care rationing and euthanasia.

"I used to be a stockbroker; Bobby used to be a high school teacher," Schindler-Vitadamo said. Yet, after witnessing how her brain-damaged sister died on the orders of judges and medical professionals who regarded Terri's life unworthy of even the basic care of food and water, she said, "none of us could ever imagine going back."

Before his death in 2009, Terri's father, Robert Schindler, also dedicated himself to raising awareness about the dangers posed by a culture that increasingly judges the right to life on a sliding scale, a scale on which lives like Terri's count for little.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: disabilities; euthanasia; moralabsolutes; prolife; terridailies; terrischiavo; whiterose
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To: Kaslin; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ..
There are some scary parallels between the moral collapse of the West and ancient Rome.

Thread by Kaslin.

The Modern Roman Colosseum: Euthanasia as a Spectator Sport

Last month, Nikolai Ivanisovich, a 62-year old Russian man with brain cancer, sold the rights to broadcast his euthanasia to, a 24/7 reality TV website. The proceeds were reportedly enough to take care of his surviving family. In June, BBC2 broadcast a documentary showing the suicide of terminally ill Peter Smedley, including his pitiful cries for water that were refused by the doctor.

A disturbing trend has developed over the last few years of broadcasting the suicides of the weak and elderly in society for entertainment. Much of it is due to the glamorization of assisted suicide by a Swiss suicide clinic known as Dignitas. London’s Sky TV broadcast one of the first assisted suicides on TV at Dignitas in 2008 in the documentary “Right to Die?” Located in the beautiful mountains of Zurich, with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony playing in the background at the patient’s request, the clinic provided a false picture of what assisted suicide is really about. In contrast, the BBC2 documentary “Choosing to Die” purposely left out the details of a second terminally ill suicide performed at Dignitas, because the patient took 90 minutes to die, prompting the staff to instruct his mother not to hug him because it was prolonging his life. Euthanasia proponents selectively choose what to show in order to mislead the public.

Two assisted suicides recently broadcast on television were of people with Motor Neurone Disease. This disease includes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Patients diagnosed with it gradually lose use of their muscles, motor functions and become weak. Life expectancy after diagnosis is two to five years, and death can be due to suffocation.

However, doctors are not always right. Miracles can happen. Professor Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in his 20s and told he would not live to see age 30. He is now 69 and is considered one of the most prominent and brilliant scientists of this era, making important contributions in the areas of cosmology, gravity and black holes.

It is true that some situations are truly heartbreaking, like that of former French schoolteacher Chantal Sebire, who suffered from a horrendous facially disfiguring disease known as esthesioneuroblastoma that also caused her to go blind. Children would run away when they saw her in public. But this does not make it right to encourage someone like that to kill themselves. Many people suffer from debilitating illnesses, disfigurement, paralysis and other difficult afflictions. Why not encourage the millions afflicted with these diseases to kill themselves then? Somehow they are able to cope. We need to set up comprehensive assisted living facilities for those who suffer like Chantal Sebire, where she could have lived with others who would love her and not treat her cruelly.

Where were the loved ones of those who have taken their own lives on camera? Did they try to talk them out of killing themselves, and offer to care for them? Motor Neuron Disease sufferer Craig Ewert, whose suicide was broadcast on Sky TV in 2008, said if he did not go through with it, he would “inflict suffering on my family.” After a retired doctor with supranuclear palsy took her life at Dignitas, her son said, “She was ready to go and that makes it all the easier for us.” What did he mean by that, was he tired of taking care of her? What happened to caring for the ones you love? She cared for him as a child growing up when he was dependent upon her, where is the reciprocal kindness? Average life expectancy from supranuclear palsy is seven years; was that too long of a “burden” on him to take care of his mother? The reality is, suicide usually deeply disturbs the loved ones left behind, it does not make their lives any easier. Life is full of difficulties, what makes caring for a loved one any worse than other problems, requiring it to be resolved by death?

One of the most outspoken opponents of euthanasia is Mme. Maryannick Pavageau, who was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Legion d’Honneur, for her efforts. Mme. Pavageau suffered a stroke at age 29, and after being in a coma for three months, ended up paralyzed with Locked-in-Sydrome, barely able to speak. Yet she believes that all life is worth living, explaining, “I am firmly against euthanasia because it is not physical suffering that guides the desire to die but a moment of discouragement, feeling like a burden. All those who ask to die are mostly looking for love.”

The real dignity lies in letting people with terminal diseases know that their lives have value, we care about them, and want to help them, not knock them off. It is telling that the organization formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society has changed its name to Dignity in Dying to disguise what is really going on. It is not brave to assist someone with taking their own life, it is brave to help them take on the challenges associated with helping them cope with their illness. What is compassionate about shortening someone’s life, which brings up horrendous moral issues? If they are Christian or Jewish, assisted suicide is not helping them adhere to religious tenets. Ecclesiastes 7:17b says, “Do not be a fool – why die before your time?” Some believe that the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not murder,” includes suicide. We should encourage the terminally ill to find strength in their religion. It is telling that there is virtually no mention of God or heaven by the terminally ill who have broadcast their suicides, nor do the relatives accompanying them provide any spiritual comfort.

The states of Oregon, Washington and Montana (the latter through court ruling) have legalized some form of assisted suicide. It is legal in a handful of countries, and in the Netherlands, is legal for infants and often practiced without the consent of the patient. Over 10,000 citizens carry “Do Not Euthanize Me” cards in case they are ever admitted to a hospital unexpectedly. There is very little difference between euthanasia, where a doctor takes the fatal steps terminating life, and assisted suicide, where the doctor or someone else prepares everything for the patient to make the final move, which is usually by drinking a cocktail of barbiturates.

Advances in palliative care have made it possible to die in dignity and comfort. We have access to the best painkilling drugs today. People are living much longer lives due to modern medicine and able to do more activities at an advanced age than they used to. Doctors understand this and generally oppose physician-assisted suicide. A report by Palliative Medicine analyzed numerous studies of doctors in England and found that the majority of doctors in almost all of the studies opposed euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

Although there are some heartwrenching stories which are difficult to stomach, normalizing euthanasia will open a Pandora’s Box. The box already has a crack in it, evidenced by laws that have been passed legalizing it and the increasing number of broadcasts on TV and the internet. The UK’s Prolife Alliance has tracked how euthanasia in Britain began with the terminally ill, then progressed to people with progressive, but not necessarily fatal diseases like multiple sclerosis. Now, people with severe but non-fatal conditions including a man who was paralyzed and a woman merely afraid of the future are committing suicide. The healthy wife of an ailing Belgian man killed herself at the same time he took his life.

The rationing of certain surgeries and treatments for the elderly and weak has already begun, due to soaring healthcare costs. As euthanasia is normalized, there will be pressure put on elderly people to commit suicide. Elderly people may feel guilty about being a burden and become convinced it is the right thing to do, as was revealed in some of the highly publicized assisted suicides. Relatives eager for inheritances may pressure the elderly into taking their lives prematurely. Glamorizing it will make it more attractive to others – including healthy people and teenagers.

What does it say about our society that we are hurrying along and exploiting the deaths of the elderly and weak in our society in the name of TV ratings? It is trivializing death in the name of greed and false compassion. We are sliding down the slippery slope to becoming like the ancient barbaric Romans, who took pleasure in watching Christians and others murdered for sport in public arenas.

121 posted on 08/14/2011 11:02:56 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
The annual push for euthanasia in Canada has started again.

Two threads by me.

Canadian Justice Minister: Gov’t won’t reopen euthanasia issue

OTTAWA, August 8, 2011 ( - Despite a recent British Columbia Supreme Court ruling to fast track the lawsuit of a Lou Gehrig’s disease sufferer challenging Canada’s law against euthanasia and assisted suicide, Canada’s Justice Minister says the Conservative government will not reopen the issue in Parliament.

“Parliament passed judgment on that,” the Hon. Rob Nicholson told media. “The question of euthanasia was rejected within Parliament, just within the last year.”

“We are in court on a regular basis arguing on the constitutionality of existing laws of this country, and we have indicated we have no plans to reintroduce this within Parliament,” he added.

In 2010, Canada’s parliament soundly rejected a bill introduced by Bloc Québécois MP Francine Lalonde to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, by a vote of 228 to 59.

On August 3rd, BC judge Justice Lynn Smith agreed to expedite a challenge to Canada’s assisted suicide statute by the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) who are representing Gloria Taylor and the family of Kay Carter.

The BCCLA filed an affidavit with the court saying Taylor was told in January of 2010 that she was likely to die within one year and that she “wants the legal right to die peacefully, at the time of her own choosing, in the embrace of her family and friends.”

Taylor was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2009 and is seeking a judicial ruling on the right to commit doctor-assisted suicide.

BCCLA lawyer Joe Arvay argues that the courts rather than Parliament have the “last word” in the creation of laws.

“Parliament obviously has an important role to play in the political process, but when it comes to determining what our fundamental rights and freedoms are, the court has the last word because the constitution is the supreme law of the land and not Parliament,” Arvay told the media. “Obviously [Mr. Nicholson] knows Parliament does not have the last word.”

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC), criticized the efforts of the euthanasia and assisted suicide lobby to circumvent the democratic process and seek their ends through the judiciary.

“The euthanasia lobby has been unable to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide through parliament by democratic means and have therefore decided to circumvent the power of parliament by convincing the courts to strike down the laws that protect Canadians from euthanasia and assisted suicide,” Schadenberg said.

“EPC recognizes that people with ALS and other life-threatening and chronic conditions need excellent care but giving doctors the right to prescribe suicide is not the answer,” Schadenberg added.

Justice Smith is also hearing a suit filed by the BCCLA on behalf of Lee and Hollis Johnson, who took Lee’s mother, Kay Carter (89), to the Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland in January 2010, where she died by lethal injection.

The Carter lawsuit claims that Canada’s Criminal Code provisions (section 241) that prohibit assisted suicide are unconstitutional and deny dying people the personal choice and right to request to be euthanized.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is seeking intervention status in the BCCLA (Carter/Taylor) court case.


Kill yourself if you must, but don't make me help

SUICIDE has been legal in Canada since 1972, so it's OK to kill yourself. There is no consequence, except to you. You're not arrested if you succeed or even if you bungle the job -- your life is in your own hands.

But while there is no consequence for you, there are considerable consequences for the family and friends you leave behind and those aftershocks can be emotionally and circumstantially devastating. That is why suicide is hardly ever considered a noble or self-sacrificing act. It is more usually described as the ultimate expression of selfishness, cowardice, carelessness, in the true meaning of that word. G.K. Chesterton likened suicide to spitting in the face of God and suggested people who commit suicide should be buried at crossroads so the world could walk over their graves. Some religions consider it to be the unforgiveable sin, and if they are right, there may be other-worldly consequences even for the person who commits suicide.

But that's neither here nor there. Suicide is more acceptable now than it was in Chesterton's day. It is actually encouraged in some quarters -- and there are lobby groups actively campaigning for the suicidal right to allow somebody else to kill them or, more bizarrely, for the right to help other people kill themselves. Somehow, they seem to think it is covered by the Constitution.

Two such cases are now before the courts in British Columbia. In the first, Gloria Taylor, a woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, as it is more commonly known, asked a B.C. court for a speedy decision of her plea to be permitted a physician-assisted suicide, which is currently illegal, on the grounds that if it were not decided quickly, she might die before a doctor could kill her.

The federal government argued that the issue is too complicated for a case to be prepared in a matter of weeks, but the trial judge ruled differently. "I am satisfied time is urgent," said Justice Lynn Smith in scheduling the case for Nov. 15, ignoring the fact assisted suicide is one of the most emotional and complicated ethical issues facing Canadians today and one that should not be disposed of for one woman's convenience.

Ms Taylor, after all, has a legal right to kill herself without forcing the rest of us to be complicit in the act.

The second case involves the Farewell Foundation for the Right to Die, whose 117 members have petitioned the same B.C. court to rule on the constitutional right to assisted suicide. The group -- one could perhaps call it the Canadian Kevorkian Society in honour of the American doctor who so eagerly sought suicides to assist that he ended up in jail -- is first seeking recognition as a legal organization, which is complicated by the fact that it is acting in favour of an illegal activity. Many of its members are in good health and not immediately seeking suicide, but several have chosen the honourable route and killed themselves.

That is the paradox of assisted suicide. Killing oneself is the ultimate act of isolation, yet those who belong to groups such as the Farewell Foundation do not want to do it alone. They want the rest of Canadians, regardless of what moral scruples they may have about suicide, to join them as accomplices in their act by giving it a social sanction. That is truly cowardly and worthy of a burial at a crossroads.

122 posted on 08/14/2011 11:07:01 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: jacknhoo; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
The left can't wait to make death panels mandatory.

Thread by jacknhoo.

Stealth Euthanasia: Health Care Tyranny in America

You may not realize this, but leaders in government of both political parties are promoting palliative and hospice care as the destination, your destination ... the end of the road in a patient's health care journey. There is no need for something to be called a "death panel." Rationed care will result in destabilization and consequent death for many of the chronically ill, elderly and disabled. Interventions and treatment options, as well as denials, can be manipulated so that death is made to happen.

There is no one place to point the finger and say, "he" alone is responsible, or "that group" or "that government department" alone is responsible. It is much more sophisticated and complicated than that. There are webs and webs of interconnected efforts that have resulted in a massive wave sweeping over our land, something that has not happened overnight, though it may seem so. It's been coming for over seventy years. Americans have been quietly "asleep" while those who have made war on American values achieved success after success.

We don't want to think about "death and dying" even if some have been shouting the "death and dying" talk from the rooftops. There have been thousands of news articles and speakers all across the country promoting the wonders of end-of-life care, and there is much good that can be done when dedicated professionals make their best effort to relieve suffering at the end-of-life. However, there are some who have dedicated their lives to move American society away from its traditional values, and they have not been asleep. They've been very busy for over seventy years working in the background, training others and teaching in the universities, arranging to have their ideas inserted into public school curricula.

They've written sections of textbook after textbook or controlled the slant of content used to train physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, attorneys, and therefore some of the justices who eventually serve on the courts, until they have succeeded in changing how the powerful-to-be think and act ... how they view the world from deep within. And now the indoctrinated are the powerful. They've even gotten rid of the Hippocratic Oath for graduating physicians in most medical schools (contrary to what we Americans assume). They are accomplishing the last acts of their grand project: changing completely how Americans die and how Americans view death and dying.

When physicians, attorneys and judges as well as other leaders of our society no longer affirm the sanctity of life, and when leaders within health care no longer pledge to "do no harm," there is no obstacle to the devaluation of selected lives and the discarding of those lives.


This book is being provided free of charge as a public service of the Hospice Patients Alliance.

This book contains the most-censored story in America and we cannot guarantee that this information will be available in the future. There are many who do not want you to learn what is contained in this web-book.

So, feel free to save a copy of this book to your computer Email links to this book to your friends Post links to this book on your blog and websites

Permission is granted, and you are encouraged, to post the web-book itself, mirroring it on your blog or website exactly as it is posted here:

As events occurring in real-time are discussed in this book, it will be updated from time-to-time, so check back here periodically for updated versions. Let others know about this vital information!

123 posted on 08/14/2011 11:12:38 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Morgana; NYer; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
The NYT's glorification of infanticide continues.

Threads by Morgana and NYer.

The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy

As Jenny lay on the obstetrician’s examination table, she was grateful that the ultrasound tech had turned off the overhead screen. She didn’t want to see the two shadows floating inside her. Since making her decision, she had tried hard not to think about them, though she could often think of little else. She was 45 and pregnant after six years of fertility bills, ovulation injections, donor eggs and disappointment — and yet here she was, 14 weeks into her pregnancy, choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion. As the doctor inserted the needle into Jenny’s abdomen, aiming at one of the fetuses, Jenny tried not to flinch, caught between intense relief and intense guilt.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...


New York Times Touts “Selective Reduction” as a “Half Abortion”

As if the new York Times couldn’t sink any further down the hole of warped and twisted pro-abortion activism, the Gray Lady is out with yet another “news” piece that moves the newspaper further beyond the pale.

Ruth Pawder is out today with a new story titled “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy,” that focuses on “selective reduction” – the euphemistic phrase given to name the destruction of one or more unborn children in a multiple pregnancy situation where a mother has more than one baby resulting from an IVF pregnancy involving the implantation of multiple human embryos.

The Times never makes it past the second paragraph before showing how “Jenny,” an IVF client, justifies the abortion of one of her twin babies because she didn’t conceive naturally. Jenny’s remarks to the Times are ghastly:

“Things would have been different if we were 15 years younger or if we hadn’t had children already or if we were more financially secure,” she said later. “If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”

But it’s Pawder’s description of Jenny’s actions to extinguish the live of one of her healthy babies that takes the cake for its offensiveness.

“She was 45 and pregnant after six years of fertility bills, ovulation injections, donor eggs and disappointment — and yet here she was, 14 weeks into her pregnancy, choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion,” Pawder writes.

The comment was shocking even to Wendy Wright, the former president of Concerned Women for America, who has been involved in the abortion debate for decades.

“This tragic outcome would have been foreseeable when ‘choice’ became the ultimate god,” she told LifeNews in response. “Yet I doubt that anyone conceived of something so horrible, that people would deliberately conceive children then deliberately abort them simply because they are children. Morality does not change with technology; the intensity of one’s moral decisions increase when beginning with the belief that ‘you can be like God.’”

Wright says the Times article “pulls back the curtain to reveal that women and doctors are choosing who to kill like a sniper decides who to shoot, based on short-term thinking, personal benefits and which victim is accessible. It begs us to question: when will hurting someone’s feelings by saying this is wrong become less important than valuing human life? Perhaps not until it is our own life at stake.”

But, for Pawder and the Times, “selective reduction” is not a big deal — because it’s just a little math.

“What is it about terminating half a twin pregnancy that seems more controversial than reducing triplets to twins or aborting a single fetus? After all, the math’s the same either way: one fewer fetus,” Pawder writes.

That’s the kind of eugenic attitude that the pro-life movement must overcome.

124 posted on 08/14/2011 11:16:45 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Terri's murder was the watershed event in the culture of death's assault on humanity.

Thread by me.

The Fading “Bright Line” of Consciousness In Life & Death Decisions

Most philosophical arguments against the personhood of embryos, fetuses or comatose patients focus on consciousness as the capacity that corresponds to the possession of moral value.  Conscious human beings, even minimally conscious, are obviously ‘one of us’ — have interests, feel pain, perceive objects, and can offer at least rudimentary gestures of self-report.  Since they are “persons” they should not be subjected to purely instrumental treatment such as lethal experimentation or deadly dosages of drugs.  Those who cannot exercise consciousness are either not yet persons (e.g., embryos) or no longer persons (e.g., irreversibly comatose patients).

In end-of-life issues, all the high profile “merciful starvation” debates of the last few decades have concerned patients who have lost the capacity for consciousness (e.g., Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, Terri Schiavo, Aruna Shanbaug, and Tony Bland in the U.K.).  Recall the pictures of Terri Schiavo gazing up fixedly from her bed.  Defenders of her starvation insisted that her fitful states of wakefulness were reflex behaviors devoid of conscious awareness, as if the question of life and death hinged on whether she was ever conscious.  Opponents replied: “starving living human beings is wrong whether or not they are ever conscious.”

How does the secular mind deal with patients who are less than fully conscious?  Are they less than fully human?  If their capacity for conscious experience is compromised through severe disability, are their lives as valuable as those who are full-bodied and strong?  Would it be merciful to starve one whose hope of returning to full consciousness has been lost?  Euthanasia advocates, of course, have always argued that there are some lives that are ‘not worth living.’  But in the jurisprudence of medicine, cases dealing with the lawful withholding of life-sustaining care from patients whose preferences are not clearly stated have drawn the line at consciousness.  That line is now fading.

A British judge was recently asked to decide whether the family of brain damaged woman—known only as M—should be allowed to withhold food and water and let her die.  The 51-year-old woman, severely disabled since 2003, is not comatose, not in a PVS, and is not otherwise dying.  She is very clearly conscious, but minimally so —“a minimally conscious state ”.  Her nurses say she responds to music and conversation and even attempts to communicate with those around her. 

But some of her caregivers believe that her life has lost all meaning: “What can she possibly get out of life?,” M’s sister asks.  “She can't move, speak and she's fed through a tube.  She can't even enjoy a cup of tea.” 

Her sister’s distress is understandable.  But her conclusion that M would be better off dead is terribly misguided.  That’s because the question, “What can M get out of life?” is misguided.  It is true that most of life’s meaning is wrapped up in the conscious pursuit of human goods, in friendship and knowledge, inner peace and harmony with God.  But life’s meaning is not exhausted by the purposeful pursuit of conscious goals.  Even when consciousness has been lost, one great human good still remains: life.  Traditional morality calls it the “intrinsic goodness of human bodily life.”  And that goodness stands as a moral barrier between every person and every intention to harm or kill him or her.  

The life of a neurologically disabled baby, or child, or adult is still good and deserves nurture and care.  Caring for those who are cognitively impaired is good for the disabled, good for their caregivers and good for the community. 

M’s life is good and should be protected from starvation. 

But so too are M’s conscious experiences, however minimal, of being cared for, listening to music and conversing with others.  Is music less enjoyable to her because of her disability?  Perhaps.  But perhaps she enjoys it more.  Can we qualify the value of experience based upon degree neurological ability?  A recent study in the British Medical Journal Open concluded that the majority of Locked-In Syndrome patients (with complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles and yet at least minimally consciousness) are happy.

We’ve heard it before: death’s in her ‘best interest;’ life is ‘of no further benefit’ to her.  Since the Cruzan case in 1990 (and the Bland Case in 1993), PVS patients have been routinely deprived of food and water with the protection of the courts.  There’s no substantive ethical difference between these cases and the case of M.  

But there is a symbolic difference.  Even according to the liberal mind, deliberately bringing about the death of a conscious human being is killing someone—killing ‘one of us’.  If the person doesn’t want to die, it’s called murder.  If he does, it’s assisted suicide.  Consciousness notwithstanding, the case of M is being framed as a simple case of the removal of life-support.  Another watershed about to be breached.

There’s little consolation in saying ‘I told you so.’  Pro-lifers have argued for years that all milestones short of fertilization are arbitrary.  There is nothing bright about the line of consciousness: its onset and expression at the margins of life are both elusive; the organ development necessary for its actualization supplies no light-switch moment where after the final pieces of a hard-wired system are in place, consciousness ‘turns on.’  It is the gradual awakening of a multi-layered capacity—involving the concomitant interaction of anatomical, neurochemical, physiological (and environmental) factors—radically present from fertilization unfolding along the seamless line of development that begins when the entity begins and ends for most when bodily life ceases.  In other words, there is no clear line of consciousness to draw.  Those who set down the line as the fateful marker of personhood, have done so by fiat.  And they erase the line, as we are now seeing, by the same arbitrary means.

"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."

125 posted on 08/14/2011 11:21:10 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

People who are interested in what really happened with Terri Schiavo should know that the actual medical explanation for Terri’s multiple fractures and injuries after she was found face-down, gurgling, with her hands at her neck (with Michael doing nothing) is discussed in the book, Stealth Euthanasia. Just search Terri and they’ll find it. Forensic and medical analysis shows exactly what happened to her and how.

Terri’s execution was the public hospice killing to “educate” the public what can be done, if you really want to, with the approval of the courts and the government.

126 posted on 08/16/2011 2:20:17 PM PDT by ronpanzer (Caring for the vulnerable, not killing, is the sign we are a civilized society.)
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To: ronpanzer; BykrBayb; floriduh voter; Lesforlife; Sun; EternalVigilance; amdgmary
Thanks for your comments, there are many of us here who are very familiar with Terri's murder.

Welcome to FR.

127 posted on 08/16/2011 3:35:20 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: ronpanzer; wagglebee

Welcome aboard Ron. I’m happy to see you here. I hope you’ll be an active poster.

Occasionally you’ll see comments from someone who doesn’t belong here, but according to our founder, Jim Robinson, this is a pro-life site. He was a vocal supporter of Terri Schiavo, and has voiced his support for other victims and potential victims of the euthanasia movement.

Statement by the founder of Free Republic ~ . “As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-God, pro-life, pro-family, pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights...” You should read the whole statement. I think you’ll find most, if not all of it to be right in line with your own views.

I think you’ll also find that Free Republic is a good forum for getting your message out there, and for gathering information to help you in your efforts to defend vulnerable people.

Thank you for your work to protect those in the crosshairs of the euthanasia movement.

128 posted on 08/16/2011 7:40:14 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
The left probably views "Sophie's Choice" with envy.

Thread by me.

IVF mom confesses: I wouldn’t have aborted my twin if I had conceived naturally

August 15, 2011 ( - Unlike aborting a child conceived naturally, ending the life of an unborn child conceived by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) feels like “just another choice” in an already “consumerish” process, one IVF mom confessed in an article for the New York Times.

“If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it,” the mom, “Jenny,” told author Ruth Padawer.

“But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice.

“The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”

Padawer explained in the article that the couple decided to abort the twin because they felt that, “at best, she could give each one only half of her attention and, she feared, only half of her love.” The couple had to fly in a doctor from thousands of miles away because local physicians refused to abort their twin.

While initially a remedy for IVF “megapregnancies” (when numerous embryos unexpectedly survive the implantation process), so-called “selective reduction” abortions have became an option for pregnancies as common and normal as twins.

But aborting a twin has proven difficult to swallow even for the pro-abortion IVF business culture, and many doctors, while allowing other abortions, still refuse to commit them on a twin. One expert quoted in Padawer’s article recalled how, when the question of killing one twin was put to his clinic staff in the late 1990s, “every one of them - the sonographer, the genetic counselors, the schedulers - supported abortion rights, but all confessed their growing unease with reductions to a singleton.”

Padawer ended the article with the story of two anonymous lesbians who both learned they were pregnant with twins through IVF on the first birthday of their son, who was also conceived by IVF. One woman miscarried, and the other aborted one of her unborn children.

While “grateful” that the abortion was possible, the latter woman, who is due in December, said she still wondered if she chose “the right one.”

“Even as it was happening, I wondered what the future would have been if the doctor had put the needle into the other one,” she said.

129 posted on 08/21/2011 10:47:42 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: markomalley; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
"Betrayed" is an understatement.

Thread by markomalley.

Atlanta billboard says blacks ‘betrayed’ by pro-abortion leaders

A new billboard in downtown Atlanta aims to expose the “horrific impact” that abortion has had on the black community and to hold political leaders accountable for supporting abortion.

“We are specifically asking our black leaders to take a look at this issue, because we feel that something is terribly wrong,” said Catherine Davis of the Restoration Project, a co-sponsor of the billboard. “Black women are aborting children at two, three, sometimes five times their presence in the population.”

Other pro-life leaders involved in producing the Atlanta billboard include Day Gardner of the National Black Prolife Union, Star Parker of CURE, and Dr. Alveda King of Priests for Life.

The billboard shows an anguished black woman on a black background with the word “Betrayed!” in blood-red print. It lists the address of the website, which examines the effects of abortion in the black community and criticizes abortion rights supporters such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“They won’t talk about the fact that almost 60 percent of the abortions in this state are done on black women, when we’re only 30 percent of the population,” Davis told EWTN News on Aug. 16.

She said abortion is so affecting the black community that it risks causing black depopulation in some areas. She said that for every 1,000 black babies born alive in New York City, 1,489 die by abortion. In Washington, D.C. for every 100 black babies born alive, 165 are aborted.

“Abortion hurts women. That’s the other thing that women don’t talk about,” Davis added.

Americans don’t know how many women have gone to an abortionist and suffered severe or fatal injuries, she said. For instance, Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell is now charged with killing children born alive and with using unsterilized medical instruments after an investigation revealed incompetent and unsanitary conditions at his office.

The billboard campaign’s website also criticizes leaders like Rev. Jesse Jackson.

In 1977 he authored an opinion piece in National Right to Life News which called life a “gift from God” which no one has the right to take away. However, he later said he supported legal abortion based on “freedom of choice.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson used to be pro-life, Davis said, “until he decided that he wanted to run for political office.”

Members of the Congressional Black Congress say they are watching out for the interests of their constituents, but they have not examined abortion’s impact.

“Instead, you see them repeatedly speaking for and promoting abortion,” Davis said, noting Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson’s opposition to defunding abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

“It’s time that they stopped that.”

Davis believes that these political leaders take their position because they receive political contributions from Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other pro-abortion rights groups.

“And they just refuse to look at the evidence that is very clearly before their eyes.”

The history of abortion in America also includes a racist, eugenicist past, according to Davis. She praised the Life Dynamics documentary “Naafa 21” and recounted efforts of eugenicists like Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

“We know that they want to control the black birth rate in particular, because Margaret Sanger told us when she launched her ‘Negro Project.’ She paid black leaders to begin to teach and preach from the pulpit birth control. Later on her organization moved into abortion.”

“I think this racism is still ongoing,” Davis said, charging that abortion supporters deliberately use black spokespersons to sidetrack objections.

“We are not stupid, and they think we’re too stupid to notice it,” she told EWTN News. “There’s no other ethnic group that has this kind of horrific impact from abortion.”

She said people from traditionally pro-life groups should confront their political leaders of whatever party who are defending abortion.

“We must stop sending these men and women back into elected office, if they are not going to live up to what they tell us.

“We have to stop allowing the culture to dictate the standards. We say, whether we’re Catholic or Protestant or whatever our religious denomination, that we serve a living God.

“We must begin to proclaim the moral standards that God gave us, not what the politically correct culture is dictating.”

Other ad campaigns on race and abortion have proved controversial. One billboard campaign said that Black children are “an endangered species” because of the high abortion rate. The billboard was taken down in New York City because of criticism from local political leaders, harassment and fears of violence.

130 posted on 08/21/2011 10:52:56 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
While Canada shows a glimpse of sanity, Massachusetts wanders closer to the abyss.

Two threads by me.

One of two lawsuits challenging Canadian assisted suicide law dismissed

VANCOUVER, August 18, 2011 ( - A lawsuit filed in British Columbia by the Farewell Foundation for the Right to Die challenging Canadian laws against assisted suicide was rejected by Supreme Court Judge Lynn Smith on August 17.

The case was one of two being heard in B.C. Supreme Court.

Farewell Foundation’s suit was based on a refusal by the British Columbia Registrar of Companies to register the group because the aims of the organization - to establish a non-profit corporation, along the lines of Swiss-based assisted suicide groups, for the purpose of assisting the suicides of its members - contravene the criminal code.

Judge Smith ruled the Farewell Foundation’s case did not have standing because the suit was filed on behalf of anonymous members.

“Justice Smith found that if the Farewell Foundation wished to bring a constitutional challenge, the members whose health is deteriorating must identify themselves,” the group’s lawyer Jason Gratl said in a statement.

Donnaree Nygard, lawyer for the federal attorney general, argued the case was “hypothetical” because the plaintiffs were not facing criminal charges for assisted suicide, according to the Vancouver Sun.

However, Judge Smith informed the suicide group that they were welcome to apply for intervener status in another right-to-die case filed by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) on behalf of the family of Kay Carter, who died by assisted suicide at the Swiss Dignitas suicide center in January 2010, and Gloria Taylor, who lives with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Alex Schadenberg, director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC), says his organization is prepared to intervene in the BCCLA lawsuit as well.

“The Farewell Foundation case attempted to legalize ‘Swiss style’ assisted suicide, while the BCCLA (Carter/Taylor) case is attempting to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide via the court,” Schadenberg said.

“The EPC is particularly concerned with the language of the BCCLA Notice of Application,” Schadenberg warned, “which indicates a particularly negative attitude to the lives of people with disabilities. Living with a disability is not a life not worth living but rather a challenge to society to enable people with disabilities to live with equality and acceptance.”

“The EPC recognizes that the laws that prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide are designed to protect people in the most vulnerable time of their lives, and rejects the concept that it is necessary to legalize euthanasia and/or assisted suicide in order to ensure a ‘death with dignity’.”

Schadenberg pointed out that in Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, the suicide rate has steadily climbed since 2000 with Oregon’s suicide rate now being 35% higher than the national average. This corresponds with other trends that suggest that the social acceptance of assisted suicide creates a suicide contagion effect.

“The EPC considers the BCCLA case to be dangerous to public safety and a recipe for elder abuse,” Schadenberg added.


Massachusetts voters facing right-to-die showdown

QUINCY — It didn’t take Roy Almeida more than a minute to shape an opinion about whether people with a terminal illness should have a legal right to kill themselves with lethal medications.

“I think that anyone who finds they’re terminal, and there’s no turning back, and they decide they want to go, they should have that right,” said the 72-year-old Quincy resident as he sat over morning coffee at Barry’s Deli in Wollaston.

The question dropped on Almeida’s breakfast table could be dropped in front of Massachusetts voters next year if a ballot initiative filed early this month with the state attorney general can pass legal reviews and muster some 70,000 signatures from registered voters.

The proposal to legalize assisted suicide for some terminally ill patients is likely to ignite a lot of debate. It was a controversial enough subject that 643 Patriot Ledger readers chimed in on a website questionnaire.

Nearly three-quarters – 474 – said they would vote in favor of such a referendum.

Backers of the ballot initiative have hired Quincy-based political consultant Michael Clarke to help push the “Death With Dignity Act” onto the 2012 ballot.

The proposed law would permit patients “with a terminal disease that will cause death within six months” to obtain drugs to “end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner.” The plan also requires the patient to be capable of making medical decisions and to consult with physicians.

Similar laws were passed in Oregon and Washington. In Oregon last year, 96 prescriptions for lethal medications were written, and 59 people took their own lives with those drugs.

Oregon enacted its own Death with Dignity Act in 1997, and a Brookline expert on the topic of assisted suicide said Oregon’s law is the standard to emulate.

“It was a wonderful experiment in Oregon when they started, and the experiment worked out,” said Dr. Milton Heifetz, a retired neurosurgeon and former professor at Boston College Law School.

Hiefetz cautioned that the decision should rest with the patient and not the doctor and added that the potential pitfall of these laws is a doctor’s terminal diagnosis.

“It’s very difficult to determine what is six months,” said Heifetz. “But I will say that it should certainly be passed if it’s written right.”

An opponent of such laws is Dr. Michael Grodin, a professor of health law at the Boston University School of Public Health, who called the initiative a symptom of a deeper problem, but not a solution.

“The problem is people don’t die very well. They die in hospitals and in pain when they should be at home with hospice care and with their loved ones,” he said. “I am very wary of assisted suicide when 45 million people don’t have health insurance or access to home health aides. The real issue is to support dying people.”

Outside of academia, the debate seems to elicit gut reactions from people.

Jude Sherman, who was shopping for used books at the Goodwill Store in Quincy, said she would vote against an assisted-suicide ballot question.

“It’s a slippery slope when you start that. Some people might just be weary of life and depressed,” she said. “I do believe people can have good and bad days and might make a bad decision.”

131 posted on 08/21/2011 10:59:26 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Matt_DZ_PL; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
The world's deadliest and most horrific holocaust deserves many memorials.

Thread by Matt_DZ_PL.

Memorial to the murdered unborn children erected in Poland.

[Papal Hill, the outskirts of Lubon near Poznan, Poland]

In the place named Papal Hill in Lubon, Poland, the local people erected a monument named "Testimony of Love" which aims at paying tribute to the murdered unborn children and bearing witness to their innate right to live in dignity.

The inscription on the monument (the words in the red below)  is an excerpt taken from DEUTERONOMY, 30.19

[Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live]


Antyaborcyjny pomnik

Antyaborcyjny pomnik

"...Choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live..." Deuteronomy 30,19

Antyaborcyjny pomnikAntyaborcyjny pomnik

132 posted on 08/21/2011 11:03:12 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Baby Joseph's case proved that the only futility was in believing that people are futile.

Thread by me.

Baby Joseph Cases Show Need for Pro-Life Medical Ethics Team

Baby Joseph

This week, one of the most searing and difficult bioethical cases I have ever encountered was brought to my attention. It involves a premature baby born with serious and substantial developmental anomalies that will in all likelihood cost this little one her life. Before going further with the story, what are most needed at this moment are prayers for Emily (name changed), her mom, and her family. Identifying information has been changed to safeguard the family’s privacy.

Emily was born with over a dozen heart defects, and her trachea and esophagus are joined into one common tube at one point. Because of this defect, the baby can’t eat, as her milk would go into the lungs. She can’t be fed through a tube into the stomach, because any regurgitation would likewise go to the lung. She is on a ventilator with oxygen and receiving morphine, as well as an IV.

When this was called to my attention, I spoke with the mother who was all alone and facing a team of physicians aggressively pushing her to disconnect the baby from life support, telling her that she was making her baby suffer needlessly, that there was no hope for surviving reconstructive surgery. Never mind that morphine attenuates pain and suffering. Second opinions were only sought after the mother’s steadfast refusal to quit on her baby.

I consulted a number of folks who direct organizations in the pro-life movement who could shed light on how to proceed. Legal counsel, medical advice, advocacy, etc., all began to take shape within 24 hours. Researching this defect led to an authoritative team of surgeons who have dealt with this rare condition. They don’t think the baby could survive the surgery. Others have yet to respond.

While things may very well end poorly sooner rather than later, this case along with that of baby Joseph from Canada earlier this year calls out for something new in the pro-life movement.

We need a rapid response team who are known throughout the pro-life movement, who can effect positive intervention within 24 hours. A well-respected physician added to this idea by suggesting that we find one Catholic Hospital, which follows the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (

Such a hospital would have an ethics panel whose phone number would be known to all pro-life organizations, and listed in the National Catholic Directory. This hospital would be the place where the hard cases would be referred, and would work with families to arrange responsible second opinions, pro-life legal counsel, and authentic hospice services (as opposed to the thinly veiled euthanasia in many places) when all else fails.

The cases of baby Joseph and baby Emily highlight the difficulties inherent when pro-lifers are forced to scramble in an emergency situation. What is needed is an ethical, moral, humane, streamlined process by a team willing to commit to a lived vision of authentically Christian healthcare in a system going into free-fall. Such a hospital would be a beacon of light in the encroaching darkness.

Any volunteers?

"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."

133 posted on 08/21/2011 11:07:16 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks always for your posts and pings... on such sad and difficult topics.

134 posted on 08/22/2011 9:03:21 AM PDT by cyn
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To: wagglebee

Thanks for the ping!

135 posted on 08/22/2011 10:04:51 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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