The tragic reality of 'covert euthanasia'

By Matt C. Abbott

Pope Francis has spoken about the tragic reality of “covert euthanasia.”

From a May 6, 2013 Catholic News Service story:

While the fight to preserve life is often centered on abortion and capital punishment, the future Pope Francis also warned against a more subtle form of disregard for human dignity—what he called “covert euthanasia.”

“In this consumerist, hedonist and narcissistic society, we are accustomed to the idea that there are people that are disposable,” among them, the elderly, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio said in a recently published book.

Citing examples of intentional neglect, the future pope said: “I believe that today there is covert euthanasia: Our social security pays up until a certain amount of treatment and then says ‘May God help you.’”

The book, On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century, was released in English April 19 by Image Books, a division of Random House.

I covered the topic of “covert euthanasia”—also known as “stealth euthanasia” and what I referred to as “quiet euthanasia”—in a 2010 column.

Ron Panzer, founder and executive director of the pro-life Hospice Patients Alliance, said that “hundreds of thousands of patients are killed in the world each year in this manner, and no police or district attorney will act to investigate or prosecute.”

Panzer is the author of two e-books, Stealth Euthanasia and Restoring the Culture of Life.

IN STEALTH EUTHANASIA, HE WRITES :

Euthanasia advocates do not recognize the possibility of miracles, spiritual healing, or the value of the lives of the severely disabled. The euthanasia advocates at Compassion & Choices know that rogue hospice which has been given a free pass to hasten death by all levels of government, will accomplish their goals of bridging the gap between where we are today and their “final solution.” Now, direct euthanasia is illegal throughout the country and assisted suicide is legalized only in a few states.

Once the P.O.L.S.T. forms or advanced directives are filled in for almost all patients, and health care rationing is stepped up through the government Medicare or Medicaid systems, or rationing done by private managed-care organizations, when a personal health crisis arises, the elderly and severely disabled will have no option other than going into hospice and/or palliative care; treatment will not be available because funding will be cut off for other treatments!

Rogue hospices will accomplish what the Euthanasia Society’s elite never could do: Euthanize the unwanted, elderly, severely disabled, and/or medically-complex chronically ill. You won’t hear about it happening, though. Thanks to HIPAA’s Privacy Shield, the wall of silence will prevent widespread reporting. You will only hear about someone here or there who “went into hospice.” It’s all been very well thought-out to reduce public outcry.

IN RESTORING THE CULTURE OF LIFE, PANZER WRITES:

The deceptive practices used in many modern medical settings, to manipulate life so that death is imposed while pretending to provide care is the dishonest nature of the evil we call stealth euthanasia. The most common method utilized to impose death on many thousands of patients is “terminal” or “palliative” sedation—sedating the patient permanently while withholding fluids and nutrition. Family members who respect the sanctity of life are misled to believe the patient is naturally sleeping, yet a coma has been medically induced which prevents patients from eating or drinking, and is then continued until death occurs from dehydration. Health care staff even withhold fluids and nutrition from those who had been receiving nutrition and fluids through a tube. Other methods are also used to impose death. Those family members who seek to hasten death are instructed in the means of hastening death and are brought into the circle of conspirators in assuring that death comes unnaturally.

Stealth euthanasia is neither open euthanasia nor assisted suicide, and multiple lies are told by almost all staff members in order to commit this “third way” of imposing death in the healthcare setting. Stealth euthanasia is the most common and widely-practiced form of medical killing within the culture of death today. . . . 

Many nations long ago adopted policies towards the vulnerable that are now duplicating those implemented by the Nazis. Forced sterilizations, mandatory abortions, involuntary euthanasia, and involuntary medical experimentation upon the vulnerable are all well-known to be widely practiced somewhere in the world today.

Regarding euthanasia, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches (paragraphs 2277 and 2324):

Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic columnist with a bachelor of arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. He has worked in the pro-life movement and is a published writer focused on Catholic and social issues. He can be reached at .

This article has been reprinted with permission and can be found at http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/130509.

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