Assisted Living Or Assisted Dying: Take Your Pick

February 18, 2009 09:00 AM

People who live in assisted living communities or those who are contemplating such a move should meet my husband's cousin, Shirley. She is a living dynamo, and at the ripe young age of 85, she is proof positive that with a smile and fine glass of concentrated black cherry juice for your gout, life really can be a bowl of cherries …even when you are recovering from a stroke.

She is a precious woman, and while I have never discussed the ramifications of what is happening in America right now in terms of the advance of euthanasia with her, I am positive she would look me straight in the eye and say, "Honey, that's murder and that's awful!"

Indeed it is, but that doesn't seem to stop the deadly steamroller driven by the assisted suicide experts, each of whom would deny to your face that what they advocate is really murder. For example, a judge in Montana has decided, not once but twice, that there is nothing criminal about giving a terminally ill patient lethal drugs so that he can kill himself. A doctor, by the way, provided the drugs.

The judge, Dorothy McCarter of Helena District, issued a ruling which is reported to have a final effect for one and all in the state. Says one report:

Since this case sets a precedent, what's legally permissible for Mr. Baxter is automatically legal for all.

And further

Following the decision, some called on the Montana Medical Association to intervene, but the organization refused to get involved. Organizations have criticized the MMA for not submitting an amicus brief demanding the ruling be overturned.

Montana now joins Oregon and Washington as the only three states in the nation to allow assisted suicides, though the practice is legal and acceptable in many other countries around the world.

As one proponent of helping Mr. Baxter take his own life said in an interview this past December, "A mentally competent, terminally ill Montanan should have the right to choose a peaceful death, when confronted by death," Kathryn Tucker, Compassion & Choices director of legal affairs, told KTVQ-TV in Billings.

Note if you will, the carefully chosen words Tucker uses in her defense of assisted murder. See the "right to choose" rear its ugly head again… not really too surprising, is it?

So now, the state of Montana has distinguished itself as the third state, barring any ethical act of the legislature to overturn this judge's arrogant ruling, to decriminalize killing at the other end of life's spectrum.

And according to what I heard today, New Hampshire may be state number four.

Tomorrow in the New Hampshire legislature House Bill 304 will be heard. The description of what this bill will do, if it is enacted in the state, defies anything that remotely resembles common sense, so let me simply list what we received from New Hampshire Right to Life in their alert:

  1. This act, among other things, will give government health programs, managed care programs and others the opportunity to cut health care costs by encouraging vulnerable patients to request assisted suicide.
  2. It permits doctors to prescribe assisted suicide drugs for individuals who might have a long life expectancy.
  3. It lets greedy heirs, exhausted caregivers, or uncaring health care providers and their friends serve as witnesses for a patient's written assisted suicide request.
  4. Permits doctors to prescribe assisted suicide drugs to patients who are not NH residents.
  5. Lets doctors help depressed or mentally ill patients commit suicide without providing any type of counseling or psychological evaluation.
  6. Lets doctors help patient commit suicide even after the patient is found to have impaired judgment.
  7. Lets a doctor write an assisted suicide prescription for a patient without seeing the patient in person after a diagnosis of a terminal condition is made.
  8. Allows drugs for suicide to be sent to the patent by mail or courier.
  9. Forces hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities to allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs or otherwise participate in patients' assisted suicide deaths on the premises.
  10. Has no safeguards for the patient at the time the drug overdose is taken.
  11. Has no provisions to investigate inaccurate, incomplete and misleading reports or to investigate abuse surrounding assisted suicide deaths.

If this list, which I describe as the 11 commandments of death, has you as infuriated as it has me, then please spread the word, because if such a bill can pass in the once "conservative" New Hampshire, the sky's the limit for the proponents of this new way to save costs and cut health care benefits. It does not seem to faze those who support this that people will actually die prematurely. But then again, these are the people who call themselves compassionate (ahem!).

Our hats are off, by the way, to the marvelous attorney Rita Marker, who has devoted her life to defending the vulnerable from the threat of euthanasia, regardless of how it masquerades. Rita wrote a complete analysis of the New Hampshire bill which is a study in dangerous language and how to effectively expose it.

Each of the points noted in the New Hampshire Right to Life list is fully explained by Marker. And it would be well worth your time to review the analysis, because every single one of us needs as many talking points as we can develop in our quest to eliminate the love of death that permeates every nook and cranny of the evil house being built by the architects of the culture of death.

This sort of news, coming as it does from the great state of New Hampshire and the beautiful, majestic state of Montana, reminds me of something the editors of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano wrote in conjunction with the starvation death of // &l=143149_HTML&u=16568408 " target="_new">Terri Schiavo, "Who can judge the dignity and sacredness of the life of a human being, made in the image and likeness of God? Who can decide to pull the plug as if we were talking about a broken or out-of-order appliance?"

I imagine that Cousin Shirley would have her own way of describing these recent repugnant events, and I think she would probably tell us that the world is getting far too horrifying and there's something we all need to do about that … stop the cancerous evil from spreading.

She would be right, of course. Cousin Shirley is happy even in her pain and she loves being part of an assisted living community. And as she would say of the alternative, "Honey, that's murder and that's awful!"

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