The Arsenic of Human Kindness

June 26, 2015 09:00 AM

The Washington Post has a way with words when it comes to topics such as euthanizing the elderly and the dying. A recent headline, “A Humane Way to End Life,” caught my eye because of the underlying message that assisted suicide is actually a good idea. In the editorial, characterized as “The Post’s View,” the editorial board tells readers: 

The issue stirs strong emotions. Some opponents, including the Catholic Church, cite religious or moral grounds, seeing any form of assisted dying as anathema to teachings that life is never to be taken. Some physicians believe the practice violates their oath only to heal, and some disability rights activists fear that they will be vulnerable to abuses. Others warn of a slippery slope to euthanasia.

But the writers go forward providing assurances to readers that if proper safeguards are in place there should be laws permitting those suffering and/or dying to do what they feel is best so that they can die on their own terms.

This sort of skewed attitude flies in the face of actual facts that sadly, few care to study. According to one report, assisted-suicide abuses are known to exist. As one New York Times headline announced three years ago, “Assisted Suicide Laws Are a Recipe for Elder Abuse.” 

It is painfully clear to rational minds that assisted suicide laws are used to eliminate folks at earlier and earlier stages in their illnesses, yet none of this appears to influence the writers on the editorial board of the Washington Post. And they are not alone.

United States Senators Mark Warner and Johnny Isakson have introduced S. 1549, “a bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for advanced illness care coordination services for Medicare beneficiaries, and for other purposes.” This is, of course, a fancy way of stating that the government would like to get involved in helping older folks agree to a premature death. According to one report citing the National Right to Life Committee’s examination of “Bias Against Life-Preserving Treatment in Advance Care Planning,” the advanced care planning session that the new bill would authorize and subsidize would be “used to exercise subtle—or not-so-subtle—pressure” on patients and/or family members “to agree to reject life-preserving treatment.” Further, “Entities conducting such programs openly boast of how much money they have saved insurance companies by inducing patients to reject expensive life-saving medical treatment. Advocates believe it will save Medicare money as well.”

What could possibly be more dangerous to our elderly and those who are ill than government-funded programs that are not concerned with a happy death, but rather with saving money by putting patients out of their misery earlier rather than later?

Reports like these remind me of the reasons why we fight so hard and have for so long sounded the alarm regarding respect for human dignity—a value that shrinks with the passage of each day. 

The choices that people make resulting in the premature deaths of others, both born and preborn, are not a sign of a freedom but rather a clear indication that mankind is losing its ability to value human beings for their own sake.

It is evident that the culture of death goes on ignoring facts, ignoring ethics, and ignoring all that is good in favor of killing under the guise of being humane and kind.

The arsenic of human kindness seeps further and further into the national conscience daily. The inevitable death of society as we know it will be the final result unless the tide is turned.

We must stand in the gap and fearlessly work to turn that tide.

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