Compelling the Living to Die
By Judie Brown
It is with great sadness that we consider the fact that there are now six states that have enacted laws approving physician-assisted suicide—another form of imposed death. In addition, the District of Columbia’s mayor has signed a bill that legalizes the act, but it cannot become law without Congressional approval.
Reportedly, in the case of the District of Columbia, some in Congress propose taking action to block the enforcement of the law, yet only time will tell. In the interim, the act itself remains poorly understood, yet touted by its proponents as the answer to all that ails a person in poor health, suffering from a terminal condition, or aging. However, no matter what you call it, it is still killing. And it is still wrong.
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, has argued that though proponents of assisted suicide wave the “too much pain” flag, something else is at the root of why people wish for assistance in taking their own lives. According to a HealthZette article: “Proponents of these laws often cite excessive pain as the reason people choose suicide. Schadenberg says his research revealed that almost nobody who chose suicide rated their pain very high. Instead, they chose physician-assisted death for social reasons: They didn’t want to be a burden to family members, they felt depressed about their condition, or they felt ashamed about their new disabilities.”
However, the real question is far more complex and deals directly with the underlying fact that those who favor euthanasia are of the same opinion as those who tell us that abortion is merely a simple “choice.” When human beings are no longer valued for their innate dignity as children of God, created in His image, anything goes.
Legalizing any act that results in the direct killing of others always has dire consequences. As bioethicist Margaret Somerville recently wrote: “Legalizing euthanasia means that the rule that we must not intentionally kill another human being—this line in the sand which we must not cross, this most ancient ethical and legal barrier—is breached, indeed annihilated, and beyond it there is no other obvious stopping line which we must not violate, perhaps not even that euthanasia is only acceptable with the consent of the person on whom death is inflicted.”
Clearly, when common sense and logic give way to self-absorption and callous disregard for others, reality is as Flannery O’Connor once wrote: “In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.” Analyzing her comment, Father Dwight Longenecker hits the nail on the head when he explains what O’Connor meant:
People who have left the Christian faith wish to retain the remnants of the Christian faith. They want beauty without truth. They want spirituality without religion. They want forgiveness without sacrifice and they want a life that has tenderness without toughness. They want Christianity without a cross, compassion without control and charity without discipline.
And that’s the point. Just as people are capable of killing their own children prior to birth, they are equally capable of persuading their loved ones that they are better off dead—and they do it with smiles on their faces and darkness in their hearts.
The only way to turn this tide is to educate our fellow human beings about the importance of building a culture of life, loving our brothers and sisters, and surrendering our personal wishes for the good of others in need.
This is why ALL established the Culture of Life Studies Program, and this is why we offer tools to prepare teachers to teach these truths to children of every age, from kindergarten through high school.
We should never curse the darkness or rely on a law to change hearts and minds, for we know that the only way to overcome a selfish desire to compel someone else to die is to show them the way to love as Christ loves.
Join us and become lights who shine truth in this age of darkness. It is the only way to change our culture from one of death to one of life.
Join American Life League as we defend the truth by teaching it with our Culture of Life Studies Program, by showing others how to live it with our Life Defenders program, and when arming others for battle with our Stop Planned Parenthood International program.