american life league

Euthanasia

 

 

When we talk about “euthanasia,”
what exactly do we mean? 

Today, we usually hear about euthanasia in the healthcare context. For our purposes, “euthanasia” amounts to doing, or not doing, something to intentionally bring about a patient’s death. Because there’s so much confusion surrounding the term, let’s make sure we understand what euthanasia is not.

Euthanasia

 

It is not euthanasia to administer medication needed to control pain. That’s called good medical care. It is not euthanasia to stop treatment that is gravely burdensome to a patient. That’s called letting the patient exercise the moral option to refuse extraordinary medical means. It is not euthanasia to stop tube-feeding a patient whose diseased or injured body can no longer assimilate food and water. That’s called simply accepting death.

In these circumstances, pain control, refusing extraordinary means, and stopping feeding may all allow death. But—and this is crucial to our understanding—unlike euthanasia, their purpose and intent is not to bring about death.

Actually, euthanasia could be called a form of suicide, assisted suicide, or even murder, depending on the patient’s level of involvement and consent. To define euthanasia this way, though, seems to diminish its threat. After all, aren’t there laws or, at the very least, strong social taboos against suicide, assisted suicide, and murder?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the sick and disabled, this is no longer entirely true. And the rationale and cultural forces behind the movement that brought this about threaten even more to tear down the legal and social barriers to killing.

Most of us know about Jack Kevorkian and his efforts to “help” ailing people commit suicide. Many of us may not realize, though, that Kevorkian’s maverick image masks a serious crusade that is building on emerging legal and cultural trends. Our society is poised to accept euthanasia on demand—and worse. What we don’t know about that could kill us.

In sum, it is vitally important to understand that everyone’s most basic right—the right to life—is in jeopardy when our law and collective morality no longer view all persons as equally worthy of life, solely on the basis of our common humanity. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also in our own best interests to protect and cherish weak and vulnerable members of our human family.

In order to do that, we must educate ourselves and others about the growing threat of euthanasia, vigorously oppose its legalization, and pray for the wisdom and compassion to properly comfort, care for, and dissuade those considering suicide.

More information on euthanasia below

 

Euthanasia History

A basic knowledge of the history of the movement to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide—the so-called “right to die” movement—is essential for anyone who hopes to defeat the evil of imposed death. Debates about the ethics of euthanasia and physician-assisted...

Law and Suicide

The following is based on a legal analysis of suicide by Robert M. Byrn, professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, in an article entitled “Compulsory Lifesaving Treatment for the Competent Adult,” Fordham Law Review, Volume 44, October 1, 1975....

The Loving Will

As a person who fully respects human life, you will want to ensure that your actual wishes are understood and carried out. Therefore, you will need a truly pro-life advance directive. A number of pro-life/anti-euthanasia organizations offer directives designed to...

The Schiavo Case and Death by Dehydration

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schindler-Schiavo died of dehydration in a Florida hospice. Heroic efforts to save her life failed to halt Judge George Greer’s cruel order that Terri be denied all food and water until dead. Are you familiar with this case? In 1990, Terri...

Euthanasia Terms and Definitions

The word “EUTHANASIA” comes from two Greek words, “eu” (good or easy) and “thanatos” (death) – or good death. Traditionally, euthanasia has meant an easy, painless death. Now the term is used to mean “mercy killing,” “physician-assisted suicide,” “assisted suicide,”...

Arguments against Euthanasia

Euthanasia is selling death, not life: prolifehealthcare.org/nancy-valko-rn-the-dark-side-of-euthanasia-selling-death-2011.htmlNo matter what you call it—euthanasia, assisted suicide, or something else—it is...

Brain Death: What Catholics Should Know

By Dr. Doyen Nguyen and Dr. Joseph M. Eble Brain death (BD), the declaration of death by neurological criteria, is an established medicolegal practice in the USA and many countries worldwide. In 1968, the Harvard Medical School Ad Hoc Committee introduced BD by...

Living Wills and Advanced Directives

The goal of the euthanasia movement is, in effect, legal and social acceptance of death on demand. For at least some of those who can’t demand death for themselves, the movement would ensure that others are allowed to do it for them. Obviously, the achievement of this...

Strategy & Analysis of Strategic Concepts

Since the euthanasia movement’s goal is to legalize active, voluntary, and, in some cases, involuntary euthanasia, what has to be legalized is what cannot be legalized! That is, we cannot legalize the killing of people who are innocent of unjust aggression against...

Physician-Assisted Suicide

Let’s say a close friend of yours is really sick. According to doctors and specialists, your friend has about a 20% chance of living through the next year. Your friend is in incredible pain around the clock. Now, what if your friend was so desperate and had lost so...

Legislators’ Medical Policy Manual

Legislators’ Medical Policy Manual:Life and Death Decisions by Paul A. Byrne, M.D., FAAPWilliam F. Colliton, Jr., M.D., FACOGJoseph C. Evers, M.D., FAAPTimothy R. Fangman, M.D.Jerome L’Ecuyer, M.D., FAAPFrank G. Simon, M.D.Richard G. Nilges, M.D., FACSJerome T.Y....

Miracles

A non-comprehensive compendium of cases of patients who have awakened and/or improved following a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state, irreversible coma, or death Prepared with the assistance of Julie Grimstad Peter Sana A Hawaii man who spent seven years in a...

A simple, but fact-filled legal analysis of euthanasia and its overall implications for you and your loved ones

A CULTURE OF LIFE IS FOR ALL