Incentives to Kill
By Judie Brown
Stephanie Packer is a wife and mother of four who has discovered that the terminally ill are often nothing more than pawns in a deadly game of killing. Packer suffers from a terminal form of an autoimmune disease called scleroderma and has precious little time left with her family.
To help prolong her life, her doctors want to try a different infusion chemotherapy drug, but her insurance company has other ideas. It seems that “when Packer followed up with her insurance company in one of many failed attempts to obtain approval for participation in a promising clinical trial, she was flummoxed when a Medicare representative said the company wouldn’t approve the UCLA-based trial, but instead would charge just $1.20 for a medication to end her life.”
This is just one example of how assisted suicide is viewed as a legitimate alternative to living.
We see another example in Canada, where a man whose son recently committed suicide is now pushing for assisted suicide laws in his country. Why? Because his son Adam, who had been suffering with mood disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder since he was a young boy, felt he could no longer deal with his problems and took his own life. Prior to his death, Adam had been an advocate for assisted suicide, but when it became clear that the laws were not going to change so that he could get help in his quest to die, he took matters into his own hands.
Wesley J. Smith, a writer and advocate for human life and dignity, points out the obvious, saying: “Once society broadly accepts the agenda of killing as an acceptable end to human suffering, we eliminate suffering by eliminating the sufferers.”
Whether it is the cruelty of insurance companies or the failure of doctors to treat the suffering, the incentive to kill appears to be on the rise in our civilized society. If this were not the case, mainstream media would not be talking positively about the new Lifetime series Mary Kills People. Mary is a fictional ER doctor who practices medicine while also playing the role of a so-called Angel of Death, “meaning she helps terminally ill patients decide when the time has come to end their lives.” One reviewer tells readers: “It's never suggested that Mary's work, to which she's committed even at the risk of her liberty or safety is, if a little reckless, anything but admirable; she is not willy-nilly a murderer.”
In case you have not yet concluded that, in fact, Mary is a murderer whose practices are being glorified because they are “humane,” the New York Times can help you see the light. In its review we read that the series is “entertaining.” The Times even highlights the fact that there exists a dark humor that surrounds the way patients are helped out of their lives!
The problem here is perhaps not so much that assisted suicide is presented in various ways as a humane practice rather than a crime against the innocent, but rather that Americans and Canadians appear to have an all too eager appetite for the practice and want to see it decriminalized.
Perhaps this is not shocking in a nation that has been killing babies for decades, but it is sobering nonetheless. And it should show us that we—as a pro-life people—must persist in teaching our desensitized brothers and sisters that there is a genuine value to suffering and nothing but evil in a practice that kills the suffering.
ALL’s Culture of Life Studies Program’s blog post on the value of suffering reminds us of this fact:
In our suffering, God gives us the opportunity to unite ourselves to His son through Christ’s death on the cross. When we suffer with Christ and offer up our pain to Him, we are given the opportunity not to suffer in vain. Sometimes God allows us to suffer, knowing that our suffering will draw us closer to Him. Our sufferings then become a prayer and a sacrifice as God turns something unpleasant and bad into something good and meaningful.
Our culture is obliged to offer help and support for people to live in and through Christ. We must never take an innocent human being's life. Let us teach others how to live as Christ wants us to live!
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