You May be the Next Victim

ve8QAd   |   April 04, 2014

When it comes to the culture of death, they’ll stop at nothing. From the unborn to the terminally ill, severely brain injured or elderly—life is treated as disposable. They believe circumstances dictate the quality of life and set arbitrary standards to define who’s worthy of life and care—and chillingly, who’s not.

In the case of euthanasia, it began as a so-called act of “mercy” for individuals who are terminally ill and in “untreatable” pain and suffering. This created a slippery slope that continues to expand upon what justifies assisted-suicide. Around the world, radical pro-euthanasia activists are attempting to define this as a person’s “right to death.”

There’s this push for society to accept assisted-suicides. It’s rationalized that they’re carried out sensibly, with forethought and planning, and often with family support. Valerie Purcell of Australia is an example of one victim. Terminally ill with cancer, she had responded well to palliative care and had few symptoms. Valerie’s major complaint was sitting at home waiting for visitors and feeling she was just waiting to die. In addition, she was discouraged because she wasn’t able to play golf. Rather than providing counseling and support to help Valerie through this transition, she was allowed to “choose to die.”

Dr. Philip Nitschke championed Valerie’s story as an advocate of assisted-suicide. A candidate for the Voluntary Euthanasia Party, Dr. Nitschke is known for hosting euthanasia workshops across Australia. He invites attendees who are age 50 and older to learn about how to end their lives when they consider their life is not worth continuing. His views on octogenarians are especially disturbing. In reference to a statistic that those over 80 are ending their lives at a higher rate than any other age group, he says, “These self-directed octogenarians are voting with their feet. They are exercising their minds and free will to control their passing. Surely, these are statistics our society should be proud of?” It’s apparent that the next victims of euthanasia will be the elderly.

The country of Belgium is an example of what happens when a country embraces euthanasia. No one could have imagined the deadly path that they’ve chosen. Since the legalization of euthanasia in 2002, the assisted-suicide death toll has risen. Deaths rose by a rate of 25% from 2011 to 2012. One troubling account relays how 45-year-old twin brothers who were deaf were told they would soon lose their eyesight. Even though they were otherwise healthy, they found a doctor willing to kill them by lethal injection. Soon after, Belgium expanded legal euthanasia to include children. As a direct result of this extremist move, Russia has now proposed a ban on anyone from Belgium to adopt Russian children. If a country is willing to execute its most vulnerable, how can there be any assurance that it’ll care for and protect the innocent?

Concerns about assisted-suicide also extend to the UK. As they debate the legalization of euthanasia, concerned citizens are wary after witnessing the liberal euthanasia law of Belgium. Baroness Campbell has a degenerative disease and is in a wheelchair. In an interview with Charisma News, she explains the grave gradual progression that follows the legalization of euthanasia. “At the moment, they say they want assisted-suicide for people who are terminally ill. But how long will that last and who decides what is terminal? If terminal illness, why not chronic and progressive conditions? And if chronic and progressive conditions, why not seriously disabled people?” She concludes with a wrenching statement, “I’m already on the list,” she says. Once you allow the devaluing of life to begin, there are no bounds to who may become the next victim.

When culture permits us to make decisions about who lives and who dies, that mindset inevitably permeates society. A tragic case in the UK reveals that 49-year-old Angela Douglas smothered her sick, elderly mother with a pillow. Her mother suffered from breathing problems and had a heart attack, but was not terminally ill. In an attempt to rationalize the killing, Angela reportedly stated, “She had not been well for a long time. I think it is cruel the way she has been treated. She was in and out of the hospital. I thought it was unfair. I thought if she went to sleep she would not be in pain anymore.” In this situation, most are appalled and demand justice. Yet, it is that very same mindset that puts to death thousands in the countries where euthanasia is legal.

While these battles over assisted-suicide are being waged around the world, America would be wise to learn from their deadly mistakes. Euthanasia in the US is closer than you think. In fact, a provision that endorses and funds physician-assisted suicide is included within Obamacare. Without citizens taking action, euthanasia could become a common and accepted occurrence.

A resource that can help you navigate the challenges of end-of-life care is Embrace the Journey. This detailed course prepares you to deal with a variety of issues, including health care decisions, medical ethics, legalities and also the emotional and spiritual aspects. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and share this information to increase awareness. After all, one day it may be your life or the life of a loved one that hangs in the balance.

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