A silent and deadly epidemic is moving across America. No one is broadcasting it. No one is writing about it. Almost no one is even talking about it. But every day in hospitals, nursing homes and hospices across the country, more and more of our medically vulnerable loved ones are being euthanized.
Indeed, some physicians have admitted to this behavior. A 1998 article from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that hastening death is occurring and is not rare. In a survey of 355 oncologists, (15.8%) reported participating in euthanasia or physician assisted suicide, and 38 of 53 (72%) oncologists described clearly defined cases of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide.1
These decisions are being made by paid medical professionals. And loved ones, to their horror, are finding theyre not even part of the discussion. The patients crimes? Theyre charged with having insufficient quality of life, being too expensive to keep alive, and being beyond the reach of medical science and therefore beyond hope.
Such judgments may lie behind what seems to be an increase in the brain death diagnosis. The difficulty of making a pinpoint diagnosis in such complex neurological mattersand the lucrative financial incentives to harvest organswill ultimately propel this issue into the forefront of public consciousness and discourse.
Not surprisingly, the current procurement market for human tissues and organs in the United States is booming, driven by insufficient supply and heavy demand. According to The Milliman Report (see page 4), if all 11 tissues and organs could be harvested from a single patient declared brain-dead, however unlikely, the going rate for procurement would exceed half a million dollars. If all costs related to those 11 transplants are countedpreparation, physicians services, post-op care and the likethe money involved exceeds $5.5 million.2
Its crucial to shed a bright light on this menacing darkness, but we need your help. Here are four ways you can assist:
First, we need to hear from healthcare workers and professionals. If youve witnessed this happening in your work environment, please come forward and share your observations with us. Perhaps you or someone you know has inside knowledge of the organ donation process as it relates to a situation of euthanasia.
Second, we need your personal stories. Were also looking for family members willing to share healthcare experiences involving a loved one that are similar to what weve conveyed in this letter.
Please trust that if you request your identity be held in confidence, that confidentiality will not be violated.
Third, we need people willing to be interviewed on camera. We have a golden opportunity to educate more Americans to euthanasia in our midst. A special episode of the Emmy© award-winning pro-life television series Facing Life Head-On with Brad Mattes plans to feature real-life accounts of people sharing specifics of this American travesty. The program reaches tens of millions of American households, so imagine the number of people whose eyes could be opened. America will be told what is happening to the elderly, the chronically sick and the cognitively disabled. If necessary, we can keep the identity of our TV guests confidential.
Finally, we need your prayers. This is, first and foremost, a battle against powers and principalities. We cannot hope to win on our own. Only the power of prayer will permit us to expose this hideous and inhumane attack on precious human life.
If you prefer not to be on television, we still need you. Our ultimate goal is to build a network of people who can speak publicly about these issues to educate others regarding this horrific, unnoticed practice. This may entail speaking to pro-life groups or others sympathetic to protecting innocent human life; addressing a state legislative committee regarding pending legislation; or speaking to a hospital ethics committee as they struggle with a challenging situation or policy. Our goal is to develop a network of experienced experts who can speak directly to the issues at hand.
This is literally a life-and-death matter. And we who are blessed to have life and a voice must intervene to help those who are in danger of having life taken from them. We hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely for the vulnerable among us,
Bradley Mattes Bobby Schindler Executive Director Executive Director Life Issues Institute Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network
1 http://www.hospicep atients.org/questionable-death.html