More is at stake than just the economy in this presidential election season. In fact, the manufactured economic woes of our country are in some ways a smokescreen to keep our minds off the weightier moral issues that are not being talked about to any significant degree or in any depth. There real issues upon which our future as a nation depends are the life issues! To that effect, euthanasia, euphemistically called “physician-assisted suicide,” is on the ballot in Washington State, and if we don’t support those who are valiantly fighting this pernicious movement, this new virus of the culture of death could kill us all.
Actually this is not an entirely new front in the culture wars: Oregon blazed the euthanasia trail in 1997 when their physician-assisted suicide law went into effect. Now, the Washington State Initiative 1000 (I-1000) is almost a carbon copy of the Oregon law and just as deadly. I would invite all our Spirit and Life® readers to support with prayer and donations the group called the “Washington Coalition Against Assisted Suicide” in their efforts to stop I-1000. (See sidebar for more information on how to help.)
Here are just a few of the salient facts about euthanasia for your consideration:
Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia flow from seriously flawed notions of human dignity:
- The euthanasia worldview is based on the “Quality of Life” ethic (where the value of life is dependent upon lifestyle considerations) as opposed to the “Sanctity of Life” ethic (where life is valued in itself).
- This worldview says that sickness and suffering are meaningless even though we have better medical technology and palliative (pain-control) care than ever before in the history of humanity; it doesn’t acknowledge that human suffering always creates opportunities for generosity, heroism and even sanctification.
- Decisions to euthanize people are based primarily on utilitarian concerns rather than on human decency despite all the lip service to “compassion” and “mercy” that are used to promote it; talk of healthcare rationing is simply preparing the way for a great killing spree for the sick and elderly.
The connection between abortion and euthanasia is chilling:
- Euthanasia advocates distort language to make killing seem like a virtue: words like “autonomy” and “self-determination” mimic the “freedom of choice” rhetoric of abortion; in fact, the main euthanasia advocacy group in Washington State is actually called “Compassion and Choices.”
- Medical professionals are transformed from healers into killers – suicide-assisting doctors essentially become the new abortionists of the sick and elderly.
- Requirements for safeguards, reporting, informed consent, etc. are talked about with such seriousness when they are trying to get laws passed and then are ignored when the laws go into effect; and there is never any real enforcement of the laws once they are on the books.
- The moral slippery slope gets steeper when you legalize killing; “death with dignity” and the “right to die” soon become the “duty to die” just as “a woman’s right to choose” usually drives away any other options but abortion.
The true irony is that the baby-boomers will double the number of elderly by the year 2020, and they are the likely candidates for euthanasia. The generation that gave us abortion on demand is now in the crosshairs of a selfish generation of pagan activists who were spawned by “choice.” We have a chance in both national and local elections to proclaim that we are a people of life in this election. Let us make sure our voices are heard!