Sunday 1st August 2021

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Slippery Slope To Euthanasia

February 20, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By MIKE MANNO

“Death with dignity,” they call it; others claim it is a “compassionate choice.” To me it is “doctor-prescribed death.” But no matter what you call it, it is the road to euthanasia; a path that has been tread by far too many venues already.
The concept of voluntary — or even involuntary — death to prevent suffering goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and was a fairly universally accepted proposition in pagan societies. However, as Christianity spread throughout Europe, suicide — voluntary or not — became a moral issue and emphasis was placed on the dignity of life, as society tended to follow the teachings of the Church and life was treated as a gift from God, and disrespect for it was considered sinful.
Challenges to the prevailing Christian view of suicide came over time, but in 1917 a doctor’s public decision to allow a newborn with numerous physical ailments to die rather than perform surgery started a national debate about death and suffering. In the early 1950s several British and American groups petitioned the United Nations to amend its Declaration on Human Rights to include the right of “merciful death,” which included euthanasia.
Then in the 1970s cases like that of Karen Quinlan opened the debate again when the New Jersey Supreme Court allowed Karen’s parents to discontinue their comatose daughter’s respirator. The 1990s saw the rise of Dr. Jack Kevorkian and serious efforts to legalize doctor-prescribed death; a few cases did reach the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled there was no constitutional “right to die.”
Oregon in 1994 then became the first U.S. state to legalize assisted suicide, passing its Death With Dignity Act. There followed numerous nations and states which legalized assisted suicide, including the states of Washington, Vermont, Montana, California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, as well as the nations of Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Each step along the way the proponents of assisted suicide claim that it is humane, that there are safety precautions, and that it will not lead to euthanasia. Here in Iowa there is a barnyard epitaph that one could use to describe those claims.
In the states, most assisted-suicide laws follow similar patterns. First, a patient must make a request to a physician, who if he approves, must have another physician also approve. The requirement for receiving the lethal prescription is that the patient be of sound mind and have a terminal illness. However, that is no longer the case.
First, terminal illness was defined as an illness or condition that untreated will lead to death within six months. Diabetes and many other conditions qualify, even though, properly treated, a diabetic can live a normal life for many years. In Oregon it was found that some terminally ill patients were taking the “suicide pills” three years after they were prescribed.
The request to a physician usually needs to be written and made in front of a witness. There are no guidelines as to whom that witness need be. So one who stands to inherit or who is just tired of being a caretaker can sign for Uncle Ned and the requirement is met.
After that there is no requirement that there be a witness to the patient taking the drugs; literally, if Uncle Ned is having second thoughts a caretaker could easily slip the drugs into his food. In a survey of Oregon and Washington deaths, the range of time between when the drugs are requested and used is between 15 and 1,009 days, and, of course, some never take the drugs at all, suggesting that there may be a lot of changing of minds.
A safeguard that could have been in the law is that of a psychiatric evaluation before a death-dealing prescription could be writ, but no, it’s not there. In fact, the Oregon Department of Health reported that only 5.5 percent of all such patients received an evaluation.
And, of course, now the purveyors of death are actively seeking the right to serve the mentally ill. Now see how far all the “safeguards” have gone. You don’t need to be terminal, your caretaker can grind up the pills and put them into your oatmeal, and now you need not be of sound mind.
In Delaware, for example, the sponsor of a bill legalizing assisted suicide has amended the bill to include “intellectually disabled” in the definition of terminally ill. According to the bill, an intellectually disabled person will be assigned a social worker to explain things to the patient.
Understand, these are people who — due to their mental impairment — have no right to provide for their own medical care, enter into a simple legal contract, or even vote, yet they are expected to understand what a social worker is telling them about their own “choice” of suicide.
Then there is the question of costs. Dr. Brian Callister, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Nevada, was a guest on my old Faith On Trial radio program, where he told of transferring two patients to doctors in California and Oregon. Neither patient was terminal, but in both cases the companies handling the insurance asked if he had thought about assisted suicide for them.
Then there are the well-known stories about Oregon residents who applied for cancer-treating drugs, but were told the state couldn’t pay for the drugs but would pay for a lethal prescription from a death doctor. Think there won’t be pressure on poor old Uncle Ned to seek the less expensive “treatment”?
We keep pushing the envelope and bit by bit we end up equating assisted suicide with euthanasia. Alex Schadenberg, of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, is reporting this month that Oregon is debating a bill allowing the withholding of nutrition and hydration from people who are incompetent but not necessarily terminal. What it means is they can be killed by dehydration.
If we are not careful and become too accepting of the mantra of death, we could easily end up like Belgium, where children can now be euthanized, and the Netherlands, where people have been euthanized for such trivial conditions as tinnitus, a ringing in the ears.
There was a troubling case in the Netherlands involving an elderly woman who had signed a directive asking to be euthanized in case of dementia. There was some difficulty with the wording and her intention was not clear. Her doctor was called to her home where she denied that she wanted to die and became quite agitated.
To settle her down, the doctor put a sedative in her coffee and as he attempted to deliver the fatal injection, she fought back. Finally, her family members held her down while the doctor successfully executed the patient.
There was an investigation of the doctor but the appropriate authorities found that he had acted in “good faith.”
In another case a 29-year-old mentally ill woman was euthanized just last month.
It should be noted that both Belgium and the Netherlands permit euthanasia for the mentally ill along with harvesting their organs.
The Dutch National Institute of Health found that between 2012 and 2016 there were 33 cases wherein regulators found that physicians dispensing death had broken at least one rule while providing their services, but none was found to be serious enough to warrant a criminal complaint!
And so it goes, as Andrew T. Walker wrote in National Review, once the regime of death has a foothold it is hard to restrict. And, of course, this doesn’t include efforts by the merchants of death to force reluctant physicians and hospitals to cooperate with killing patients — as reported in my column last week.
Yes, it is very hard to restrict; we’re finding that out now — the hard way.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Kamala Harris Skips Border Crisis But Picks Up A Rosary - https://t.co/U1Mv6WdjUD

Load More...

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

House passes bill setting up path to citizenship for millions of Dreamers

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday passed an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

The Misleading AP Attack on the Catholic Church for Accepting COVID Relief

In early 2020, a pandemic came to America. We started staying home, then we were ordered to stay home. The market tanked. The economy tanked. Unemployment soared. You remember all this, because you lived it. We all did. Congress created a…Continue Reading

Catholic bishop released five days after kidnapping in Nigeria

CNA Staff, Jan 1, 2021 / 10:42 pm MT (CNA).- A Catholic bishop in Nigeria, who was kidnapped on Sunday, has been released unharmed, according to the Archdiocese of Owerri. The diocese, which is in southeastern Nigeria, announced in a social…Continue Reading

More GOP senators vow to challenge Biden’s win

WASHINGTON – A last-ditch effort by President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election thrust Washington into chaos Saturday as a growing coalition of Republican senators announced plans to rebel against Senate leaders by seeking to block formal…Continue Reading

Underground Catholic bishop dies in China

CNA Staff, Dec 31, 2020 / 03:25 pm MT (CNA).- According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. Han Jingtao was the…Continue Reading

‘All-star,’ ‘brilliant jurist’: Pro-life leaders thrilled Trump nominated Barrett to Supreme Court

September 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is “an absolute all-star” and “a judicial role model for the next generation,” pro-life leaders said today.  If confirmed, Barrett will replace pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just…Continue Reading

Farewell, Uncle Di: Father Paul Mankowski, RIP

My editorial career has brought me into close contact with quite a few impressive thinkers. I have worked with famous authors, with noted theologians and philosophers, with canny political strategists, with at least a half-dozen Nobel Prize winners. Among them…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Bishop Paprocki: “The problem has not been solved, but tensions have been heightened.”

“It is a mistaken notion that those who attend [the Traditional Latin Mass] are merely nostalgic; that has not been my experience at all…” says the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. “Anyone who thinks that when the older generation dies off that the Latin Mass will fade away is not being realistic.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke . . . Statement on the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes»

Many faithful – laity, ordained and consecrated – have expressed to me the profound distress which the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes» has brought them. Those who are attached to the Usus Antiquior (More Ancient Usage) [UA], what Pope Benedict XVI called the Extraordinary Form, of the Roman Rite are deeply disheartened by the severity of the discipline which the Motu Proprio imposes and offended by the language it employs to describe them, their attitudes and their conduct.…Continue Reading

Catholic Bishop Denies Democrat Politician Communion Because He Supports Killing Babies in Abortions

A pro-abortion New Mexico lawmaker reportedly was denied communion over the weekend by Catholic Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces. The Daily Caller reports New Mexico state Sen. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, said Saturday that the bishop refused to allow him to participate in the sacrament because of his “political office.” “I was denied communion last night by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces and based on my political office,” Cervantes wrote on Twitter. “My new parish priest has indicated he will do the…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone: Traditional Latin Mass will continue in San Francisco

San Francisco, Calif., Jul 16, 2021 / 13:03 pm As diocesan bishops consider how to implement Pope Francis’ motu proprio on the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, the Archbishop of San Franciso has said it will continue to be available in his local Church. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told CNA July 16 that “The Mass is a miracle in any form: Christ comes to us in the flesh under the appearance of…Continue Reading

From Fr. Z’s Blog . . . Motu Proprio Day . . . Much more to Follow

Rome, 16 July 2021 Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, Just as my Predecessor Benedict XVI did with Summorum Pontificum, I wish to accompany the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes with a letter explaining the motives that prompted my decision. I turn to you with trust and parresia, in the name of that shared “solicitude for the whole Church, that contributes supremely to the good of the Universal Church” as Vatican Council II reminds us.[1]

The Importance Of Humor In A Time Like This

By DONALD DeMARCO “Do not abandon yourselves to despair,” said Pope St. John Paul II. “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Such a joyful declaration should give all of us renewed hope. And our hallelujah song should be a happy heart that is filled with merriment.In his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas…Continue Reading

Why The Left Can’t Let Go Of January 6

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN To understand what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee investigation of the Capitol Hill events of January 6 is all about, a good place to begin is with the sentencing hearing the past week of Paul Hodgkins.A crane operator from Tampa, Florida, Hodgkins, 38, pleaded guilty to a single count of…Continue Reading

Root Causes Underlie Cuban Crisis

By JOHN J. METZLER NEW YORK — Cuba’s ongoing political and social upheaval has shocked many observers as a sudden and intense summer storm. Across the island in small towns and provincial centers protests erupted like a squall line until reaching the capital, Havana. Tropical storm “Liberdad” was lashing the island of Cuba while its…Continue Reading

For Strident Times . . . How The Liturgy Is Healing Medicine

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on July 13 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + One of the most concise and cogent descriptions of these often strident times came from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 1986. It is contained in, of all places, his treatise on the…Continue Reading

Alliance Defending Freedom… Calls For End To Religious Persecution In Nigeria

WASHINGTON, D.C. — ADF International on July 14 hosted a dinner event on the grave challenges facing Nigeria regarding the protection of religious freedom. Governmental and civil society advocates for the persecuted in Nigeria shared firsthand expertise and proposed actions to address the violence and discrimination perpetrated by groups such as Boko Haram and the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold weekly classes for 22 tenth-grade Confirmation students, so we prepared a series of 14 lessons on the material, along with some questions to answer. If these lessons are of value to you, put them to whatever use you can. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column…Continue Reading

Traditionis Custodes: Opportunity For Mercy

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK As one of the two parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington that offer the Traditional Latin Mass daily, my majority-traditional church family is now in a quite vulnerable condition after the publication of the motu proprio Traditionis custodes (TC).Following the 2007 publication of Summorum Pontificum I was sent in 2010 as pastor to St. Francis…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen Decries Pope’s Motu Proprio

Joseph Cardinal Zen, in a statement translated by Diane Montagna, denounced Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis’ motu proprio on the liturgy.His statement was entitled, “Why Do They See a Problem Where There Is None and Close Their Eyes to the Problem for Which They, Too, Are Responsible?”Cardinal Zen recalled how he warned about a document against the Traditional Mass in his…Continue Reading

Live As Christians, Not Pagans

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15Eph. 4:17, 20-24John 6:24-35 In the second reading today St. Paul tells the Ephesians that they are no longer to live as the Gentiles do. Considering that the people to whom he was writing were Gentile converts, it makes sense that he would need to instruct…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold weekly classes for 22 tenth-grade Confirmation students, so we prepared a series of 14 lessons on the material, along with some questions to answer. If these lessons are of value to you, put them to whatever use you can. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Callistus

By DEB PIROCH Memory can be fleeting — ashes to ashes and dust to dust. But to God, no one is forgotten, every soul remains forever mirrored in His mind’s eye. And the redeemed all belong to the Communion of Saints. Even more amazing is when someone is known long after one’s death, despite the fickleness of history.Such is the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Teresa Of Calcutta

By DEB PIROCH Long before Princess Diana hugged AIDS victims, a diminutive nun no one had heard of from Macedonia rescued her first dying man from the gutter. Carrying him back with her, she washed his wounds and removed maggots, covered him in clean sheets and gave him water. And he said, “I have lived like an animal, but I…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)