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Assisted Suicide: Two States Head in Different Directions

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 11:46 AM
Assisted Suicide: Two States Head in Different Directions Anne Reed AFA Journal MORE

Good news! On September 7, New York State’s highest court ruled unanimously against physician-assisted suicide. The act of assisting in a suicide remains a felony in the Empire State. 

After doctor-assisted suicide was legalized in California last June, many expected other states to follow suit. For example, George Eighmey, vice president of the Death with Dignity Political Fund, expressed his excitement the week Governor Jerry Brown (CA-R) signed the legislation: “The Governor’s decision is certain to reverberate across the nation,” he said. 

To date, any reverberation across state lines hasn’t produced its desired results. And in this particular situation, New York has proven to be a forward thinking state with both values and wisdom.   

We can look at California and see the downward progression of the assisted suicide movement. While its law made it permissible for doctors to prescribe death-inducing drugs, it does not require medical providers or facilities to do so. In other words, under the law, no hospital, physician, or pharmacy can be forced to supply the means or refer for assisted suicide. And as you might imagine, many are declining to get involved in the business of killing their patients. 

But the pro-death sector won’t have it. 

Oncologists on staff at University of California San Francisco Medical Center refused to assist in a cancer patient’s suicide. After she died of her disease, attorney Kathryn Tucker, known for taking on pro-assisted suicide cases throughout the country, has taken up the case on behalf of the patient’s family. 

The chief complaint in the case is elder abuse. This lawsuit claims that a medical professional’s failure to assist in the death of another person is criminal behavior. 

This is just a tiny glimpse into the objectives of the pro-death groups. If they are given an inch, they will continue to push until the end goal of euthanasia is reached. 

In addition to California, states that have legalized physician-assisted suicide are Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. And Montana’s Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the murderous practice, although no legislation has passed. 

Make no mistake about it. This movement is satanic. And as always, the prince of this dark world will appeal to the pride of man through promises of money and power.  According to the Sandiego Union Tribune, less than three months after California’s law took effect, Valeant Pharmaceuticals increased the price of Seconal, the drug used to kill patients, from $1,500 to $3,500. 

The medical community then developed a less-expensive lethal product which proved inferior in the goal of achieving swift demise. Can you believe this conversation is actually taking place? If you want your family member to die ever so quickly, load your wallet with $3,500 to complete the deed. But if you’re ok with it taking a day or two longer, you can settle for the discount option.

The day Brown signed the bill into law, Tim Rosales Spokesman for Californians against Assisted Suicide, said it rightly: “This is a dark day for California and for the Brown legacy.” 

Back to New York, I am both surprised and relieved that the court has refused to make a decision that would further darken the state already performing the highest number of abortions in the nation. 

New York has taken the high road on this one. All five of its court of appeals justices voted to reject the evil practice. Two of the three plaintiffs in the case have died since the case was filed in 2015, and, interestingly, the other is in remission.  

Something media reports left out of the picture – New York justices actually listened and took into account arguments of a large coalition of state and national disability groups who expressed opposition: ADAPT, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Center for Disability Rights, Disability Rights Center, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, National Council on Independent Living, New York Association on Independent Living, Not Dead Yet, Regional Center for Independent Living, and United Spinal Association. 

In response, Justice Eugene Fahey’s opinion emphasized the dangers posed by legalization of assisted suicide for the poor and disabled: 

Legalizing physician-assisted suicide would convey a societal value judgment that such 'indignities' as physical vulnerability and dependence mean that life no longer has any intrinsic value. 

Fahey also pointed to people from different socioeconomic groups who might be pressured into assisted suicide if medical care was more expensive than the lethal drugs. 

These groups fought hard for the intrinsic value of those created in the image of God, and they made a difference. We owe them our appreciation for their courage, persistence, and the example they have displayed before us. A battle has been won! 

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9).

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