Washington State has released its annual so-called "Death with Dignity Act" report.The report is interesting for what it "does not" say, perhaps more than what it does say.
The report says that Washington's assisted suicide act "allows adult residents in the state with six months or less to live to request lethal doses of medication from physicians."
This and other statements by the State are "oversimplifications" according to a Washington State lawyer.
Attorney Margaret K. Dore takes a look at the report and points out some things that all pro-life people should be aware of.
What position does the Christian Medical and Dental Association take? And why? Are there any exceptions?
And how did we get to this place where life is so devalued?
Margaret K. Dore takes a look at the recent report and points out that what is "not said" may be the most important aspect of the report.
She says the Acts significance is not that people can request a lethal dose, they could always do that, but that "physicians and other persons can provide that dose for the purpose of causing a patient's death without getting in trouble."
The report shows that 48% of the participants in Washington had a baccalaureate degree or higher and were 55 years old or older.
Dore suggests that such people with a college education generally have more money than those without the education, which creates a certain vulnerability.
She cites a 2009 study by Met Life Mature Market Institute that says, "The older population owns the largest proportion of wealth in the US." Moreover, "older people with money are a demographic for abuse."
She says the Met Life study states, "Victims may even be murdered by perpetrators who just want their funds and see them as an easy mark."
She also notes that the report gives no information as to whether administration of the lethal drug was voluntary on the part of the 83 who died during the lethal dose. The report merely describes the fact of ingestion.
Dore says, "By using the word 'ingestion' the report provides no information on patient consent one way or the other."
She also references a case in Oregon which has an assisted suicide law very similar to Washington.
Oregon resident Jeanette Hall was diagnosed with cancer and told she had 6 months to a year to live.
Hall says, "I wanted to do our law and I wanted my doctor to help me. Instead, he encouraged me to not give up and ultimately I decided to fight the cancer. I had both chemotherapy and radiation."
That was 12 years ago.
Hall now says, "If my doctor had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead."
Dore's comments linked above include links to the report and other references.
The Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) takes a very strong position on assisted suicide.
Its important for Christians to know both the positions of non-Christian doctors and that of Christian doctors, particularly on these kinds of issues.
The CMDA Christian doctors strongly oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide under all circumstances. Rather, they emphasize the role of the physician is to affirm human life, relieve suffering, and give compassionate, competent care as long as the patient lives.
They believe "the physician and the patient will be held accountable by God, the giver and taker of life."
They state, "We oppose active intervention with the intent to produce death for the relief of suffering, economic consideration or convenience of the patient, family or society."
However they do not oppose "withdrawal or failure to institute artificial means of life support in patients who are clearly and irreversibly deteriorating, in whom death appears imminent beyond reasonable hope of recovery."
How did we get to this place?
In today's twisted ethical environment, the status of the human person increasingly depends on who has the microphone.
With removal of God from our public discourse and from public education, relativism has captured the day. Many people today would rather "be God" than be submissive to Him.
Darwinian evolution has stolen the wonder and mystery of life and all it holds from the children of our country.
If there is no God, no Creator, and we are merely an "evolved species" from nowhere and going nowhere, it makes sense that life has little value. And living life becomes futile when we face challenges.
When God is replaced, purpose in life is lost. Why bother? Since, according to secularists, life begins with our first breath and ends with our last breath, there is no hereafter, no consequences for our actions in this life, nor any rewards.
It's objectively true that nothing any longer shocks us because nothing is objectively right or wrong.
If we really believe that---and many do, why would you want to live? Especially if you are a financial burden on your family---or your care disrupts their lives?
That is where relativism leads.
The termination of life in both the elderly and sick and the unwanted pre-born child is driven by the same beliefs.
Dereck Humphrey, the founder of the Hemlock Society and the "Death with Dignity" movement credits Roe v. Wade for his success. The Hemlock Society has since renamed itself, "Compassion & Choices."
He has said that for years he struggled to get his "death with dignity" message out into the public and into the press.
He says then a wonderful thing happened:
Roe v. Wade opened all the doors.
The word "baby" does not appear in Roe v. Wade, let alone the word "killing"---and so we terminate lives, the unborn because they are unplanned and unwanted, the elderly and sick because their lives have become burdensome.
It is legal. Therefore it is moral.
Is this enough to motivate us to spread the gospel to our neighbors, our community and our state?
Is it enough to motivate us to take control of the political process in our communities and state and make the necessary changes, and yes, pay the price sometimes?
I believe it is. And I believe many of you believe it as well. I also believe God will help us.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Very Active. Be Blessed.
Note: We have added a new e-book from Gary Randall called, "Up With Life: Discovering Your Best Life Now" through Amazon.com.