Not Before Our Time: A Case for Living

The raw emotion that weighs heavy on end-of-life decisions seems to complicate a natural and inevitable part of living – dying. No one wants to watch a loved one die, and no one wants that person to suffer.

Still, killing them is not the answer. Yesterday, June 9, a law went into effect in California allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs for a patient supposedly at the end of his or her life. Advocates for this legalization of assisted suicide used heart-wrenching stories to make their case for it.

You’ve heard them – the stories of terminally ill patients embracing “a right to die.” What you haven’t heard is the grim reality behind what many have deemed a “right,” and the victims of those who abuse it.

Take Me Before You, a new movie that glorifies the decision by a quadriplegic to kill himself. But as a quadriplegic he is not terminally ill, he’s paralyzed. Herein lies the problem, one of many.

What was sold initially as a compassionate way out for those who have come to the end of life and want to stop the suffering, has morphed into a frightening game of “who’s life is worth living?”

After 14 years of doctor-prescribed death in the Netherlands, doctors are now giving lethal drugs to the disabled, the mentally ill, and babies – more than 650 babies who doctors deemed their lives not worth living. Also included, a woman in her 20s who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after being sexually assaulted, and a 47-year-old woman who suffered from ringing in her ears.

There are also stories about abuse for financial gain, both by caregivers and the state. Oregon state officials have denied costly cancer treatments but instead approved paying for the death of the cancer patient.

Doctor prescribed death denies the natural process of dying and the palliative care that affords appropriate medications to manage pain at the end of life. Terminal lung disease patient Stephanie Packer put it this way, “Death can be beautiful and peaceful. It’s a normal process that should be allowed to happen on its own.”

As these laws pass in various states, many disabled people, like 11-year-old Ella Frech feel the pressure from a superficial society and ask, “What’s wrong with my life? Why do you think I should want to die?”

Their stories should be told – the 55-year-old cancer patient in Oregon who got the lethal prescription but opted to wait because she wanted to see her son graduate. Fifteen years later, she is cancer free and enjoying her family.

Man knows not his time. Certainly, doctors don’t. We should not give them the power to kill. Their gift is healing. We should embrace life, its good and bad. There are compassionate and dignifying ways to help people cross from this life to the next without disregarding their value.

Arizona should not fall for the latest bad idea out of California. Know that Center for Arizona Policy stands resolute in defense of life. Not on our watch will this happen.

ICYMI – Latest News & Articles of Interest

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