I wonder if we are paying attention to some of the more recent stories that have been reported in regards to euthanasia and assisted suicide. Arguably, the most troubling of them have been reported overseas, however things here in our country are getting worse, as well.
Just within the past few months we have seen Israel trying to approve assisted suicide, while Quebec has already pushed it through. In Switzerland where assisted suicide is permitted, the Swiss went one step further by officially approving assisted suicide on the grounds of “old age”. In Belgium, physicians are averaging the killing of five patients per day by aiding in their deaths.
Not to mention how these Belgian docs are giving themselves the “ok” to kill ICU patients. And let’s not forget the children. The Belgian Parliament, in an 86-44 vote, did the unthinkable by legalizing euthanasia for children with disabilities. But it’s not just Belgium targeting children; it was reported that British doctors were killing terminally sick children by secretly giving them deadly overdoses.
Back home, it was reported that last year there were more than 100 physician aided deaths in the state of Washington, where physician assisted suicide has been legal for years. In New Jersey, an assisted suicide bill has just been approved by the NJ Assembly Committee. A New York Times story reported that cost of treatment is now having an influence on doctors and the care they give to patients. Then, there was the story out of Massachusetts General and how their ethics committees were imposing unilateral DNR’s on patients.
Finally, according to Wesley J. Smith, a leading voice on medical ethics and the euthanasia issue, bioethicists are suggesting that nursing homes and hospitals should be “legally required to starve patients who can eat and drink, if they have serious dementia and have ordered their starvation deaths in an advance medical directive.” This is referred to as VSED, an acronym for “voluntary stopping eating and drinking” and according to Smith is, “the latest craze among the ‘death with dignity’ crowd.”
Again, this is what has been happening in just the past few months! Talk about the Slippery Slope!
Indeed, these are stories that mostly concern assisted suicide, and they should cause deep concern for every single one of us. However, the sad truth, and one that rarely gets mentioned, is the countless number of medically vulnerable being killed every day in health care facilities by having their basic care, food and water (via feeding tube), deliberately removed.
Certainly, it is safe to say that most Americans are aware that it was the 1972 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling decriminalizing abortion that paved the way for abortion on demand in our nation throughout a woman’s pregnancy.
Most Americans are unaware, however, that it was a 1990 Supreme Court decision, Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health that in effect redefined food and water (via feeding tube) from basic and ordinary care to what is now defined as “medical treatment”. Similar to the Roe decision, this ruling changed our nation in a profound way, opening the floodgates for the removal of food and hydration from an untold number of medically vulnerable patients. Unlike Roe, this decision received no real attention and therefore the general public would have no way of knowing its implications (and consequences), or how many vulnerable persons would subsequently be placed in the cross hairs of an aggressive euthanasia movement.
It is impossible to know how many patients are being purposely starved and dehydrated every day in our nation – we have no way of collecting the data. Indeed, I sometimes still wonder why my sister, Terri Schiavo, received all of the national and international attention, because long before Terri’s case, patients were having their food and hydration removed for the purpose of killing them. If we did this to an animal, incidentally, we’d go to prison.
If you take a look at the tens of thousands of health care facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, hospices) that are operating in our country, and combine that with how widely accepted (and legal) it is to starve and dehydrate a person, you begin to get a sense of the potential magnitude of people being killed in one of the most inhumane ways possible. Not even taking into consideration the effects of Obamacare and how they are targeting these same classes of people.
It is no coincidence that we are getting an increase in the number of calls at Terri’s Life & Hope Network from families who are facing pressure from health care professionals not wanting to treat or administer basic medical care to their loved ones.
The sad fact is the people and organizations behind the culture of death will not stop advancing their agenda in the most aggressive and devious ways possible. And when you combine the current climate of our culture, the government taking over our health care system, and no real organized effort or system in place to fight for the protection of our elderly, disabled, chronically sick and countless others, the number of our medically vulnerable who will be killed will increase, and I believe, increase exponentially.