George Soros Bankrolling Efforts to Legalize Assisted Suicide

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2013   |   2:49PM   |   Washington, DC

Liberal billionaire George Soros has apparently found a new cause to put his money behind, having already supported President Barack Obama, liberal candidates and abortion. His new venture appears to be assisted suicide.

As the Washington Examiner newspaper reports:

As Connecticut lawmakers begin public hearings on assisted suicide this month, national advocacy groups like Compassion & Choices will mobilize to help create the illusion that the proposed bill is a grassroots initiative. It isn’t.

Contrary to the claims of those legislators who are promoting the bill, there is no grassroots cry for assisted suicide. Rather, there is an effort by well-funded advocacy groups to make Connecticut the leader in assisted suicide in the Northeast.

If the General Assembly votes to legalize the practice, it will be the first state legislature to do so. Lawmakers have already promised to push it forward. They know there is a payoff for promoting this bill, much of it coming from George Soros through Compassion & Choices.

Soros has been one of the biggest donors to Compassion & Choices. In 2010, Compassion & Choices was listed as one of the “top 75 Grantees” of the Soros American Foundations.

Receiving $1 million from the Soros Foundation in 2010, Compassion & Choices has been able to convince Connecticut lawmakers that it would be in their best interest to promote “death with dignity” in the state.

While most of those promoting assisted suicide in Connecticut promise that their bill will finally end the kinds of painful deaths that so many people fear, the reality is that Connecticut has some of the best hospice care and pain management in the country.

That may change now that Soros has also gotten involved in the funding for palliative care. In 2010, Soros gave $2.7 million to the Partnership for Palliative Care.

At a conference in Chicago called “Heights of Compassion: Bridges to Choice,” advocates from palliative care and the assisted suicide communities held joint meetings in an attempt to find “common ground” enabled by more than $3.7 million of Soros’ money.

Soros will continue this commitment. In 1994, he donated $15 million to the Project on Death in America. In an introduction to the 2003 Report of Activities of the Project on Death in America, published by the Open Society, Soros wrote a personal essay titled “Reflections on Death in America,” in which he disclosed that he admired his mother’s having “joined the Hemlock Society.”

Soros claimed that his mother “had at her hand the means of doing away with herself.” He recalls asking her “if she needed my help.”
Fortunately, lawmakers defeated the assisted suicide bill — which one pro-life advocate says is good because the pressure to legalize it will continue.
Nora Sullivan of the Charlotte Lozier Institute says pro-life advocates need to pay more attention to these battles.
The loss in Connecticut must be quite a disappointment for assisted suicide advocates. Proponents of assisted suicide seem to be targeting socially liberal Northeast states, as well as the Pacific Northwest, with these initiatives where they seem more likely to be well received. In Massachusetts, a referendum to legalize assisted suicide was defeated in 2012 following an extremely contentious fight. Physician-assisted suicide is also currently legal in Oregon and Washington by statewide referendum, and in Montana by judicial decision.Advocates for physicians-assisted suicide argue that giving terminally ill patients the option of ending their lives is the most compassionate option and defend its safety and ethical validity. However, as pointed out by Dr. Jacqueline Harvey, physician-assisted suicide can lead to unforeseen harm. There is real concern that the legalization of physician-assisted suicide can lead to the denial of palliative care coverage and adverse impact on the disabled. Dr. Harvey also points out that there is a real worry about terminally ill patients being coerced into choosing suicide for financial reasons or the for sake of convenience.



Additionally, the American Medical Association has remained firm in its opposition to physician-assisted suicide. “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

The defeat of this bill in Connecticut and the referendum in Massachusetts is a great sign for advocates of the disabled and others concerned about the ethics of such legislation that even in states known for socially liberal policies people realize the gravity of such policies. It is to be hoped that the American people continue to recognize this and discourage attempts to legalize this ethically problematic policy. We must instead call for ever-improving care for the terminally ill and recognize the dignity of every human person until natural death.