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Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide Shows Collapse Of Medical Ethics

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
December 8, 2016 12:00 pm

Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide Shows Collapse Of Medical Ethics

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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December 8, 2016 12:00 pm

NC Family President John L. Rustin speaks with Wesley Smith, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, for part 2 of our series about the dangers of assisted suicide and the growing success of efforts to legalize it across the United States.

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Really remarkable lack of everything that is good is the policy with NC family Pres. John Weston this week were pleased to bring you part two of an engaging discussion about the dangers of assistance in the growing success of efforts to legalize it across the United States with Wesley Smith, a lawyer and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute center on human exceptionalism.

We have included some questions and answers from last week's discussion in order to provide context for our conversation this week as we begin our discussion today.

Wesley defined for us if you will, assisted suicide, and explain how it differs from euthanasia well-liked for me, it doesn't differ morally in the sense that what is being done as the intentional ending of human life, supposedly to eliminate suffering. In other words, eliminating suffering by eliminating the supper. The technical differences that an assisted suicide every normally using a doctor will prescribe a lethal overdose of barbiturates to kill the patient and the patient takes that overdose themselves in euthanasia.

The final lot causing death is done by the doctor or the nurse practitioner in Canada's case, but they really are the same thing. It's just a technicality who does the final act we are already seeing some of the scenarios come to light. The patient advocates warned us about, especially as it relates to patients with acute or terminal illnesses is just a natural progression of a philosophy that says it is acceptable for healthcare providers to assist in the death of their patients.

Yeah, and it's also it goes hand-in-hand with the paradigm right now of major containment of costs in healthcare organ which has legalize assisted suicide also has explicit health care rationing under the Medicaid law and in 2008. Two people, Randy stoops and Barbara Wegner word diagnosed with a terminal illness terminal cancer. There are oncologists prescribed for them.

Chemotherapy not to cure their cancer but extend the life which is a normal part part of cancer care. My dad when he was dying of colon cancer had that the last shot of chemotherapy to give him an extra year of of a very good living, but the state of Oregon.

The Medicaid administrator sent them a letter specifically saying I'm sorry you will not live long enough for us to be willing to pay for your chemotherapy, but we will pay for your assisted suicide and Barbara Wegner went public and she said my gosh, my state is willing to pay for my death but not my life, but this becomes the neurosis that is afflicting us when when suffering is become such a fear that were willing to actually destroy the the ethics of healthcare and medicine to make people dead, rather than make sure that we care for them in a proper fashion. It's just an astonishing collapse of anarcho ethics and an abandonment of people who really are mentally ill obviously is very deeply personal issue with this conversation about legalize suicide and euthanasia is also a matter of public policy with an illness implications for culture. What are the implications of legalizing assisted suicide from a policy and societal standpoint. In other words, why should it matter to our society as a whole.

If a terminally ill patient for an elderly individual wants to choose the time and manner of their own death while you're at because you're basically creating a two-tiered system of the society were some lives are worth protecting, even from suicide in some art and there's no reason by the way, to think, will be limited to the terminally ill. Why should it be the ideological premise underlying assisted suicide and euthanasia is this that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering or that eliminating sufferer is a proper response to human suffering. So why in the world would you limited to the terminally ill. There a lot of people who experience far more suffering and for far longer period of time than the dying people with disability. For example, people with mental illnesses and if you take a look at societies in which euthanasia and assisted suicide have been widely accepted by the society which is not yet happened in the United States, and I'm hoping that shows like this will keep that from happening, but if it ever becomes widely accepted and adopted it very quickly moves away from the terminally ill to people with much more suffering or longer-term suffering, mental illness, for example, mentally ill people, not people that were mentally ill with cancer but people with mental illnesses are now euthanized as a treatment for their mental illness killed by psychiatrists in the Netherlands and in Belgium. This is also occurred in Switzerland where they have suicide clinic for people fly from around the world to be made that in Belgium they have now conjoined euthanasia of the mentally ill with organ harvesting and in fact are symposia held telling doctors look for people with mental illnesses who want euthanasia because they're going to have better organs and people with cancer who may not be suitable and anionic quote in the book a culture that the agent do our medicine, medical organ transplant journals who have described in very clinical detail and very cold sterile clinical detail that killing of people who were not terminally ill, bought into a hospital in Belgium euthanized on a table moved into a surgical suite and the organs are good and they celebrated because the grass took. Well I looked at the sea. For example, in one case what was the mental illness a mental illness was chronic self harming somebody who self harms the treatment was to kill them. The ultimate harm and and and Belgium. Also, they are now permitting joint euthanasia death by elderly couples who may even be healthy now, but are worried about future suffering caused by widowhood. So what happens when you accept killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering.

Your whole brain set your mindset, your value system.

Your ethics turns on its head and that which was deemed once a terrible tragedy. The joint death of elderly people is celebrated now is death with dignity. It is really a remarkable collapse of everything that is good and decent in healthcare you're listening to a resource to listen to our radio show online resources have a place of persuasion in your community Wesley of the states that have legalized assisted suicide at the ballot box. What is it about this issue that has garnered support from the voters in a majority of voters in those states and how would you counsel those pro-life citizens of North Carolina, who were concerned about this issue coming here shortly.

We've had bills introduced in the Gen. assembly to legalize assisted suicide.

Unfortunately they have not moved very far if at all, but how would you counsel them to not only be on guard but to take action to address these issues and have them all the past.

I think it's very important for pro-lifers to go work in coalition with people who don't agree with them on abortion. There is a very powerful and robust coalition that works against legalizing assisted suicide and of course pro-lifers the Catholic Church but also people like disability rights activists who may be the most important of all, in terms of fighting these agendas because they can appeal to people who consider themselves secular. They can appeal and do appeal to people consider them so politically liberal and since the most disability rights activists are liberal politically. They are secular in their approach. They are not pro-life on abortion, but their debt against set against assisted suicide because I know that there are the targets of the medical establishment mostly opposes assisted suicide because they see it as a violation of medical ethics advocate for the poor people of color.

The civil rights communities are very much against legalizing assisted suicide because their constituents have enough trouble getting access to proper medical care. The last thing they need is access to assisted suicide when they may not be able to get the kind of care that would make people not want to commit assisted suicide for that kind of coalition, which will have different opinions on things like abortion, which may have different opinions on who should of been elected president in this recent election can and does stop assisted suicide, including in elections because even though we've had a three states legalize assisted suicide by elections far more eventually rejected assisted suicide by elections.

The most recent example was in Massachusetts in 2012 where that kind of coalition I discussed rejected assisted suicide IN Massachusetts. The Bible Belt you sought rejected and made you thought rejected in Michigan so you've seen these elections go against assisted suicide when that coalition is allowed to for function properly and when it is less robust than when it with them." The media is very biased on this issue, and increasingly so when the message doesn't get out that it is okay for liberals to vote no that the only people who oppose assisted suicide or religious conservatives, which is the medium meme even though it's not true, then attempt to win because there are not enough religious conservatives in most states. I don't know about North Carolina but most states to work to stop something like that so that coalition is really crucial and it's important because because, you know, in my view, opposing assisted suicide is a liberal issue. If if liberalism is about protecting the weak and vulnerable than what could be more important than model legalizing assisted suicide. Absolutely, you're absolutely correct about that and that is something that I think it's important for listeners understand that this is an issue that brings a lot of people together who may not necessarily see our own other matters, but certainly do so here.

And that's something that we definitely need to work towards North Carolina because this issue will be facing us more and more in the future and if I might, the pro-life community.

North Carolina should make these connections right now with the disability rights community with the civil rights community of people of color and so forth so that women and the crisis comes, both those relationships will already exist will absolutely and that's a great admonition for us.

Unfortunately Wesley our time has flown behind his been a great discussion, but we are nearly out of time before we go.

I do want to give you an opportunity to let our listeners know where they can go to get more information about your books about your other resources and about the Discovery Institute opening for a month.

My books are all available either in bookstores, either they're either going to be in the stores are there available by special order certainly have some note Barnes & Noble online certainly have them I treat. I do a lot of writing in terms of blog at the corner on national review. I'm a blogger for national review I write the first things every other Friday and if anybody's interested in what I write you friend me on Facebook or go to my twitter app forced exit start following me at forced exit and everything I write I put on twitter so people can find it. The Discovery Institute is in the center and human exceptionalism can be found there. The book a culture of death the age of do harm.

Medicine gets into this stuff. Plus much more that that we could describe how doctors are trying to be able to for some bioethicists. In particular, trying to be able to force people in ICUs off of wanted life-sustaining treatment something called futile care. Now we need to change hospice so that people can be in hospice, not just in terms of any of refusing medical treatment but also they want that last ditch effort of chemotherapy they can receive it and still receive hospice which currently is in the law, so there's a lot to discuss about these issues and people need to be aware that when they going to the hospital. It is possible and nothing it will happen, but it could happen that they find themselves in an adversarial situation.

If doctors are bioethics by witnesses at the hospital don't want to treat grandma for her stroke I and want to put her in a just palliative care even though she might not be terminally ill, so there's a lot to be aware of and to consider well and I'm sure we will be discussing these issues now in the future. Without a doubt, and by the way pastors be aware that if some but one of their their parishioners comes into their studies. As you know, Pastor Graham, I just had a stroke that looks like she may not be able to regain the ability to do much in terms of her physicality and were being told to pull the plug and we don't want to pull the plug and be pastors. Sometimes I hear from people's past as well that can't be true. Well you can be true, and I think that people.

The people who may need to need some read some of this material. Most are pastors so that they are aware of what their parishioners might face when they come through that door and say listen, I got a problem I'm having with the hospital growing well. Let me repeat that website again for the Discovery Institute. It simply again I am without Wesley Smith. I want to thank you so much for being with us again on family policy matters and for your incredibly important work defending human life and the dignity and value of every human being, were so grateful for all that you do and appreciate you taking time to be with us on family policy that website follow us on Twitter and Facebook and

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