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Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide Devalue All Life

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
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December 1, 2016 12:00 pm

Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide Devalue All Life

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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December 1, 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, about the dangers of assisted suicide and the growing success of efforts to legalize it across the United States.

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Family Policy Matters
NC Family Policy

You're basically creating a system of thought it was someone protecting human. This is family policy not with NC family Pres. John Rustin thanks for joining us this week. Policy matters.

Our guest today is Wesley Smith, a warrior and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute center on human exceptionalism is also a consultant to the patient's right to counsel will be talking with Wesley about the dangers of assisted suicide and the growing success of efforts to legalize it across the United States. Wesley is the author of hundreds of articles and several books including forced exit, euthanasia, assisted suicide in the new duty to die culture of death.

The assault on medical ethics in America consumer's guide to a brave new world, and most recently his latest book, the war own humans 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 difference is that in 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 assisted a technicality who does the final act. To date, a handful of states in the United States have legalized assisted suicide through both elections and also court decisions which states have legalized assisted suicide in or their additional states that are expected to consider in order to do so in the near future. Sure, I think it's important to note that more states have refused to legalize assisted suicide overwhelmingly because this agenda is tried and more than half the states every year and most of the time it failed abjectly.

However, once in a while because these people are like the Energizer Bunny.

The money they never quit a state, have fallen in the most recent is Colorado this year. In terms of an election so so far. Right now in this country. Assisted suicide is legal for people with terminal illnesses in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Vermont.

And then there are some who say that it is legal in Montana from a court decision, but that was a very muddled decision did not find a constitutional right to assisted suicide in the state constitution, but we can say for sure that five states in this country have legalized Wesley in the states. 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, and I'm thinking particularly in instances like the California woman who was told that her insurance would cover euthanasia but not her chemotherapy is just a natural progression of a philosophy that says it is acceptable for care providers to assist in the death of their patients. Yeah, and it's also it goes and hand-in-hand with the paradigm right now of major containment of costs in healthcare and it wasn't just that HMO Oregon which has legalize assisted suicide also has explicit health care rationing under its Medicaid law and in 2008. Two people, Randy stoops and Barbara Wegner word diagnosed with a terminal illness terminal cancer. There are oncologists prescribed to 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 and he gave him an extra year of of of 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 ethics of healthcare and medicine to make people dead, rather than make sure that we care for them in a proper fashion.

In California, a rate I just wrote this article for first things last Friday and an amazing thing is occurred where assisted suicide was legalize for the people who were competent and able to make medical decisions if they were terminally ill. The regulators took that law which was passed by the legislature and said that people who have been forcibly hospitalized in state institutions, meaning the very mentally ill people with serious psychoses, people who may have been found not guilty of a violent crime by reason of insanity. People been found by a court beyond a reasonable doubt to be a danger to themselves or others. If they are diagnosed with a terminal illness meaning. These are people in mental institutions if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

They can petition the court to be released from the mental institution, not because they have been successfully cured but for the purpose of killing them. So I made think about that and be, by definition, these people have been forcibly hospitalized, who are receiving obviously very strong psychiatric medicine psychotropic drugs and yet the state wants to free them to kill himself.

And if the court refuses to do so.

Let's say because there danger to others or themselves in the state has to facilitate the death himself in the mental institutions. So you're going to have a situation where people been forcibly hospitalized because they're so suicidal were going to have to be aware that perhaps the person in the next bed is receiving assisted suicide from the state. It's just an astonishing collapse of medical ethics and an abandonment of people who really are mentally ill, going back to something that you touched on how big a role does economics play in the decisions physicians, healthcare administrators, insurance companies and others make regarding the care of patients in states and countries that have legalized assisted suicide. That's an interesting question because it's not something that assisted suicide advocates like to discuss very much but Derek Humphrey was the original founder of the Hemlock Society, which is now renamed itself. Compassion and choices and moved on with new management, but Derek Humphrey wrote a book, basically calling this cost-containment argument. The unstated argument for legalizing euthanasia, arguing that millions and millions of dollars could be saved for people who want to be treated. People who can be cured if we euthanize order assisted suicides of those serious illnesses you are going to find, I think, and we thought already an organism in the Barbara Wegner Randy stoops to if I described, and in this HMO case, you mentioned where people are going to look at the force of gravity in terms of economics and see what she might cost $1000 to assist someone suicide but it would cost $100,000 to make sure they didn't want assisted suicide. The force of gravity becomes quite obvious there. It isn't being stated overtly, but it certainly is an issue that we have to consider and think about your listening to a resource to listen to our radio show online resources have a place of persuasion in your community website, alleging Wesley what are some other negative effects of these laws that you were saying and what does it mean in terms of medical practice and attitude of those in the medical field in in society at large toward the value of human life and to be a based on your answer to the previous question, I should say really the sanctity of human life versus the value of human life because someone put a monetary value on what and also some are saying that the human lives don't have equal value depends on the quality of the life. So if others say I'm suicidal because I did a lousy interview on this program. People would say oh no, no, were going to give you suicide prevention, and then, but if I said but I have cancer all will nevermind your your pills, what are you saying to the person with cancer. You're saying that the life does have less value your your confirming their worst fears and end your listeners submit may be thinking well here in North Carolina you were pretty safe from assisted suicide and you may be, for now, but I want you to consider that with five states having no legalize assisted suicide your listeners my face what I call social martyrdom and will and and here's with what I'm talking about let's say sister Sue calls you and says you know grandma has cancer. She's expected to live for 56 months, but she's decided she's dying next Tuesday she want you to fly out here to California and be with her when she takes the pill what you do if you say yes okay I'll be there. Your confirming grandma's worst fears that she doesn't have dignity that she will be allowed to die negative agony that she is less worthy of being loved because she is in the period of decline and demise that the cost of caring for both emotional and physical, and financial just is too great a burden on the family, but if you say no then you could sister Sue, Martha, how dare you say no. How dare you judge grandma, how dare you oppose your religious beliefs on grandma, who are you to abandon grandma like that word were pushing you out of the family. We never want to see you again. Don't even bother coming for Thanksgiving dinner.

I call that social martyrdom so people even be in places where assisted suicide might not be legalize good faith that conundrum of either validating somebody suicide and becoming complicit in it and in my view, morally accountable for more than the person wants to commit suicide was undergoing severe distress so they would want to commit suicide. It's the people around those people and how they react to that desire that really, in my view count here in California we actually have now had stories in the media celebrating suicide parties where there was a woman.

For example in Southern California who has Lou Gehrig's disease held a big going away party and people came and laughed and hugged and and had a good time and then she killed herself. What kind of a society are we when were normalizing that kind of of a situation where this woman was given validation for killing yourself with the party, rather than no, I'm not going to come to your party. But here's what I can do.

I will never abandon you.

I will always love you.

We will make sure you're not by yourself. We will make sure that your cared for properly.

It it is a an insidious change of culture 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 or an elderly individual wants to choose the time and manner of their own death by your leaders are 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 the premise the ideological premise underlying assisted suicide and euthanasia is this that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering or that eliminating the 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 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. 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 deaths 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. Unfortunately Wesley our time has flown behind his been a great discussion 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 own resources and about the Discovery Institute. My books are all available either in bookstores, either.

You're going to be in the stores are there available by special order amazon.com certainly have some of the Discovery Institute is www.discovery.org in the center and human exceptionalism can be found there 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 health. Thanks for adding the application policy matters production of NZ only to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina my website and see family.org and follow us on Twitter and


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