Remarkably, few have noticed that frail, elderly and terminally ill people oppose assisted suicide more than other Americans. The assisted-suicide agenda is moving forward chiefly with vocal support from the young, the able-bodied and the affluent, who may even think that their parents and grandparents share their enthusiasm. They are wrong.
Thus the assisted suicide agenda appears as a victory not for freedom, but for discrimination. At its heart lie demeaning attitudes and prejudices about the value of life with an illness or disability. All who believe in the dignity of human beings should reject such attitudes.
When people raise their voices against this injustice, let no one say that they are "imposing" their values on others. Opponents of euthanasia are standing with those who are vulnerable and marginalized, those who often lack a voice in our nation's policies and are at serious risk of having some demeaning and lethal "values" imposed on them from the outside. Moreover, it is a source of pride that some are "inside" this issue as few others are. Christian hospitals, hospices and nursing homes, as well as Christian physicians, nurses, chaplains and others who work in secular institutions, are on the front lines in providing compassionate care for suffering patients. They know, as we do, that the humane approach to dying patients is to eliminate their physical suffering and other problems, not to eliminate the patient. They know, as Pope John Paul II has said, that "true 'compassion' leads to sharing another's pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear" [The Gospel of Life, 66].
Christian conferences file briefs in pending Supreme Cou...
... middle of paper ...
... "Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: attitudes and experiences of oncology patients, oncologists, and the public." 347 The Lancet 1805 (June 29, 1996):1809
Humphry, Derek. "What's in a word?" Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization 1993, Table 1-A.
Koenig, Dr. Harold et al.. "Attitudes of Elderly Patients and their Families Toward Physician-Assisted Suicide." 156 Archives of Internal Medicine 2240 (Oct. 28, 1996)
Lee v. Oregon, 891 F.Supp. 1429 (D. Or. 1995), vacated on other grounds, 107 F.3d 1382 (9th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S. Ct. 328 (1997).
"Poll Shows More Would Support Law Using Gentler Language," TimeLines (Jan.-Feb. 1994):9
Washington v. Glucksberg, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 2262 n. 7 (1997.
-- -- --. 117 S. Ct. at 2272, quoting United States v. Rutherford, 442 U.S. 544, 558. 1979.
Washington Post, April 4, 1996.
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