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Wesley J. Smith

The West is quickly becoming a pro-suicide culture

Wesley J. Smith
By Wesley Smith

We are quickly becoming a pro-suicide culture–indeed to the point now that organizations like the Hemlock Society Compassion and Choices, bioethicists, and the mainstream media promote suicide by self-starvation as the new big thing in making oneself dead.

Philip Nitschke is one of the international rock stars of euthanasia advocacy. He is also its most candid. He believes that everyone owns their own body absolutely and thus have a right to suicide whenever they want and for whatever reason. Indeed, he told NRO’s Kathryn Lopez that suicide pills should even be made available to “troubled teens.”

I clashed with Nitschke in Australia when I traveled the country on an anti-euthanasia tour in 2001. First, I busted him for the above assertion. It created a media fire storm.

While there, I also made front page news by revealing that he was importing and distributing suicide bags. I am proud to say, my effort led to the passage of a law that forced Nitschke to move his suicide industry offshore. It was one of my most successful public advocacy campaigns. 

Now, Aussie medical authorities want him struck off as a doctor because of the suicide of a healthy but depressed man which he facilitated. What. Took. Them. So. Long?

As for troubled teens and other young people, a study showed that many used his favorite method of suicide–and Nitschke doesn’t care. From a column by anti-euthanasia campaigner Paul Russell:

It is this supposed right-to-die that is the false over-arching philosophy by which the death of a young person can be somehow ‘rationalised’ by Nitschke and Exit. In 2010, in response to a Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Report showing that two thirds of deaths in the preceding decade using the Exit drug-of-choice, Nembutal, were for people under the age of 50 with nearly one-third being younger than 40 and six being in their 20s,

Nitschke said: ”There will be some casualties … but this has to be balanced with the growing pool of older people who feel immense wellbeing from having access to this information.” Tell that to the families of the two men featured in the 7:30 Report! Suicide prevention should never accept the notion of acceptable casualties!

Nitschke just oozes compassion, doesn’t he?

But it isn’t just Nitschke. All suicide promoters know–or should know–that their work will lead to the suicides of some people who are not the prime targets of their advocacy. And they don’t care.

For example, Derek Humphry’s New York Times best selling how-to-commit-suicide book Final Exit–what does that tell you about our degrading culture!–has been found next to the dead bodies of troubled teens, and he could not care much less.

Compassion and Choices pushes self-starvation for people tired of life, not just the sick.

In Belgium elderly couples receive joint euthanasia and a psychiatric patient sexually exploited by her psychiatrist was killed by another psychiatrist. And the world shrugs its shoulders.

Most assisted suicide promoters know that there will be deadly consequences from their advocacy–I mean beyond the suicides they support, and it doesn’t matter. They want what they want and don’t care who gets hurt.

The rest of us should care, but increasingly, we don’t. Why? As I wrote above, we are quickly becoming a pro-suicide culture.

Reprinted with permission from the National Review Online.

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New Mexico Supreme Court to hear assisted suicide case

Alex Schadenberg Alex Schadenberg Follow Alex
By Alex Schadenberg

September 3, 2015 (AlexSchadenberg) -- On August 11, the New Mexico Court of Appeals handed a defeat to the right-to-die movement by reversing an activist lower-court ruling that legalized assisted suicide. In overturning the lower court decision, the Court of Appeals upheld the assisted suicide law in New Mexico.

The assisted suicide lobby appealed the Court of Appeals decision quickly the next week.

The New Mexico Supreme Court has now scheduled to hear the assisted suicide case on October 26.

The original case was based on a word game. The case argued that "aid in dying", which is also known as assisted suicide, is not prohibited by the New Mexico assisted suicide law because "aid in dying" is not assisted suicide.

The case argued, that if "aid in dying" is assisted suicide, then the New Mexico assisted suicide law is unconstitutional because it undermines the right to privacy and autonomy.

But, aid in dying is assisted suicide and assisted suicide does not constitute medical treatment. Therefore prohibiting assisted suicide does not undermine the right to privacy or autonomy.

A similar case was dismissed by the Connecticut court in 2010.

Reprinted with permission from Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

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Wesley J. Smith

US euthanasia steams towards death-on-demand

Wesley J. Smith
By Wesley Smith

September 1, 2015 (NationalReview) -- The media and many other observers continue to pretend that the euthanasia/assisted suicide movement is only about terminal illness.

But any observer of events in Europe, Canada, and with Kevorkian demonstrate that isn’t true.

Meanwhile, slowly the camouflage is coming off. For example, a proposed constitutional amendment in Colorado pretends to be about allowing doctors to assist suicides of the terminally ill.

But it would really permit doctors, nurses, heck, chiropractors, to help kill nearly anyone (with possible exception of children)–for any reason they want to die–and would authorize active euthanasia. From, “Liberty at Life’s End (Medical Sovereignty):”

Coloradans do not currently have the liberty to pursue happiness by obtaining a medical professional’s assistance in achieving a peaceful death thru the administration of oral or intravenous drugs.

(3) The people of Colorado hereby proclaim that mentally competent adult residents of Colorado are Sovereign in the matter of personal medical decisions and have the liberty at life’s end to set the time and tone of their own deaths, asking permission of no person or organization.​

“Life’s end” clearly could mean because the person is committing suicide or being euthanized, since the “right” would include “administration” of lethal drugs.

Nor would the killers have to necessary even be medical professionals:

The people of Colorado hereby further declare that any person or group assisting a Sovereign as defined in Section 3 above obtain Medical Aid In Dying is immune from prosecution upon presentation of acceptable documentation of the voluntary nature of the action.

And, the person killed wouldn’t have to be competent:

The Sovereign’s right to obtain Medical Aid In Dying is not limited to the maintenance of mental competency only, but can be durable into incompetency if desired and documented.

Meanwhile, in California, the new version of the assisted suicide legalization bill gives an open license to death doctors by preventing the possibility of meaningful oversight or transparency. From Assembly Bill X2-15:

The State Department of Public Health shall collect and review the information submitted pursuant to Section 443.9.

Sounds reasonable. But get this!

The information collected shall be confidential and shall be collected in a manner that protects the privacy of the patient, the patient’s family, and any medical provider or pharmacist involved with the patient under the provisions of this part. The information shall not be disclosed, discoverable, or compelled to be produced in any civil, criminal, administrative, or other proceeding.

In other words, nothing could be done with the “information” collected. And it couldn’t be used in a prosecution of a doctor, who say, assisted the suicide of a person who was coerced or not terminally ill.

The moral of the story: The assisted suicide movement’s ultimate goal is anything goes and death on demand. The supposed limitations and protections are merely temporary expediencies.

Reprinted with permission from National Review. 

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Supreme Court turns blind eye as lower court forces Christian to issue gay ‘marriage’ licenses

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

The U.S. Supreme Court has officially become post-modern. Not only did it redefine marriage this summer, but Justice Kennedy's majority opinion implied that religious liberty only applies to advocacy -- not the practice of religion in private and public.

Now, the Court has made it clear that some religions deserve more liberty than others. Yesterday, it denied a stay of a lower court's decision ordering a Christian clerk to violate her conscience by handing out marriage licenses for relationships that aren't marriage:

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' request for a stay in a judge's ruling, which orders her to issue marriage licenses.

Davis will have to choose whether to issue marriage licenses Tuesday, defying her Christian conviction, or continue defying a federal judge who could fine her or send her to jail.

So, according to the Supreme Court, people can advocate for their beliefs -- but they can't practice them. Unless you're Muslim, I guess. From early June:

The Supreme Court on Monday revived an employment discrimination lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch, which had refused to hire a Muslim woman because she wore a head scarf. The company said the scarf clashed with its dress code, which called for a “classic East Coast collegiate style.”

“This is really easy,” Justice Antonin Scalia said in announcing the decision from the bench.

The company, he said, at least suspected that the applicant, Samantha Elauf, wore the head scarf for religious reasons. The company’s decision not to hire her, Justice Scalia said, was motivated by a desire to avoid accommodating her religious practice. That was enough, he concluded, to allow her to sue under a federal employment discrimination law.

The vote was 8 to 1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting.

Some argue that Davis' Christian beliefs don't matter; she is a public employee, and if she doesn't like the law, she can go work in the private sector.  But then why is the Court requiring that a private company uphold what Thomas noted was a neutral policy for all employees -- and, therefore, not intended to be discriminatory against religious beliefs or their practice?

The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

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