"Euthanasia" comes from two Greek words
meaning "good death." In practice, it has come to mean the selective killing
of those who are
old or sick. Worldwide, support for the
practice appears to be increasing.
Vigorous efforts for legalization are proceeding
in numerous countries. The Dutch have now legalized "mercy killing" after
many years of
unofficial tolerance. In our own country,
euthanasia has been legal in Oregon since 1998.
Reasons given for support include honoring
the civil rights of an individual to choose death over an unacceptable
quality of life and the
need for providing a means for death with
dignity, often with the motive of not burdening loved ones.
Supporters cite a report from the Oregon
Health Division for the year 2000, which states that 65 percent of those
mention fear of being a burden on family,
friends or caregivers as a reason for their decision.
The tragedy is that the above concerns
of the sick and elderly arise from pressures exerted by a materialistic,
self-centered society that
increasingly embraces the notion of "throwaway"
There are people who would allow physicians
to kill their parents and grandparents once they cease to function as providers
necessities and opportunities. After many
years of service, mom, dad, grandma and grandpa are treated like dogs --
sent to the hospital to
be injected with a lethal overdose of
Supporters of euthanasia lie to themselves
and others by saying that they want to end suffering. Their true motives
are to get rid of those
who become a problem. For example, now
that grandpa and grandma are out of the way, there is more time and money
to enjoy life.
Euthanasia is one step closer to the utopian
society many dream of. One of those dreamers who used euthanasia was an
chancellor of Germany. His name was Adolf
Hitler. In 1939 he made the following statement when ordering the widespread
of "life unworthy of life":
"The authority of certain physicians to
be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human
incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis
of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death."
With euthanasia, Hitler came closer to
that perfect Aryan race he dreamed of -- or it was his delusion that he
did. With euthanasia, he
could kill off the unwanted elderly, handicapped,
and other people that he decided were unfit to live in his utopian society.
This issue is not about the right to commit
suicide. It is about placing the lives of the weakest among us in the hands
of people other than
themselves who often have self-serving
agendas. Once society gives a group of people the right to end life, our
right to life disappears
behind red tape. The value of life diminishes
when it can be taken away by others.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops
made the following statement: "The Declaration of Independence proclaims
rights to life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness. If our right to life itself is diminished in value, our other
rights will have no meaning."
Supporters of euthanasia think that with
strict guidelines, doctors involved will do no wrong, but with euthanasia,
the medical profession
will lose the ethical bonds that hold
its credibility and morality together.
For example, in the Hippocratic Oath the
following ethic will be deemed "useless" if euthanasia becomes widespread
in America: "I will
neither prescribe nor administer a lethal
dose of medicine to any patient."
Once the medical profession loses its ethics,
what is going to stop them from administering overdoses to the "unwanted"
consent? Nothing will!
The Dutch are a perfect example of what
happens when euthanasia is legalized. The Supreme Court, in its 1997 ruling
Glucksberg, cited a 1991 Dutch government
study. It states that in 1990, nearly 6,000 of the 130,000 people who died
in the Netherlands
were involuntarily euthanized.
With 4 percent of the deaths being unnatural
and involuntary, euthanasia is not only a danger to society, but also a
danger to you when
you yourself are weak.
The legalization of euthanasia means morals
that have been practiced for thousands of years are ignored. Death should
be natural, not
hastened by a physician.
When a society murders the elderly for
convenience, who is next on the list? We will begin to kill off other "unwanted"
people. The Nazis
did that; they euthanized millions in
their attempt to create their utopian race.
In a "utopia" the unwanted are slaughtered
for the convenience and to "benefit" the wanted. Destroying life for the
selfish reasons of saving
time and money damages our society. Would
it not be better to love and care for the elderly?