Suicide Shift

The state of Oregon has been a “leader” in the euthanasia movement in America.  I say “leader” in quotes because I am not sure that progress is always in a good direction (there is a fine line between progress and regress).  That is an inherent problem with the “progressive” political movement.  Just because one is progressing away from the status quo does not guarantee that the movement is good.  Children sometimes move away from their parents in crowded parking lots, and the results are not good.  The question is whether Oregon’s leadership in the euthanasia movement is a good thing.  I happen to think it is not.

A recent phenomenon has emerged with a dying man in Oregon.  According to this news report, the man has become an internet sensation through Reddit and Youtube, as he has chronicled his own death and invited others along for his final ride into eternity.  Lucidending—the username of the dying man—has posted a video which has been viewed more than 75,000 times concerning his death.  His Reddit statistics are among the top 10 all-time, making him an internet sensation.

Lucidending does not represent a good ending for Oregon’s “Death with Dignity” laws.  These laws are purportedly designed to increase human dignity through the process of death, but they end accomplishing just the opposite.  And here is why.  Before passing such laws, the general disposition of the state was to uphold the value of all human life.  After passing the law, the state surrendered its high ground on the value of human life by joining with the forces of death, which whisper in the ears of the sick, the handicapped, the bed-ridden, and the elderly, telling them that their lives are worthless because they cannot contribute, telling them further that they ought to go ahead and die.  Indeed, these laws affirm for them not only that they should die, but that they should die quickly—even if it means killing themselves.

This surrender to the forces of death by the state of Oregon is an action which diminishes the value of human life, even though, admittedly, it was designed to preserve “dignity.”  But dignity is a non-descript term; it can morph into whatever meaning its speaker assigns to it.  It is not a fixed concept.  So, someone can kill himself instead of suffering and call that dignified.  Others assert that dignity is found in suffering well, drawing a family together with loved ones to the end.  Regardless of who is right and who is wrong in that debate, the conclusion of the matter is still found in the fact that Oregon has not increased dignity, but, rather, has diminished all human life by saying that some people are better off dead.  It is very sad to me that so many people have cheered this poor man on to kill himself, even though he has admitted that he is terrified of dying, not knowing what lies beyond death.

To wrestle with the implications of a pro-life way to die, see this article.  To see where “Death with Dignity” thinking ultimately leads, check out this article.



Dr. Death Has New Life

Is Dr. Death the Problem?

I’m not sure whether to blame it on vanity or the cheap thrill of provocative exploits, but Hollywood and liberal elites are giving Dr. Death new life, and this is not a good thing.  Wesley J. Smith has posted an important piece which chronicles Jack Kevorkian’s resurrection to infamy.

As Smith demonstrates accurately, Jack Kevorkian’s mission was never about compassion in end of life care. Kevorkian represents a complete scientific cannibalism in which those needing protection become targets for experimentation.  It is quite distressing to hear of glamorous glory-grabbers giving their nod of approval to such a grotesque display of anti-humanness.  Offering comments of approbation for Jack Kevorkian is like offering consolation to Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson Shooter.  Both appear quite willing to kill to promote their own causes.

You can read more about the return of Kevorkian and what it means, here.  Sadly, people like Al Pacino find “hope” in men like Jack Kevorkian.  What Smith finds is something far more

disturbing, as he concludes,

● Before beginning his assisted suicide campaign, Kevorkian sought permission to experiment on prisoners as part of the execution process. He only turned to the ill and disabled when he had been thwarted from using the criminal justice system to satisfy his macabre obsessions.

● About 70 percent of Kevorkian’s assisted suicides were not terminally ill. Most were depressed people with disabilities. Five weren’t even sick upon autopsy.

● He is a eugenics believer, stating in a court document, “The voluntary self-elimination of individual mortally diseased and crippled lives taken collectively can only enhance the preservation of public health and welfare.”

● He ripped out the kidneys of one of his assisted suicide victims and offered them at a press conference, “first come first served.” The “surgery” was so crude that the Oakland County Medical Examiner called it out of a “slaughterhouse” and a “bizarre mutilation.” The media barely reported the story and it is now long forgotten.

That a disturbed man like Jack Kevorkian can be so touted, so remade, indicates how profoundly lost we are in the fog of relativism. At this point, we must face the truth: The real problem isn’t Kevorkian: It is us.

Assisted Suicide

Have you seen this story about the Mr. Lai, a Chinese man who pushed a would-be jumper off a bridge in Guanzhou, China?  According to the story, Mr. Lai got sick and tired of so much attention being given to the suicide attempt.  So, he “assisted” the jumper by pushing him off the bridge.  Ironically, in Oregon and Washington, you can do essentially the same thing… if you are a doctor.

Shifting to the Fruits

Shifting gears a bit in the abortion, I want to move downstream to the conversation about the fruits of abortion. Often, we judge decisions and directions based on the fruits they produce. We say the verdict is out until there has been sufficient time to assess whether the net result of the decision was a good one or a bad one.

When it comes to abortion, I have no hesitation proclaiming that this was a bad decision; the fruit tells the story. Mother Teresa once famously quipped, “If a mother can kill her own children, then what can be next?” This line of questioning has proved most appropriate in the case of abortion.

Three decades ago, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop saw the same problem Mother Teresa saw. When they wrote Whatever Happened to the Human Race, Drs. Koop and Schaeffer warned that abortion would be simply the beginning of a long line of destructive behavior. If a human being (at any stage) is expendable, then the obvious conclusion is that human beings are expendable. They predicted–and we have seen fulfilled–the logical consequences of a devaluation of human life. In Koop and Everett’s day, the main fears were that we would begin practicing euthanasia on the old and weak (as in Terry Schiavo’s case) or that we would allow the practice of infanticide (allowing babies to die as in the Obama IBAPA).

We have surpassed this rotten fruit by now allowing the creation of human entities for the expressed purpose of destroying them and harvesting their stem cells for academic research. We have allowed experimental cloning for the sake of research. We not only embrace abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, but we also applaud as heroic efforts to allow doctors to kill patients, in the practice known as Physician-Assisted suicide. And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the fruit abortion has born. Abortion may end a pregnancy, but it gives birth to a Pandora’s box of societal ills.
(To be continued)