JUNE 2015 – Death By Desire


Nowadays it’s just not enough to live according to your desires, one must also be able to die according to their desires.

A March issue of People magazine had an article entitled ‘I Want to Die on My Terms.’ It’s the story of Christy, a single mom and successful attorney diagnosed with terminal lung cancer that spread to her brain. At the time of the article, Christy had beaten a gloomy prognosis of less than six months to live.

Knowing the end was near with end-stage lung cancer, she is quoted as saying “I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of the manner in which I will die.” Christy began fighting a new battle for the control over her final moments. Inspired by 29 year old Brittany Maynard who gained world attention when she legally ended her life under Oregon’s ‘Death with Dignity’ law, and working with Compassion & Choices, the same lobby group that also worked with Brittany, Christy is pushing for similar legislation in her home state of California.

To date, euthanasia advocates have succeeded in five states and are now targeting Pennsylvania (along with about a dozen other states) in order to push their agenda. Two bills that could legalize ‘Doctor-Prescribed Suicide’ were introduced this Spring in the Pennsylvania House (HB 943) and Senate (SB 549).

Brittany Maynard gained notoriety by spending her final days rallying people to embrace laws that would allow people to kill themselves, and the media hype comes as no surprise. Sadly this serves as a reminder of societies growing attraction to embracing death as a solution to ‘life’s problems.’

Nina Poeta, a 17 year-old cheerleader and senior in Connecticut who was also diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in November, 2013, put up a courageous fight against the disease while undergoing dozens of rounds of radiation, spending her last days proving that human beings can make a difference right up to the very last minute of their lives. Now that’s a death with dignity!

Interestingly, both Brittany and Nina had brain tumors and died peacefully in the arms of their loved ones. Yet the similarities end there as one young girl gave up when faced with the horrific news, spending her final days encouraging people to embrace laws that would allow people to kill themselves, and one young girl used her final moments that as an opportunity to show how terminally ill people can make a positive difference.

Brittany’s choice was all about death and Nina’s choice was about life. One inspired futility and defeat, and the other courage.

Equally problematic, as with abortion in which millions of viable, human fetuses were exterminated for non-threatening or frivolous reasons, it’s not too far fetched to imagine how certain individuals could be endangered by such laws without their consent, or how ‘quality of life’ determinations could broaden to include despondent individuals who simply see no further reason for going on. Euthanasia advocates will never accept restrictions or limitations in the same way that abortion advocates wail over such things.

As the story goes, Christy and her daughter would vacation together, then ‘as planned’ upon returning home – and providing that the necessary legislation was enacted – Christy would end her life with her daughter holding her hand at bedside. I sympathize with her 20-year-old daughter for losing her mother in an untimely manner, and more so for also having to witness her mother ‘prematurely’ ending her lifeIt seems that whatever time Christy and her daughter have left is, well, time together – good, bad, or otherwise.

The article concludes, quoting Christy, “It is an injustice that I cannot die the way that I want to.” Perhaps from her perspective. But it’s a strange world we have created in which ‘justice’ and individual ‘human rights’ also include the ability to end life, even if to hasten the inevitable.

It comes down to whether we are going to fight for life, or allow advocates of death and legislators define quality of life, human dignity and worth. We already know where that dangerous mindset had got us since a 1973 Supreme Court ruling.

You can learn more about this growing threat at NoAssistedSuicidePA.org. The coalition is a diverse network of disability rights activists, medical professionals and others who believe in compassionate care of people with disabilities and terminal illness, as opposed to the dangerous practice of doctor-prescribed suicide. Sign the online petition to oppose assisted suicide in Pennsylvania at: www.paprolife.org/petition.  Please share it with your friends. Also check out the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Online Newsletter at paprolife.us/blog, and sign up for regular updates about what’s happening in Pennsylvania and what you can do to help protect lives. The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is working hard to educate the public about the threat of doctor-prescribed suicide. Please help us by informing yourself and your friends.

Life can be tragic, and even unbearable for some. Yet even more tragic is when humanity demands the right to die as they please.

Personally, there’s something very unappealing about willful death, even if it’s the ‘compassionate’ choice.’



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