Every so often, I come one someone, usually in my reading, that says that there is no "culture of death". This, despite the numbers on abortion, attempts to not save the lives of babies who survive abortion attempts (thank you, Mr. Obama), Kevorkian and assisted suicide.
I do think these people are blind. Perhaps not willfully (though one does wonder).
But now, the voters in Washington have to make a decision again regarding who should live and who should die. And as the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide makes perfectly clear, Initiative 1000 has huge problems, which is why they are working night and day to encourage voters in the state to vote against the Initiative. Make sure to check out the powerful ad on the Coalition's web site, featuring recently deceased Barbara Ann Wagner.
For starters, Eileen Geller, R.N., B.S.N., points out what could and probably will happen if this Initiative becomes law:
· Spouses and family members do not need to be told before – or after – a loved one is given lethal drugs.
· Persons suffering from depression can be given a lethal overdose without any psychological counseling or treatment – nothing in the Initiative requires an assessment of potential depression by a qualified professional.
· Health care insurers and HMO's could exploit I-1000 to save costs, since a bottle of lethal drugs costs far less than other end-of-life care.
· Heirs to a patient's estate are allowed to participate in the assisted suicide and to witness the request for lethal drugs. This would contravene existing practice governing wills and estates, a scenario that worries law enforcement because of the real potential for abuse.
Protecting the vulnerable, the ill and the dying is a never-ending struggle for each of us who realize that a human being's life, including one's own life, is a gift from God and not a thing to be used or abused at will. So, in this politically volatile year, I believe it is time for every person with the right to vote and a properly formed conscience to assess carefully what President Ronald Reagan once said: “What America needs is spiritual renewal and reconciliation – first, man with God, and then man with man.”