Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide / “Aid in dying” is often cloaked in language of mercy, compassion, and even love. Here’s the reality…

A. Undermining the doctor’s role

Assisted suicide undermines the physician’s role as healer. It forever alters the doctor-patient relationship, and lessens the quality of care provided to patients at the end of life. Patients are best served when medical professionals, together with families and loved ones, provide support and care with dignity and respect, not lethal doses of drugs. The American Medical Association continues to hold a strong policy position against physician-assisted suicide, which they say is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role” and would be “difficult or impossible to control.”

B. Who profits? Insurance Companies

No one wants insurance companies to decide who gets life-sustaining treatments and who is denied. This is exactly what is happening in places where physician-assisted suicide is legal. Stephanie Packer, a 34-year-old mother of four living in California, was told her doctor-recommended chemotherapy treatment was denied by her insurance company. However, she was later informed that her plan would cover a lethal dose of suicide pills — at the incredibly low cost of $1.20. To read her whole story, visit www.stephaniesjourney.org.

C. Who loses? The marginalized in society

No matter how carefully any guidelines are framed, assisted suicide and euthanasia will be practiced through the prism of social inequality and bias. The practices will pose the greatest risks to those who are poor, disabled, elderly, members of a minority group, or those without access to good medical care. The growing concern about health care costs increases the risks.

D. Who else loses? EVERYONE

It was recently reported in Canada that euthanasia could save the socialized national health care system $139 million a year. We see the slippery slope in places where euthanasia has been legalized; killing another person becomes seen as “compassion”. Those in power determine whose life is worth living and who is disposable.

E. Where is physician-assisted suicide currently legal?

In North America, it is currently legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, Montana, Colorado, Washington DC, and throughout Canada.

Links for further information: Patientsrightsaction.org, patientsrightscouncil.org, epcc.ca

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