Euthanasia Train Roars into California

June 15, 2016

 
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Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) became legal in California last week. Life, a precious God-given gift, can now be legally snuffed out up and down the west coast with physician assistance.
 
PAS is legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont and New Hampshire. In New Mexico, a district court claimed PAS is a fundamental “right.” In Oregon, the first state to legalize PAS, 752 patients have used lethal prescriptions to kill themselves since October 1997.
 
Patients are in danger. Findings from a 2000 study of 3,299 oncologists nationwide (10 years before Obamacare became law), led by oncologist and Obamacare architect Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., found: 10.8% of oncologists had performed PAS and 3.7% had committed euthanasia. By definition, euthanasia is “the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit.” The primary purpose is not pain relief. Emanuel says most patients are depressed, hopeless and in psychological distress, feeling a loss of dignity or feeling like a burden.
 
Importantly, oncologists who “had sufficient time to talk to dying patients about end-of-life care issues…were less likely to support euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.” But today’s bureaucratic health-care system deprives doctors of sufficient time with patients.
 
In addition, “those who believed that they had received adequate training in end-of-life care…were less likely to have performed euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.” But how much training do doctors get on end-of-life care versus following government reporting requirements, production quotas and managed care treatment protocols?
 
Be warned: “Oncologists who reported not being able to obtain all the care that a dying patient needed were more likely to have performed euthanasia.” As rationing increases – Medicare has a $43 trillion unfunded liability and Obamacare’s Medicare “innovation” projects restrict payments to physicians for care – will more doctors be tempted to euthanize their patients?
 
In 1997, Emanuel called PAS a “slippery slope.” In the Netherlands, where regulations dictate its use, one study found 1,000 instances of “nonvoluntary euthanasia.” Formerly-competent patients who’d expressed some interest in euthanasia were killed after they slipped into incompetency and could not affirm they wanted to be killed. Furthermore, nursing homes only followed PAS and euthanasia guidelines 41 percent of the time.
 
America is economically ripe for euthanasia. Dr. Emanuel warned that the killing of patients could “become the rule in the context of demographic and budgetary pressures on Social Security and Medicare as the Baby Boom generation begins to retire, around 2010.” That’s the year Obamacare, the law Dr. Emanuel helped to write, was enacted with its focus on rationing.
 
We must not let the American medical ethos slip from healing to killing.
 
Valuing life — and patient lives,
 
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder
 
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