Culture of death spreading with physician-aided suicide

February 24, 2014 

The good news on the front page of the Feb. 14 local section of the Bradenton Herald is that the dogs rescued from the Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary and scheduled to be euthanized have been adopted by kind people.

In stark contrast to this good news, on page 8A is the sickening news that Belgian legislators have legalized euthanasia for children under 18.

Most astounding to me is the fact that until 2005 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled capital punishment for teenagers unconstitutional, European nations regularly assaulted us as being barbaric and savage for this. Their reason? Minors are not responsible for their actions.

Now, however, it is fine for someone between the ages of 12 and 18 to request physician-assisted suicide (PAD) in Belgium.

To quote an overused cliché, this is just more of a descent down the slippery slope from which there is no going back. Here, in our own country, PAD is being practiced legally in four states: Montana, Washington, Oregon and Vermont. States that have had bills presented to their legislators, but not passed are: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Kansas, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.

Most of us were shocked years ago by the concept of people having a doctor inject a deadly drug into their veins. Now, very slowly and very insidiously, this culture of death is spreading its strangling tentacles, convincing the most naïve of us that it is a good thing.

Coupled with this, a health care law showing signs of rationing medical treatment makes it difficult to believe the statement "It can't happen here!" when it comes to physician-assisted deaths of helpless children.

Let us hope that our kind efforts to rescue forsaken dogs and provide them with happy lives extends also to our abandoned, neglected, or dying human beings.

Kathleen Richardson


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