Thursday, October 06, 2005

The ACLU's Euthanasia

Crossposted from StoptheACLU.com

Yesterday, the new session of the Supreme Court opened with the controversial topic of assisted suicide. The legal debate is over States rights, but for America the real debate is a moral one. The "death with dignity" crowd plea that someone who is terminal and suffering should be allowed to die in a less painful way. There may be many of you that agree, but I think this opens the pandoras box. Once we hand over power to the medical community to determine who is fit to live, we open the door for some Dr. Death type zealot to step in. Many doctors feel if they were compelled by the State to comply with the wishes of a patient to help them die, it would be a violation of their hypocratic oath. North American Patriot points out from an article in the Scientific American Of the 34 euthanasia cases, Ogden found that half were botched and ultimately resulted in increased suffering. This is where the moral line gets drawn.
"The ACLU recognizes the right of a patient to euthanasia..."--ACLU Policy Guide of 1986. They have also went to the defense of many in assisted suicide cases, and other "right to die" cases See here. In 1988 the ACLU supported a proposal in Michigan that would allow a panel of physicians to determine whether a person is terminally ill and mentally competent to choose to have a physician-assisted death.

These were all voluntary cases involving terminally ill people, so what is the problem? The problem is a moral one, and another case for the slippery slope argument. It is based on the intentions of our founders.

The ACLU attempts to promote euthanasia and assisted suicide in the guise of "the right to privacy". Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not private acts. Instead, they involve one person participating directly in the death of another. This is a matter of public concern since it can lead to significant abuse, exploitation and degradation of care for some of the most vulnerable people among us.

Oregon, the Netherlands and Belgium are the only places in the world where laws specifically allow euthanasia or assisted suicide. Oregon permits assisted suicide. The Netherlands and Belgium allow both euthanasia and assisted suicide.

We can learn some important lessons of such concepts from history:

"In October of 1939 amid the turmoil of the outbreak of war Hitler ordered widespread "mercy killing" of the sick and disabled.

Code named "Aktion T 4," the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate "life unworthy of life" at first focused on newborns and very young children. Midwives and doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry.

The Nazi euthanasia program quickly expanded to include older disabled children and adults. Hitler's decree of October, 1939, typed on his
personal stationery and back dated to Sept. 1, enlarged "the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death."Source

Could this happen in America? I fear we have opened a door that could very well push us in that direction. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of this law, many other states could follow suit. First its voluntary, then we get into the issue of guardianship, which can lead to sick babies, deformed babies, etc...

Many of you will not like what I have got to say, but here it is...I'm gonna go evangelical on you; an individual has no right to take their own life. It is important to understand this. Allow me explain.

The opening refrain of the Declaration of Independence provides the necessity of an absolute standard upon which the rule of law must be based:

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;...
" Declaration of Independence

First of all, and most importantly, notice who the founders believed endowed us our rights. Then notice that while the right of life was granted, there is no right to choose your death.

Thomas Jefferson said, "the chief purpose of government is to protect life. Abandon that, and you have abandoned all."

Abraham Lincoln was faced with the same issue when he questioned the institution of slavery. He said,"I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon priciple, and making exceptions to it, where it will stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man?"

The individual is granted the gift of life by God. Who has the right to take it away? A legal guardian? A Court? In my opinion, the only one who has the right to take away life is the Creator who granted it. If you put that right into the hands of the individual, a panel of doctors, a legal guardian, or the judicial system, you have given up that right. God grants our rights, not the State. If the State granted rights it could take them away, and that is where the danger lies.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not about giving rights to the person who dies but, instead, they are about changing public policy so that doctors or others can directly end or be involved in ending another person's life. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not about the right to die. They are about the right to kill.

Life is not the gift of the State. To give consent to the State to be involved in the taking of human life is to grant a right to the State that does not belong to it, a license to kill. It allows the State to exercise a "right" over something that was not the State's to give in the first place. For human life belongs to God's realm, not the government's.

In order to protect any rights we must protect all rights, beginning with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our best hope for civil liberties protection is not the ACLU, but to return to the rule of law based on the inalienable right to life endowed to all men by their Creator. The rule of law intended by our founders.

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please register at Our Portal. You will be added to our maling list and blogroll. Over 115 blogs already onboard.