As of last week, a law legalizing assisted suicide in California went into effect. Pro-Life advocates are concerned for the well-being of residents who may be most at-risk of coercion to choose assisted suicide over living out the natural course of their lives.
In California, a major push for assisted suicide came in the wake of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard’s highly-publicized death. The California native chose to end her life in Oregon in 2014, and criticized her state for not permitting her to commit suicide at home. At the time, Oregon was one of only three states – also including Washington and Vermont – where assisted suicide was legal. California was added to their number through the passage of the End of Life Option Act earlier this year. Suicide activists acknowledged that Maynard propaganda was indispensable in their success pushing anti-Life legislation across the nation.
Assisted suicide is antithetical to human dignity and the Right to Life, and tragically, often endangers the populations most in need of protection. Low-income, terminally ill individuals are particularly vulnerable to the antics of assisted suicide proponents because they rely on assistance – often from public healthcare programs or the help of loved ones – to receive the treatment they need. The introduction of assisted suicide as a legal option automatically places these individuals at risk of financially-motivated coercion.
The idea that assisted suicide laws could be abused by unscrupulous entities is not far-fetched. Indeed, as the precursor to Obamacare, Clinton’s HillaryCare program essentially quantified the value of patients based on the medical costs they incurred. Texas Right to Life has explored this problem on numerous occasions. HillaryCare estimated the healthcare costs that the average American incurs at the end of his Life by comparing the medical expenses incurred in the last year of Life with the costs incurred over the entire Life and found that the last year of Life is the most costly for the majority of Americans. Eliminating care for the terminally ill by means of assisted suicide, then, would reduce medical costs for the persons or entities supporting the patient.
In addition to the likelihood that some Californians will be coerced into an assisted suicide decision, Pro-Lifers have also expressed concern that the fatal dose of barbiturates prescribed by the doctor do not need to be ingested in the doctor’s presence. LifeNews’ Micaiah Bilger reports:
Disability rights groups, many in the medical community, pro-lifers, and others are upset by the new law because of the potential for horrendous abuses of human life. One of their concerns is that doctors are not required to be present when the patient takes the deadly medicine; therefore, there is no way of knowing whether the person is taking the medicine of their own free will.
Bilger also noted that there is already at least one business established expressly to commit assisted suicides in California, adding to concerns that financial profit from assisted suicide could add another layer of problems to the practice. We have seen similar unethical profiteering off of death from organizations like Planned Parenthood, which operates as a nonprofit while simultaneously reporting astronomical net assets year after fiscal year. Pro-Life organizations like Texas Right to Life remain vigilant in the face of increasing assisted suicide propaganda and lobbying, and work hard to protect their communities from the predation of Kevorkian activists.