All over America, states have anti-Life laws on the books. From allowing abortion mills to operate with fewer inspections than tanning salons, to withdrawing Life-sustaining treatments from hospital patients against their will (as we saw in the tragic case of Terri Schiavo), the culture of death thrives on state-level laws.
In some parts of the country, so-called Death with Dignity laws exist as a means of legal suicide for individuals with terminal illness. Supporters of the law posit that suicide is a more dignified way of dying than experiencing the final stages of illness. But opponents of legal suicide – including those who have terminal diseases themselves – hold that the suggestion of suicide is degrading on many levels to those individuals who are fighting the hard battle of illness.
A young mom battling stage 4 kidney cancer has taken to YouTube to tell her story of LIFE and her refusal to surrender to cancer by taking her own life. She is the mother of four small children, and she sees every day she spends with them as a gift of precious time:
“Cancer might take my life, but I’m going to live until I die,” she says. “I’m going to fight until I die. That’s dignity. Statistically my odds are bleak, but I’m not a statistic.”
As she lives in Oregon, where suicide is legal, this young mom could take her life by ingesting barbiturates if she chose to do so. But, the young mom says, “My life isn’t mine to take; it’s mine to give… Love is dignity. I’m facing death with dignity.”
Texas does not have a “Death with Dignity” law allowing terminally ill individuals to kill themselves. However, patients face their own set of legislated indignities stemming from a law that allows doctors to withdraw life-sustaining treatment, causing the patient’s death, when they determine that the patient’s life is not worth living.
Furthermore, under the same Texas Advance Directives Act, doctors are allowed to issue do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders without the explicit consent of the patient or his or her surrogate. Worse, the removal of treatment includes the basic human requirement of food and water. In plain terms, doctors can and do legally starve and dehydrate their patientsto death. This is not a death with dignity.
“My life isn’t a story written by cancer,” the young mom from the video above concluded. “It’s written by love. And whenever it ends, it’ll end in eternal love. And a story’s ending changes the meaning of every page.” At Texas Right to Life, we ardently believe that all human Life is precious, from conception to natural death. And every American should have the opportunity to live out their days – however numbered – with dignity.