A Quick “Lay of the Land”
At the PRC, we know many of you rely on us to keep you informed of what’s going on with the “death with dignity” movement, doctor-prescribed suicide and other patient care issues. A quick snapshot of the situation right now reveals:
· A district judge in New Mexico has deemed assisted suicide to be a constitutional right for people of that state.
· The Belgian Parliament voted on February 13 to legalize euthanasia by lethal injection for minors. This was signed into law by Belgium’s king on March 3rd. Los Angeles newspapers have hailed this as a wise move and one that we should adopt here in the States.
· Legislation to allow doctor-prescribed suicide has been re-introduced in New Jersey and Connecticut.
[March 2014, Patients Rights Council E-mail Update, http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org]
Court Imposes Assisted Suicide in New Mexico
[Comment: More and more often, we are seeing the rule of law overruled by activist judges, lack of prosecution or enforcement, etc. This is not only true in the case of euthanasia but also in the cases of environmental law, government regulation and other issues. N. Valko RN]
If you ever wonder why there are so many radical and extreme lawsuits, wonder no more. As I have often said about a variety of issues, it only takes one judge to break down the walls of democratic governance and impose an ideological view.
That has now happened in New Mexico where Compassion and Choices brought a lawsuit claiming that a doctor assisting the suicide of a terminally ill patient isn’t breaking the assisted suicide law, but merely providing the state constitutionally protected medical treatment of “aid in dying.”
That redefinition gambit did not work a few years ago in Connecticut. It didn’t even work in Montana, where the Supreme Court there refused to impose a constitutional right to assisted suicide. And the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that there is no federal constitutional right to assisted suicide.
But now, that “one judge” has been found.
First, Judge Nan G. Nash finds that terminal illness is nothing but suffering–despite the great advances of hospice and the meaning many find in that time of life. From the decision:
Once diagnosed, these patients are subjected to invasive medical tests and procedures, loss of autonomy and control, extreme pain and other equally insidious indignities. When given their terminal diagnosis, they must say good bye to friends and loved ones, put their affairs in order, come to terms with their imminent death and await the inevitable. The activities which give their lives meaning are stripped away, one after the other, as their disease progresses
Having painted the bleakest and most pessimistic picture possible, she ignores that not all people diagnosed as “terminal,” actually die from their condition.
She then states that since some terminally ill people die by refusing medical treatment–previously ruled not suicide by the U.S. Supreme Court–and because people can die from the side effects of pain control–they can of a tonsillectomy too, but that isn’t suicide–that it is unconstitutional to prevent terminally ill people from receiving a lethal overdose from a doctor for the purpose of self-killing:
Not only that, Nash agrees that the New Mexico Legislature specifically included assisted suicide in the context of health care in the legal prohibition. So what?
This Court cannot envision a right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican than the right of a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying. If decisions made in the shadow of one’s imminent death regarding how they and their loved ones will face that death are not fundamental and at the core of these constitutional guarantees, than what decisions are?
So by mere assertion, she makes it so.
Be clear: The decision is ideological. It follows to the i-dot and t-cross the advocacy arguments of C & C, which was more honest in its agenda when it was known as the Hemlock Society.
One would hope that logic and the use of accurate and proper definitions would be at the core of such a culture-changing court ruling. But alas, that’s not the country we live in anymore.
One would think that such a radical agenda should be enacted democratically. But alas, that’s not the country we live in anymore.
None of that matters when there is an ideology to be imposed!
Culture of death, Wesley? What culture of death?
[Wesley J. Smith, January 13, 2014, http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/368360/court-imposes-assisted-suicide-new-mexico-wesley-j-smith ]