End of Life Issues

In Florida we experienced up close the tragedy of the starvation of Terri Schiavo.

An innocent woman was denied sustenance simply because her quality of life was deemed unacceptable to a judge. This horrific event in our time should alert all people to become aware of the issues surrounding end of life decisions, euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.

Talking Points and Basic Information

1. What the Bible Says About the End of Life
July 12, 2010
Carrie Gordon Earll
Citizen Link

2. Suicide and Assisted Suicide: The Role of Depression
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Many people assume that a large percentage of terminally ill patients come to a fixed and “rational” decision for suicide, to be taken at face value as an expression of their free choice. The reality is very different.

Comprehensive Research and Articles

1. What You Need to Know About Terri Schiavo
July 15, 2010
Carrie Gordon Earll
Citizen Link
Terri Schiavo’s fight for life was widely publicized in the media but do you know the
facts?

2. Dr. Death on Prime Time: The Slippery Slope Toward Murder
By Albert Mohler
Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s prime-time publicity stunt demonstrates the speed with which the culture of death is overtaking our times.

3. Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
By Carrie Gordon Earll
Should physicians be granted the power to intentionally end the lives of their patients? Recent proposals to legalize physician-assisted suicide have raised this question and triggered intense legal, medical and social debate.

4. Sign Your Way to a “Good Death?” – The Soft Slide to Euthanasia
By Albert Mohler
Christians understand the reality of death, but we must also affirm the gift of life.  Furthermore, the Bible makes clear that we are not the masters of our own fates, nor the sovereigns of our own souls.  In the end, our lives are in God’s hands.  This society’s transit down a freeway to euthanasia should concern all citizens, but Christians in particular.

5. Healers, Not Killers
May 7, 2009
By Albert Mohler
The Parable of the Unwilling Physician

6. Should We Legalize Voluntary Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide?
Family Research Council
By William L. Saunders, J.D. and Michael A. Fragoso

7. The Dutch Disaster
By Carrie Gordon Earll
Citizen Link
As the Dutch experience demonstrates, euthanasia does not remain limited to competent, terminally ill adults who choose to end their own lives. Furthermore, guidelines have proven to be no protection for Holland’s disabled, depressed or elderly citizens.

8. Killing the Pain, Not the Patient: Palliative Care vs. Assisted Suicide
By Richard M. Doerflinger and Carlos F. Gomez, M.D., Ph.D.
In short, pain control and other elements of palliative care must be clearly distinguished from intentional killing of patients. In trying to blur this distinction, euthanasia advocates only show their own indifference to the goal of promoting better care for dying patients.

9. Assisted Suicide: Death by “Choice”?
By Rita L. Marker, Esq.
Across the country assisted suicide is being promoted as a “choice” that should be available. This promotion, however, is just the first step of a strategy developed by assisted-suicide advocates to achieve their goal of death on demand.

10. Physician-assisted Suicide: The Wrong Approach to End of Life Care
By F. Michael Gloth, III, M.D.
The goal of this article is to provide information on physician-assisted suicide drawn from clinical and public policy experience. Arguments on both sides of the public debate are presented, and it will be shown that as a matter of morality, medicine and public policy, physician-assisted suicide is the wrong approach to end of life care.

11. Dying Well, Assisted Suicide, and the Law
By M. Cathleen Kaveny
No one can deny that our society needs to address the challenges posed by rising health care costs. But legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia, particularly in the context of unregulated managed care, is the wrong way to do so. It radically threatens the equal dignity of all human beings, which is a basic premise of democratic government. It also wrongly assumes that the process of dying can never be an important life experience for terminally ill persons and those who love them.

12. Protecting Against Involuntary Euthanasia by Providers
National Right to Life Committee
Report finds that most states don’t require doctors to honor advance directives that direct food, fluids and treatment.

13. Why We Shouldn’t Legalize Assisting Suicide
National Right to Life Committee

Websites, Books and Additional Resources

1. National Right to Life Committee
The Powell Center for Medical Ethics

2. End of Life Issues / Euthanasia
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

3. Mercy or Murder: Euthanasia, Morality, & Public Policy
By Kenneth Overberg

4. Euthanasia & Physician Assisted Suicide: Killing or Caring
By Michael Manning