The “Right to Die” movement, a growing trend in the U.S. and around the world, has been labeled as “compassionate,” but poses great societal risks, namely the compromising of the doctor-patient relationship and endangering the rights of the disabled. Right to Die encompasses both Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) and euthanasia. Euthanasia refers to a doctor performing a lethal injection and Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) refers to a doctor aiding the patient’s death by giving the means or information to enable the patient’s suicide. This for example, may include providing drugs and information regarding the lethal dose. Currently, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, Montana, Colorado, Washington, DC and Canada have legalized Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS).
While proponents of “Right to Die” frame the issue as merely a medical “right,” akin to a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, the American Medical Association stands against it on ethical and philosophical grounds: “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”
Liz Carr, a British actress, comedian, disability rights activist and writer of Assisted Suicide: The Musical echoes these concerns about the difficulty to control PAS and its societal risks. She observes that while the law is initially intended for the terminally ill, other groups claim a “right” to it and “in the name of rights and equality it [euthanasia] ends up being extended.” Carr also voices concerns for the disabled community stating, “I fear we’ve so devalued certain groups of people – ill people, disabled people, older people – that I don’t think it’s in their best interests to enshrine in law the right of doctors to kill certain people.” The Right to Die quickly becomes the Right to Kill.
Donald W. Landry, M.D., PhD, Physician-in-Chief at New York Presbyterian/Columbia agrees saying, “A brave, new world in which physicians routinely take up the cause of death is a world of grave moral hazard…Imagine that instead of leading you to choose a preferred treatment, he [the doctor] is advancing another, more final solution as best for you. This is not the world in which you want to live.” In this brave new world, how do we discern the motives of the doctor? Do they want what is best for the patient, or what saves the government and insurance companies money?
This is no longer an abstract scenario. A recent report from Canada mentioned that euthanasia could “save” the government $139 million per year. The insurance company of Californian Stephanie Packer, a 34-year-old wife and mother of four, denied coverage for chemotherapy but covered suicide pills, which cost $1.20.
Additionally, we don’t have to look beyond Charlie Gard to see that socialized medicine presents itself as “free” but in reality, strips freedom from the key decision makers in the life of the patient. Administrators, judges, and government officials make the decisions rather than family of the patient. Socialism roots itself in atheistic philosophy whereby government (funded by the taxes), not God, provides for the needs of people. In this “efficient” system, the government “saves money” by destroying those who require the most care.
But what about those suffering patients who really do want to die? Diane Severin, M.D. a radiation oncology physician practicing in Canada states:
“The first time a patient asked to be euthanized, which has increased since its legalization in Canada, my initial response was ‘I don’t believe in that.’ But that made for a difficult discussion. My patient wasn’t asking what I believed in. He was asking about himself. Going forward, I tried to find out what my patients were afraid of…I discovered that they feared pain and suffering. After describing the resources of our palliative care team, who could provide pain and symptom help, not one patient pushed beyond that initial inquiry. People really do want to live.”
Not only do people want to live, but they long for loyalty, self-sacrifice, purpose and meaning. Atul Gawande, M.D., surgeon and author of New York Times bestseller, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, refers to the philosophy of loyalty espoused by early 20th century Harvard philosopher, Josiah Royce. Gawande summarizes it stating, “The individualist puts self-interest first, seeing his own pain, pleasure and existence as his greatest concern.” However, the human being needs loyalty. Gawande notes, “the cause can be large (family, country, principle) or small (a building project, the care of a pet). The important thing is that, in ascribing value to the cause and seeing it as worth making sacrifices for, we give our lives meaning.”
In addition to posing risks to medical ethics, conscience rights of doctors, and endangering the disabled and infirmed, the Right to Die movement conceals socialist government “efficiency” and insurance profits behind words like “dignity” and “compassion.” By trading the values of faith and courage for individualism and avoidance of pain, we have lost, as a culture, a sense of loyalty and self-sacrifice. While the “Right to Die” movement appears to be the choice for the liberated individualist, it only stands as a symptom of godless, socialist secularization which strips meaning from life and dignity from people. Euthanasia and assisted suicide will not cease to be an issue until we address not only our fear of death and lack of purpose, but the larger problem of the atheistic secularization of society. For, only in understanding from whence we have come, will we know how to move forward.
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Originally published on Patriot Post, August 31, 2017
After Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) introduced a merit-based immigration bill, the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, President Donald Trump stated at an Ohio rally that such efforts will “protect our workers” and “our economy.”
In a joint USA Today article, Cotton and Perdue explain, “First, attract the young and highly skilled, since they provide the biggest boost to our economy. Second, seek out people who can integrate into American society most effectively. Third, give priority to uniting immediate families, since it’s better to give precious green cards to parents and their minor children rather than to fill out someone’s family tree with grown siblings and cousins.”
The points system, like those used in Canada and Australia seeks to achieve both the first and second objective. It attracts the young and highly skilled (i.e. English-speaking professionals who can integrate into the American workforce and culture).
The third priority of uniting immediate family members rather than “filling out the family tree” refers to eliminating “chain migration,” which allows an immigrant to petition for the immigration of their adult siblings and their adult children. The RAISE Act also eliminates the “diversity visa lottery” a fraud-laden system that randomly distributes green cards without assessment of skills. The bill also caps the number of refugees to 50,000 per year.
While these proposed changes seem reasonable, opponents of the RAISE Act have called it “racist” and “bigoted,” the natural insult to anyone with whom they disagree. But is it, in fact, racist to implement laws commonly used by industrial countries around the world?
Only if you are the United States.
The issue at stake here is sovereignty. Does the United States have the right to make its own decisions? The Regressives say no. In fact, they resist any immigration law other than open borders and amnesty. Why? They build their opinions upon two concepts: globalism and diversity. Globalists believe that all humans are “world citizens” whose loyalty should be toward the “global good.” To pledge loyalty to a specific country or to require fluency in a national language means, to a globalist, that you believe your country and language to be superior. While national loyalty and a national language exist as normal elements of countries around the globe, with the U.S. it qualifies, in their view, as racist.
The second concept, diversity, views any attempt to assimilate an immigrant into the U.S. as an oppressive attack on the immigrant’s native customs and attempt to micro-aggress his or her former cultural norms.
Ironically, globalism and diversity, the two foundations of Regressive opinions on immigration, diametrically oppose one another. Globalism says, “We are all the same,” while diversity says, “We are all different.” Globalism seeks to bring people into thought conformity, while diversity seeks to separate people into identity groups. Both ultimately cause division.
For example, globalism separates those who support local government and those who support global government. Diversity separates people into identity groups such as male, female, transgender, homosexual, heterosexual, black, white, Latino, Asian, Indian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baby Boomer, Millennial, Generation Z and so on. After dividing people into these groups, the diversity specialists “define” what it means. Some diversity axioms are “Millennials are socialists,” “Women support abortion,” “Blacks vote Democrat,” or “Latinos support amnesty,” or “Good people are for open borders.” To say anything against these axioms is to question the globalist/diversity hierarchy. To disagree is to not “conform.” And to not conform is to be punished with words like bigot, racist, homophobe, Islamophobe, white supremacist or neo-Nazi.
In this way, globalists and diversity proponents control the narrative through their axioms, claiming that those who oppose are “judging,” while simultaneously judging those who disagree with them. For example, if an immigration bill like the RAISE Act comes up, it will be immediately labeled as racist (i.e. not globalist) and discriminatory (i.e. not diverse). Sandbox politics apparently still exist with grown-ups who resort to name-calling to shame and neutralize their opponents.
Thus, the opposition to the RAISE Act has little to do with whether it will help the economy or the American worker. Rather, driven by globalism, diversity and identity politics, instead of common sense, sovereignty or the precedent of other countries, the immigration debate has fallen victim to the coercive name-calling nature of globalists and diversity proponents. However, if we realize these baseless verbal attacks for the nonsense that they are, we can resist the absurdity and allow logic and reason to triumph, not only in the immigration debate, but in all debates.
Originally published on Patriot Post, August 17, 2017
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