Tag Archives: assisted suicide

New Video: Rationing in the Obama Health Care Law

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias discusses how the Obama Health Care Law will ration your health care.

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BBC Airs Assisted Suicide Documentary; NRLC responds

The BBC aired a documentary produced by author Terry Pratchett last night which shows the final moments of Peter Smedley’s life in a Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland.  NRL News Editor Dave Andrusko wrote about the show for NRL News Today.  According to London’s Daily Mail, as of just a few hours ago, the BBC has received nearly 900 complaints about the one-sided presentation “romanticizing” assisted suicide.

Early today, we received a call for a response from NTN24, a Colombian-based 24-hour cable news outlet which can be seen both in the United States and throughout Latin America.  National Right to Life’s Cristina Minniti-Perez responded to the documentary saying compassion, not death, is what patentients need.  Cristina’s interview served to provide a strong pro-life pespective to viewers around the world.

Jack Kevorkian Dead at 83

 WASHINGTON – Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist known the world over as “Dr. Death” for his push to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States, died in a Detroit-area hospital at age 83.  He readily admitted to assisting in the deaths of more than 100 people.

 “Many of the victims on whom Jack Kevorkian preyed were people with disabilities who had no terminal illness; one was simply old. In at least five cases autopsies were unable to confirm any disease at all,” observed Burke J. Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics.

 Kevorkian’s “suicide machine” drew worldwide attention when the CBS program “60 Minutes” aired footage, shot by Kevorkian himself, as he administered lethal drugs to Thomas Youk, a man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The tape quickly became evidence in a murder trial that sentenced Kevorkian to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder.  He was paroled in 2007.

 His often inflammatory efforts to legalize assisted suicide as a constitutional “right” were soundly rejected by the unanimous 1997 Supreme Court decision in Washington v. Glucksberg in which the Court held that assisted suicide was not a constitutional right.  The case overturned a previous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

 “While some euthanasia advocates have sought to distance themselves from his bizarre positions and tactics, his tragic legacy illustrates the dangers to the most vulnerable when compassionate, humane responses to depression or disability are replaced with death as an acceptable final solution,” Balch added.

 Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

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Release: Idaho Bill Would Throw Patient’s Rights Out the Window

For immediate release:
Monday, March 23, 2009                                                              

IDAHO SENATE BILL 1114
THROWS PATIENT RIGHTS OUT THE WINDOW

 Idaho Senate Bill 1114, which has passed the Idaho state Senate, is currently awaiting hearing before the Idaho House Health and Welfare Committee. If passed, the bill would authorize health care providers to deny life-sustaining procedures, including food and fluids through feeding tubes or IV, against the will of patients and their family members.

The bill establishes a procedure by which healthcare providers can override patient and family decisions to choose lifesaving treatment and care, including patient’s wishes in their written advance directive. The bill’s dangerously vague language means that health care providers would be able to deny treatment to patients they think have a poor “quality of life,” as arbitrarily determined by a hospital ethics committee.                                                                                       

“In short, the bill dangerously overrides patient and family rights,” said Burke Balch J.D., Director of NRLC’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics.  “It takes choices away from the patient and family, instead placing life or death decisions in the hands of a hospital ethics committee or the health care provider acting even without an ethics committee. In effect, the passage of SB1114 would mean the deaths of those patients the health care providers deem unworthy to live.”

 Spokespersons, including independent experts, are available for interviews on this legislation. To arrange an interview, please contact the National Right to Life Committee Communications Department at 202-626-8825 or mediarelations@nrlc.org

 The National Right to Life Committee is the nation=s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide.  National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

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