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U.S. rejects doctor-assisted suicide laws

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a unanimous decision that will echo through hospitals and homes, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that terminally ill people do not have a constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, whose wife died in 1991 after a long battle with ovarian cancer, wrote the decision. He said the idea of having someone help end another's life conflicts with the nation's history, legal traditions and practices. The court upheld laws in New York ... (Continue reading)

Notable Quotes

Low birth rates “My opinion is that the drop is due to many factors: a bad economy, relatively small numbers of women at peak childbearing age, delayed marriages and the socially accepted conundrum that children are damaging to the environment and to personal happiness.” Katherine Dowling from her article “Mothers and Other Strangers.” (L.A. Times, March 3, 1994) Handicapped are threatened “We feel our lives threatened…We realize we cost the community a lot…Many people think we are useless…We will find it extremely ... (Continue reading)

Euthanasia warnings valid in Netherlands

Interim special A new analysis of doctor-assisted death in the Netherlands – considered a model by some advocates of assisted suicide in the United States – suggests that doctors there have increasingly taken the next troubling step: Ending patients’ lives without their permission. The assessment contradicts Dutch government data publicized last year and widely interpreted as evidence that assisted suicide, which is not criminal in the Netherlands under certain conditions, can be humanely applied. It confirms the fears of U.S. opponents ... (Continue reading)

Colombia’s bishops reject euthanasia

BOGOTA, Colombia (CWN) – The Colombian Conference of Catholic bishops (CEC) May 26 energetically condemned “the embarrassing and absurd” approval of a law that makes this Latin American country the first to legalize euthanasia. Archbishop Alberto Giraldo, president of the bishop’s conference, said: “Such a law is a legal absurdity and a human monstrosity,” since “no one has the right to decide on the moment to terminate life, not even one’s own.” The Constitutional Court, the highest court in the ... (Continue reading)

Insights into euthanasia’s ‘false light’

Video In Review Euthanasia: False Light Produced by the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force Available from Life Cycle Books, 416-690-5860 1995, 15 minutes, $29.95 Denny Brace found a new oncologist when his first one coldly predicted he’d be dead in 12 months. Denny went through chemotherapy and now, three years later, with his pain under control, he jogs, lifts weights and works part-time in construction. Jim Curly was told he had three months to live, but he outlived his doctor. Today Jim spends ... (Continue reading)

You were asking?

How, by allowing early abortions, does compromise provide ammunition for euthanasia? J.S. Mississauga Charles E. Rice, Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School points to this danger in No Exceptions: A Pro-Life Imperative. The danger is a “functional definition of personhood,” according to which, “You will be treated as a person only to the extent that you can function satisfactorily to others.” Professor Rice quotes from cases heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989), ... (Continue reading)

When choice is scarce

One of the central thrusts of Campaign Life Coalition’s election effort is to evaluate each candidate’s position on right to life issues. It’s a major task, involving the work of staff and volunteers from across the country. The evaluation is based on candidate’s responses to a seven-item Campaign Life Coalition questionnaire. It forces our would-be leaders to declare their views on such questions as legal protection for the unborn from the moment of conception, the sale of ... (Continue reading)

Bishop stands by excommunication

Interim Special Many feel they have done nothing wrong and have refused to quit the targeted groups. For a year, Marilyn Seiker and others like her have continued to receive Holy Communion, despite a bishop’s demand that they quit groups such as Planned Parenthood or face excommunication. “We thought it would be scandalous to our grandchildren to see us being refused Communion,” said Seiker, 64. Under excommunication, Roman Catholics may attend Mass but cannot receive Holy Communion or other sacraments, such as marriage ... (Continue reading)

Bringing facts to bear on Euthanasia Issue

Interim Special “Euthanasia and assisted suicide are ‘knocking at the door’” says Father Jim Whalen, National Director for Priests for Life, Canada. “And we can’t just ignore the traps of death. Just as 25 years ago when many said we would never kill our unborn, now another attack on the dignity of human life is ready to take hold here in Canada. But now we’re ahead of the game. We can still prevent the legal introduction of mercy killing, the ... (Continue reading)

Case puts focus on disabled rights

Pro-life groups across the country welcome the February 6 Supreme Court of Canada decision granting a new trial for Saskatchewan farmer Robert Latimer. While there exists a possibility of a second jury acquitting Latimer of murder charges, pro-lifers hope a new trial will refocus attention on the innocent victims of so-called mercy killings. Convicted of second-degree murder in the November, 1994 death of his 12-year-old disabled daughter Tracy, Latimer was originally sentenced to life imprisonment, with no chance of parole for at ... (Continue reading)

Slippery slope for Dutch MDs

BOSTON – A report in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine reveals the incidence of euthanasia and doctor assisted suicide is rising in the Netherlands, even though both practices are illegal. However the report says Dutch doctors are not willing to assist in patients' suicides for morally unacceptable reasons. The report was designed to see if legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide would lead more doctors to consider casual killing of the sick. Pro-lifers in the Netherlands fear a change ... (Continue reading)

London pro-life office launches campaign against euthanasia

The pro-life office of the London, Ontario diocese has stressed euthanasia as one of the most important life issues facing the community. In a statement issued to parishes in the diocese, the pro-life office said it is crucial that people be motivated to oppose any legislative plans to decriminalize assisted suicide. The push to oppose the practice has been inspired in part by concerns that Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs of Manitoba plans to introduce a bill in the Senate which ... (Continue reading)

Euthanasia paper makes major impact across the country

The pro-life community is gratified with the success of a newspaper supplement which is being used to educate Canadians of the dangers of euthanasia. The 12-page publication offers a series of articles on the euthanasia and assisted suicide and relates the Canadian experience to that in other countries. It also provides a list of agencies of “She’s a Child, Not a Choice”, a 1994 educational supplement dealing with abortion.  It was distributed to 2.4 million Canadians through 150 pro-life organizations and ... (Continue reading)

Senate may launch euthanasia bill

Senator Sharon Carstairs had been expected to introduce a Senate private members bill on assisted suicide this fall.  Appointed a Senator in October l955, she began attending meetings of the Senate Special Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide and shortly thereafter became an official Committee member. As a member of the Committee, her line of questioning would lead one to believe that she might propose a bill on assisted suicide.  She was interested in the working of such a law and ... (Continue reading)

Activist shows falsehood of ‘death with dignity’

By: Herman Goodden In the Letters of Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo, we find a deeply moving testament of the hope and courage which even one supportive relative or friend can provide to someone undergoing the agonies of depression. During one of his all too brief intervals of lucidity, Vincent was able to express his gratitude in a letter to his brother concerning his recent eviction. “These last days were sad, with all the moving, taking away all my ... (Continue reading)

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