Assisted Suicide

Before the meeting

Articles

(Read two or more)

Definitions:

Assisted Suicide: a doctor prescribes a lethal drug that a person takes for the sole purpose of causing their own death.

Euthanasia: a drug or lethal injection administered by a doctor (or other individual) for the sole purpose of ending a person’s life.

Removing life-support and withdrawing treatments that are postponing death are legal, and are not assisted suicide.

Always Care, Never Kill

Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) statutes teach society that some lives are not worth living , thereby cheapening human life and dignity. Since the Oregon “Dying with Dignity” law was passed in 1997, the number of people that have used the law to take their lives has steadily grown: 16 in 1998, 60 in 2004, 97 in 2010, and 133 in 2016.

Death on Demand- Has Euthanasia Gone Too Far? 

Countries around the world are making it easier to choose the time and manner of your death. But doctors in the world’s euthanasia captial (Netherlands) are starting to worry about the consequences.

Give Me Liberty and Give Me Death: Belgium’s Brave New Euthanasia Regime

Belgium has the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world, and one in every twenty deaths in Belgium is now deliberately caused. Suicide is becoming a moral obligation in a culture that promotes euthanasia as a dignified exit that offers relief to caregivers. 

Terminally Ill Mom Denied Treatment Coverage- But Gets Suicide Drug Approved

This article takes into consideration the uninteded impacts of PAS on those that want to choose the fight for life under difficult circumstances.

First Child Dies By Legal Euthanasia in Belgium

A terminally ill minor has been helped to die in Belgium for the first time since the country did away with age restrictions on euthanasia (in 2014). 

Assisted Suicide and Contagion

How assisted suicide advocacy and legalization threaten the lives of vulnerable people. 

Videos

(Watch one or more)

A Hard Pill

Stephanie’s Story: A Family Fights Terminal Illness and Assisted Suicide

Compassion and choice DENIED- Stephanie’s denial of treatment after PAS bill passes (suicide pill offered by insurance company with $1.20 co-pay).

TED Talk- BJ Miller

What Really Matters At the End of Life 

BJ Miller is a palliative care physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life. “Maybe we can learn to live well, not in spite of death, but because of death. Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination.”      

CBS News

Harriet Scott’s Story

Although this short documentary is meant to be a promotion piece for assisted suicide, it actually is a great example of how palliative care works well; thus showing no need for assisted suicide.  “All her life, Harriet Scott liked being in the driver’s seat. And so when her doctor told her she had a terminal case of liver cancer, she was determined to die on her own terms.”


Supplemental Articles

The Alternative to Physician-Assisted Suicide: Respect Human Dignity and Offer True Compassion

Allowing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) would be a grave mistake for four reasons, as explained in a Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, “Always Care, Never Kill.”

Not Before Our Time: A Case for Living

What was sold initially as a compassionate way out for those who have come to the end of life and want to stop the suffering, has morphed into a frightening game of “who’s life is worth living?”

Not Dead Yet

An organization that represents people with disabilities and their fight against PAS.

Which Countries Have Legalized Assisted Suicide?

Active euthanasia (in which a doctor administers a lethal dose of medication to a patient) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) are Illegal in most countries.

Which US States Have Legalized Assisted Suicide?

See if your state has legalized active euthanasia. 

Euthanasia Preventation Coalition

Website has helpful resources and pamphlets.

BOOK

Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine

by Wesley J. Smith

This story is one of many Wesley J. Smith recounts in his award-winning classic critique of the modern bioethics movement, Culture of Death. In this newly updated edition, Smith chronicles how the threats to the equality of human life have accelerated in recent years, from the proliferation of euthanasia and the Brittany Maynard assisted suicide firestorm, to the potential for “death panels” posed by Obamacare and the explosive Terri Schiavo controversy.

Here’s a shorter podcast transcript with the author talking about the Hippocratic Oath.

Supplemental Videos

The Heritage Foundation

Physician-Assisted Suicide: Stories From the Frontline of the “Always Care, Never Kill” Debate

Allowing physician-assisted suicide endangers the weak and vulnerable, corrupts the practice of medicine, compromises families, and betrays human dignity and equality before the law.

The Economist

24 & Ready to Die

Emily is 24 years old and physically healthy. But she wants her doctors to end her life.

SBS Dateline

Allow Me To Die: Euthanasia in Belgium

This Dateline special follows the stories of two individuals who are experiencing such immense suffering that they are asking doctors to assist them in taking their lives.

Social Media Resources

Help Spread the Word

More Resources

For more resources on this topic, click the link to see:

 

Talking Points

Advocacy Tips

Next step: During the Meeting

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