Hidden Nook

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Culture Of Death

[Media Source*]

(Hat Tip: In the Agora, Posted on BNN)

The Supreme Court is hearing debates about the legality of assisted suicide in the state of Oregon. A baby boy has his breathing tube removed against his parents wishes with judicial backing in a hospital. A wife fights to keep a 68-year old man from having his ventilator turned off and his feeding tube kept in. A family feud rages over a 41 year old woman with her parents fighting to keep her alive while her husband fights for her death, while in the meantime critics debate how "painless" starvation can be. Whether it comes via black robes, or through "people power," the culture of death is increasing at an alarming rate, putting lives of every American (and not just Terri Schiavo) in jeopardy.

As Hollywood celebrates the "right to die" with various films including "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Sea Inside," many do not fully realize the impact euthanasia (aka "assisted suicide") can have on a culture. Granting the courts, medical professors or estranged spouses the right to end life can be frightening, as many assume the role of God (that is if they believe in him) and can lead to undesired trends as this case involving babies in the Netherlands shows:

All this would be sufficiently frightening, but reports out of the Netherlands indicate that some doctors are killing newborns without the knowledge or consent of parents.

Even in the Netherlands, parents are not allowed to request euthanasia for their newborns, acting as representatives of their child. This poses a problem for doctors who would wish to euthanize infants. Since newborns "cannot ask for euthanasia," and since their parents are unable to act as legal representatives to indicate consent, this poses a legal challenge.

It does indeed. "But that was a child" you say. "Nothing more than a fetus who 'got lucky' and survived birth. It has nothing to do with a full grown adult. And if it did, there would be measures in place to insure such wishes were carried out lawfully." Did somebody say Oops!

...published reports indicate that euthanasia practitioners routinely engage in illegal practices that are abusive to patients. In June, reports surfaced that three people with Huntington’s disease and a person with Alzheimer’s had died in the Netherlands as a result of euthanasia -- even though Dutch law prohibits mercy killing in such cases.

Euthanasia has also entered the pediatric wards, where eugenic infanticide has become common even though babies cannot ask to be killed. According to a 1997 study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, approximately 8 percent of all Dutch infant deaths result from lethal injections. The babies deemed killable are often disabled and thus are thought not to have a "livable life." The practice has become so common that 45 percent of neonatologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to Lancet surveys had killed babies.

It gets worse: Repeated studies sponsored by the Dutch government have found that doctors kill approximately 1,000 patients each year who have not asked for euthanasia. This is not only a violation of every guideline, but an act that Dutch law considers murder. Nonvoluntary euthanasia has become so common that it even has a name: "Termination without request or consent."

There is now increasing concern across Britain about the way hospitals appear to be hastening the deaths of elderly patients. Police in Leeds and Hampshire are also looking into similar cases.

The 11 patients, all men aged between 65 and 93, died in the Rowsley ward for the elderly at Kingsway. A review of the cases, ordered by the coroner, found evidence that their deaths may have been speeded up by withholding sufficient food.

Their are other cases where medical professionals take it upon themselves to decide the fate of the suffering, even if such practices are illegal. Such such cases have happened in New Zealand, France, Australia and even Switzerland where it seems you don't even have to be terminally ill to apply.

After all, the doctor knows what's best for us, right?

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What an utterly horrible condition to be in. We should be exhausting all means to rehab her instead of trying to kill her. And what of her husband! Geeze she just had the cards stacked against here. It is very evident that after Terri spent two years in her “broken” state of consciousness that here husband was ready to “dispose” of her. He had grown tired of his vows of “for better or worse” and was plotting to engage the “untill death do us part” clause of the contract.

By Blogger Freaki, at 2:57 PM EST  

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By Darnell Clayton • 3:45 AM • Email Post • •


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