Posted on February 12, 2018 11:05 AM

No Death with Dignity in Abortion or Assisted Suicide

grandparents.jpg

There’s an interesting exchange of letters in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette over the past month. In January, a Dr. Martha Duffy, who is from Worcester, wrote a letter to the editor supporting doctor-prescribed suicide as a valid choice for everyone.

As a family doctor, I take care of people at all stages of life: from birth, through childhood, onto adulthood, finally to death. Most of us are comfortable with the early stages of life, but many would rather not talk about death or dying. I have seen good deaths: peaceful and surrounded by loved ones, and I have seen terrible deaths. For terminally ill people, not being able to talk about, and plan for their death can be very distressing and harmful.

She then urged readers to contact the Public Health Committee to urge them to “offer death with dignity for those who would choose it.”

Then just this last week, Fr. Anthony Kazarnowicz of Fort Riley, Kansas, wrote a letter to Telegram with a counter-argument that notes at root both abortion and doctor-prescribed suicide appeal to the same selfish impulses that place “choice” and “control” over the well-being of the patients.

At the root of these murders is the cultural rejection of Judeo-Christian faith and morality. Decades ago, most Americans identified their sufferings with Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Accepting their sufferings (as Christ accepted his) gave suffering patients peace, added strength to their prayers and gave them hope of resurrected life and eternal reward. It also removed fear of eternal punishment for taking their own lives.

Minus this biblical worldview, physician-assisted killings of terminally ill patients will eventually expand to killing patients with (non-terminal) long-term suffering, to killing the permanently handicapped, the mentally ill, the elderly, the brokenhearted - anyone who believes his/her life is not worth living with suffering.

Thank you, Fr. Kazarnowicz, for making the connection and for speaking up for those for whom the result of “choice” in these instances is premature death.

 

Posted on February 09, 2018 10:00 AM

Kudos to Mayor Koch

mayorkoch.jpg

By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Quincy is lucky to have Mayor Thomas Koch! The long-serving mayor has publicly announced that he is leaving the Democrat Party. He said it was the announcement by Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez last spring that pro-lifers had no place in the Democratic Party that was the last straw.

Mayor Koch said the whole party had moved too far left, but especially on abortion. He added that his Catholic faith is a kay aspect of his pro-life views and a prime motivator for the switch. “I’m certainly a believer in life starts at conception,” he told the Quincy Patriot Ledger.

It is very impressive to have a politician put his pro-life commitment above party membership - and not easy for a former Democrat in this state.  Congratulations to Mayor Koch - and thank you!

 

Posted on February 08, 2018 10:00 AM

Oregon’s Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Law is Designed to Deceive

prescriptionpills.jpg

By Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last month, a concerned Swedish citizen wrote – Oregon Health Authority Reveals Hidden Problems with the Oregon Assisted Suicide model.

Fabian Stahle became concerned with the Oregon assisted suicide model after the Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics published the report, “Assisted death: A Knowledge Compilation,” which supported the legalization of “Oregon Model” assisted suicide.

Stahle communicated by email (December 2017) with Craig New, an analyst for the Oregon Health Authority. Stahle learned from New that the definition of “terminal disease” used by the Oregon Health Authority was wider than the basic definition of terminal disease. New confirmed that people who are chronically ill can be approved for assisted suicide in Oregon, even if they do have a terminal disease, if they refuse effective treatment.

Read more
Posted on February 07, 2018 10:00 AM

MCFL Speaker’s Bureau: Changing Hearts and Minds

educating a 2019 rally on the facts about the infanticide bill

After hearing an MCFL presentation on pre-natal development, a surprising number of Massachusetts citizens say the information is brand new to them.  Some programs in religious arenas explain that human lives deserve equal dignity. But why? And who? Although it may seem like common sense, the abortion distortion has seeped so deeply into our culture that human in the womb is often left out of the equation.

But to be pro-life is to have firm grasp science. You only need an embryology textbook, or a thorough but concise training from our speakers, to prove that human life begins at fertilization. If someone doesn't have that grounding, calls to "protect life" won't stick.

But what about our life-affirming or anti-life laws? What about the question of how to engage in a civil conversation about the lives lost to abortion, and the women victimised by it? What about the "hard" questions of rape, incest? 

We need to know the why, and we need to be educated -- because the facts of human life and development, value and existence, aren't up for debate. They're just left in the dark.

This is the why the MCFL Speakers List has been so successful and has contributed greatly to the decline in abortions in the state. Our speakers present the biological facts of prenatal development. They show the beautiful, actual pictures of unborn babies. They address current issues and proposed legislation. They give hands-on training and demonstrations of how to be an active community organizing, converse with conviction -- as well as courtesy -- and influence our fellow citizens to protect and cherish the lives of our most vulnerable.  The individuals leaving these presentations draw their own conclusions, which become a part of them, that human lives must be protected. If the MCFL speakers could speak to every community in the state, we would have a state that refused the false solution of abortion and suicide.. For more information on hosting a speaker, email us at action@masscitizensforlife.org.

 

Posted on February 06, 2018 10:00 AM

A Dark Side of Prenatal Testing

pregnantwomananddoctor.jpg

By Nancy Valko

In her February 2018 article”Prenatal Testing and Denial of Care”, Bridget Mora exposes another dark side of prenatal testing: refusal to treat. Ms. Mora is the community education and communications coordinator for Be Not Afraid, a nonprofit that supports parents experiencing a prenatal diagnosis and carrying to term.

While most people have heard of amniocentesis (using a needle to extract and analyze the fluid surrounding an unborn baby in the second trimester), many people are unaware of the screening blood tests that have now become virtually routine for all pregnant women.

The difference is that blood screening tests may indicate a probability or risk score that a baby has a chromosomal anomaly, but a definitive diagnosis can only be made through amniocentesis or CVS (Chorionic villus sampling) using a needle to take a sample of tissue from an unborn baby’s placenta for analysis in the first trimester. Tragically, some parents make a decision to abort based on just a blood screening test.

Read more
Posted on February 05, 2018 10:00 AM

MCFL Goes to the Fair

Big_E.jpg

The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the MCFL News magazine, a perk of membership mailed out quarterly to all members.

By Rob Hale

The Eastern States Exposition, also known as “The Big E,” draws nearly a million people to West Springfield, Massachusetts, annually. Starting the second Friday after Labor Day and running continuously for the next 17 days, the Big E provides a variety of family entertainment amid a historic agricultural fair designed to showcase New England businesses and industries. Since the late 1970s, the MCFL’s pro-life booth has been a visible part of this exhilarating scene. 

In a sprawling brick and steel building, tucked in among scores of vendors hawking everything from cowboy boots to vacuum cleaners, MCFL has maintained a continuous, dignified, educational and informational presence where passers-by can stop to ask a question, look closely at the life-size models of pre-born babies in their mother’s uterus, or pick up some pro-life literature. 

Read more
Posted on February 02, 2018 10:00 AM

Nurses, “Living Wills” and Healthcare Economic$

coupleinhospital.jpg

By Nancy Valko

A few weeks ago, a 95-year-old friend with chronic congestive heart failure was recovering from a hip fracture and blood clot when she developed a very serious pneumonia. I was with her in the ER when the doctor asked her son and me about how aggressive to be if her heart or breathing worsened. I said, “Ask her!” and the doc was stunned when she vehemently said “Yes!”, even after he explained the potential problems with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and ventilators. My friend has a durable power of attorney naming her daughter as her health decision maker, but the doctor wrongly assumed my friend was unconscious and that we were her decision makers.

My friend astonished the doctors by recovering with antibiotics and temporary BiPap (a face mask machine to support her breathing). After a stint in rehab, my friend was able to go home last week.

It was because of mistaken but potentially fatal situations like this that I wrote my 2015 blog “Living with ‘Living Wills” about the history, uses, problems and pitfalls with living wills and other end-of-life documents known as advance directives.

Read more
Posted on February 01, 2018 10:00 AM

Doctors Day at the State House A Great Success

doctorsday.jpg

By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Mark Rollo, with the help of Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide, organized an amazing Doctors' Day at the State House on January 31. Mark; Dr Thomas Sullivan, Past President of the Mass. Medical Society; and Dr Laura Petrillo, a palliative care doctor and teacher at Mass General, addressed legislators and aides and then held a press conference. The speeches are found below.

After that, the 22 doctors in attendance visited with members of the Joint Health Care Committee to explain that the recent decision of the Mass. Medical Society to go "neutral" on doctor-prescribed suicide does not represent many doctors and to tell the members of the problems with the bills.

It was an amazing group of doctors who are to be thanked for coming out in the middle of the day for such an important cause.

 

Read more
Posted on January 31, 2018 10:00 AM

A Tale of Two Dignities

elderlycouple.jpg

By Kris Correia, co-chair of Witness for Life

As is usually the case with life issues, each side seems to talk a different language. The same is true in the debate on doctor-prescribed suicide (DPS). From those of us who oppose DPS we hear that “all life has dignity” while from those who support the practice we hear about “death with dignity.” What is the difference?

Dignity comes in two forms based on its origin—intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic dignity comes from within ourselves simply because we are human persons. All human life has dignity, from the moment of conception until the moment of death. No one can say, “These lives have dignity and those lives don’t.” We view every human person, despite any differences in race, belief, ability, or lifestyle, with equal dignity. That means no one life is better or more important than another when it comes to protecting lives. From this concept arises altruism, as well as other fundamental principles such as all men being created equal and having equal protection under the law. This concept informs our long-held prohibitions against not only murder but also suicide, for intrinsic dignity cannot be taken away by anyone, not even by us from ourselves.

Read more
Posted on January 30, 2018 10:00 AM

Canada Expanding Eligibility for Euthanasia and Doctor-Prescribed Suicide

canadaeuthanasia.png

The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the MCFL News magazine, a perk of membership mailed out quarterly to all members.

It has only been two years since Canada's Supreme Court decriminalized doctor-prescribed suicide (DPS) and euthanasia, but Canadian courts and legislatures are already entertaining proposals to expand the eligibility criteria to vulnerable populations that include children, persons with Alzheimer's disease, and those unable to give voluntary consent. Some doctors are even refusing to treat survivors of failed suicide attempts. 

After the passage of Bill C-14 in 2015, legislators were given two years in which to decide how the practice should be regulated. Currently, an adult with a “serious and incurable illness, disease or disability,” experiencing intolerable “physical or psychological suffering,” may request DPS or euthanasia if their natural death is “reasonably foreseeable.” Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said that Health Canada’s report on assisted dying says that there were 1,982 reported deaths in the first year after legalization. 

If the United States, with a population roughly nine times that of Canada, euthanized its vulnerable citizens at the same rate, almost 18,000 Americans would be dead.

Read more