By Nancy Valko
In August, I wrote a blog “Physician-assisted Suicide and the Palliative Care Physician” about Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter, a palliative care doctor in California who approved of doctor-prescribed suicide, would want it for herself but had still had serious some qualms about actually writing for the lethal overdose herself.
In the end, Dr. Zitter decides that assisted suicide can be rendered “safe” by being rare and practiced by specially trained medical practitioners as “just one tool in the toolbox of caring for the dying-a tool of last resort.”
Thus, Dr. Zitter, perhaps unknowingly, gives support to the Compassion and Choices goal of “normalizing” and “integrating” doctor-prescribed suicide into standard medical practice. Note their own description of their activities:
“We help clients with advance directives, local service referrals and pain and symptom management. We offer information on self-determined dyingwhen appropriate and provide emotional support through a difficult time. We employ educational training programs, media outreach and online and print publications to change healthcare practice, inform policy-makers, influence public opinion and empower individuals. Compassion & Choices devotes itself to creative legal and legislative initiatives to secure comprehensive and compassionate options at the end of life.” (Emphasis added)
Now in her new article “De-Medicalizing Death”, Dr. Zitter is excited about a new University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health Centers’ program where “only” 25% of patients went on to commit doctor-prescribed suicide after an “intake process…conducted by trained psychotherapists (psychologists and clinical social workers) instead of physicians”.Read more
By J.J. Hanson
This opinion piece was recently submitted to a number of Massachusetts news outlets and is reprinted here with permission from Patients Rights Action Fund.
Proponents of assisted suicide are turning up the pressure in many states to legalize the dangerous practice. What began in a few places, has become an onslaught of bills introduced — 29 states this year alone. Fortunately most have been defeated. Now assisted-suicide proponents have their set their sights on Massachusetts.Read more
Richard Doerflinger writes that the recent New York Court of Appeals ruling against assisted suicide in that state is more than just a a small victory in the fight against the practice, but a complete defeat for the doctor-prescribed suicide lobby.
He notes that in a very liberal state all eleven of the officials who rejected the assisted suicide argument by Compassion & Choices—the attorney general and ten judges—were appointed by pro-choice Democrats, which shows that opposition to doctor-prescribed suicide is not just a right-wing conservative issue.Read more
Who knew that September 28 was International Safe Abortion Day? A study released by a professor at UMass Amherst claims that half the abortions worldwide are unsafe. That sounds bad. (Of course, every abortion is unsafe for the baby who is aborted, but the professor is writing about the mother.)
How does she know? Her study defined unsafe abortions as those taking place where abortion is illegal or heavily restricted. Now we see what her aim is: “Unsafe abortion is bad, so we can fix that by making abortion completely legal worldwide.”
Of course, what’s really unsafe for mothers who seek abortion is the lack of regulation on abortionists that the pro-aborts insist on. They refuse to consider even the most basic health and safety regulations that every other kind of medical clinic has to abide by. This is why Massachusetts Citizens for Life has proposed H.1211 The Women’s Safety Act to the Massachusetts Legislature, to require abortion facilities in Massachusetts to abide by even the minimum regulations of a clinic.
For now, though, we have pro-aborts like this UMass professor who believes that more abortion is safe abortion. And to think we pay her salary to teach our children.
Our 2017 Mass. March for Life is just a bit more than a week in the past, but we're still getting some great photos from people who were there. Please enjoy these photos from Ed Boylan, who provides many of the photos for our magazine and web site. Thank you, Ed!
By Nancy Valko
I am on the road this week speaking to groups and doing radio interviews. So here is an article published in Voices magazine (a Catholic women’s’ magazine) in 2003 with an update in 2005. In the intervening years, the problems have grown worse but I originally wrote this article when almost no one had heard of futility policies. Here is the article.
When I first saw “Jack” last September (2002), he was lying unconscious in an ICU with a ventilator to help him breathe. It had been two weeks since a truck struck the 60 year-old and his injuries were devastating — including broken bones, blunt-force trauma and a severe head injury.Read more
As abortion clinics close around the country—with some states down to one and some, even none—and as more and more doctors refusing to become abortionists, the pro-abortion crowd is looking for ways to keep this lucrative business alive. One way is of course through the dangerous abortion pill, but that still requires the presence of a doctor to prescribe the pill. So they’ve found a new solution: abortion prescription by telemedicine.Read more
Many pro-lifers testified before the Joint Public Health Committee of the Mass. Legislature on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 against a bill that would legalize doctor-prescribed suicide. The testimonies were limited to 3 minutes. We’re bringing you a sample of those testimonies.
Ladies and gentlemen of the committee, my name is David Franks, and I am chairman of the board of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. I am trained as a philosopher and theologian, and it is as an expert in social ethics that I speak to you today.
Normalizing suicide means the death of solidarity.Read more
By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
According to National Right to Life News: "When the U.S. Supreme Court declined today to hear an appeal by the Final Exit Network, it means a 2015 conviction will stand against the assisted suicide advocacy group which was found guilty of assisting in the suicide of 57-year-old Doreen Dunn, of Apple Valley, Minnesota.
”Florida-based Final Exit Network argued that Minnesota’s law making it a crime to help other people kill themselves violates the freedom of speech,” the Associated Press reported. “But Minnesota’s appellate courts disagreed, saying the state’s assisted-suicide law is constitutional and that ‘assisting’ suicide can include speech instructing another person on methods."
We know the suicide lobby plans to win their current court case in Massachusetts. So far they have lost in the U.S. Supreme Court, in New Mexico, in Minnesota, and received a kind of split decision in Montana. The New York decision of September 7, 2017 was a incredible loss. Unfortunately, the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court has already seemed to separate assisted suicide from "regular" suicide which is not good.
We must keep up the pressure! If you have not yet called Sen Jason Lewis, 617-722-1206, expressing your opposition to S.1225/H.1194, the doctor-prescribed suicide bills, do so as soon as possible.
On Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, Nancy Valko, R.N. spoke at MCFL-sponsored events in Fall River and Sandwich. Valko recounted her personal experiences of a nearly 50-year career in healthcare as an advocate for her most vulnerable patients.
Valko’s writings are frequently seen on this web site and she was also the keynote speaker at the 2015 MCFL Convention. She blogs at NancyValko.com. The following article is from the Summer 2015 MCFL Magazine.
In her 45-year career in oncology, trauma, ICU, and hospice nursing, Nancy Valko experienced how changing attitudes about death, suicide, disability, and human dignity impacted health care.
Valko didn't believe pro-life predictions that the legalization of abortion would lead to infanticide and euthanasia. "When I started nursing in 1969, everybody was on the same page ethically, but I saw tremendous difference after abortion was legalized," Valko said. "But, I thought doctors and nurses could never look someone in the eye and kill them."Read more