I live in a small city north of Seattle. On Tuesday, my state showed itself as the morally blind and pro-death state that it is. Washington is now second in the Union, behind Oregon, to allow doctor-assisted suicide. The so-called “Death with Dignity” initiative, otherwise known as I-1000, grants residents the “right” to choose to end their lives.
With this initiative now coded into law, suicide has been redefined as a valid medical treatment. If a person lacks options for treating their medical condition, they can simply ask to have their doctor write them a prescription for a lethal overdose. The drugs can then be easily acquired at any neighborhood pharmacy – no oversight required.
Perhaps what is even more troubling is how there are no built-in safeguards against those who are depressed or mentally ill. According to the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide website:
People who are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness often become depressed. This depression is usually temporary and treatable. I-1000 does not require assessment or treatment for depression. [I-1000, Section 6]. Because the waiting period is only 15 days, a suicidal “cry for help” could be met with a bottle of lethal drugs, instead of encouragement and treatment.
Somebody who is depressed or mentally-ill needs compassionate help from loving and caring people, not a container of pills that will kill them.
Letting a hurting person end their life is the most unloving and uncaring act that a doctor can perform. Instead of providing care that will actually help that person, doctors simply kill them instead. Whatever happened to “do no harm”?
Mark my words; this law will be abused, and most at risk are the poor and vulnerable members of our society. It’s happened in Oregon already. Barbara Wagner lives in a low-income apartment. She was denied chemotherapy treatment for her lung cancer, but was offered state-assisted suicide instead. Medicaid refused to cover the drugs to make her well again, but did not refuse to pay for the drugs that would kill her. She told the Eugene Register-Guard, “To say, we’ll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live, it’s cruel.” WorldNetDaily reported on the story here.
As a Christian, I am passionately and consistently pro-life. My home state’s callous disregard for the value of every human person is chilling. What’s next, assisted-suicide for the elderly? The mentally handicapped? What about those who suffer from terminal depression or some form of mental illness? Anything is possible in a society where nobody believes that human beings are intrinsically valuable and created in God’s image.
I sincerely pray that God will give hope, grace, and healing to those who are considering ending their lives now that I-1000 has been voted into law.