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Here's what I would have said: "Please tell me you are pro-life."
I want to know that doctors working on me believe in the sanctity of life. Why? Because we live in a culture of death where doctors who once pledged to preserve life are too often willing to destroy it. Why? Because I believe that if something went wrong in surgery, a pro-life doctor who believes in the sanctity of life would work harder to save me. A "doctor" who is willing to kill unborn babies, less than perfect babies, and ailing senior citizens probably wouldn't place much value on my life either. Give me a pro-life doctor!
Will your doctor cure you or kill you? Every thinking person should seriously ponder this question. Why? We live in a culture of death. Our medical profession is shot through with "compassionate killers" who no longer subscribe to the tenets of the Hippocratic Oath. These death-dealing "doctors" are quick to mention abortion when the slightest flaw is detected in an unborn baby. They are ready to prescribe death when, in their opinion, a patient will no longer be able to experience an acceptable quality of hfe.
Every senior citizen should be on guard against pro-death doctors who are ready to play God by deciding whether you should live or die. If you are an elderly person who wants to know that every effort will be made to save your life, you ought to look for a pro-life doctor; you should locate a hospital where abortions are not performed.
This is a serious matter. There are risks in every surgery, especially when a general anesthetic is administered. I recently had to undergo testing which required sedation with loss of consciousness. I had a choice of two hospitals. The bigger, most prestigious one is known for performing abortions. I opted for the smaller one which is opposed to abortion.
For many years pro-life leaders have warned that euthanasia would follow abortion. In the same manner, the right to die will be followed by the duty to die. Death with dignity will be imposed on people who want to live with a handicap, or with a less than perfect quality of life. A society which trashes its unborn babies will find convenient ways to dispose of its unwanted, burdensome senior citizens.
About a month ago, I saw a form from a nursing home. Patients, or those admitting them, were asked to sign the form. It set forth the "No Code" policy of this particular skilled nursing facility. Many people sign it without realizing what "No Code" means. What does it mean? If you have a heart attack, are unable to breathe, or expire in some other way, nothing will be done to revive you. Residents of the home range in age from their 30's to 90's. If the form is signed, a victim of a heart attack who could possibly be saved with basic procedures will be allowed to die. Nothing will be done to revive him/her. Welcome to the culture of death!
We dress our culture of death ethic in politically correct jargon. We brutally dispose of unborn babies but most of us don't call it murder or killing. The politically correct don't even call it abortion. They cloak the bloody business with terms like privacy, choice, or reproductive freedom. Women don't pay abortionists to murder their babies; they exercise their constitutional rights of privacy and choice to dispose of an unwanted fetus.
The same scenario is now being acted out among the elderly. Our society is cursed with politically correct dealers of death who specialize in "verbicide." They are masters at murdering words. They are liberal linguists who understand the power of language. They know exactly what to do to corrupt a culture: revise language in order to alter values. We don't kill or murder unwanted senior citizens; we euthanatize them. We don't pressure the ailing elderly to commit suicide; we encourage them to choose "death with dignity."
I wonder, how many will truly want to die? Is it possible that many of the elderly will choose "death with dignity" because their hearts are broken at the realization that children and society don't want to be bothered with the burden of caring for them? I wonder how many will opt for doctor-assisted suicide because of subtle -- or not so subtle -- pressure from selfish children who want their inheritance early? Many people who have worked hard and paid their own way all their lives would rather die than be a burden to others. In our culture of death, such people are encouraged and patted on the back for choosing the noble path of death with dignity. But what is the real reason they choose this path? Could it be that often it is because they know they are an unwanted burden? Could it be that they would rather die than live with that kind of rejection?
What is even more alarming is that if this trend continues, the right to die will be followed by the duty to die. Those who want to live in spite of the pressure and rejection will be forced to die. If they won't play by the rules and make the decision for themselves, someone else will make it for them. Those who impose the duty to die on others will find ways to justify their decision (poor quality of life; not mentally competent enough to decide for himself/herself; too much of a burden on children, on society, etc.).
We are farther down this slippery slope than most realize. Death by neglect is not uncommon, and death by intervention is becoming more common. Doctors willing to "hasten death" were encouraged by the recent ruling of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco: "a terminally ill, mentally competent adult has a constitutional right to a doctor's assistance in suicide" (U.S. News and World Report, March 18, 1996, p. 15). "Just as casually, the court allows the killing to be ordered by a court-appointed or patient-appointed surrogate (a decision of a duly appointed surrogate decision maker is for all legal purposes the decision of the patient himself')" (John Leo in U.S. News and World Report, March 25, 1996).
Senior citizens beware! If you want to live out all the days God has allotted you on this earth, do two things:
If you find this hard to believe consider what is already taking place: we allow less than perfect babies to die; we starve comatose patients who might not recover the full quality of life; we allow, or assist, the sick and the elderly to "die with dignity." Make no mistake: a society which trashes its unborn babies will find creative ways to dispose of its infirm and its elderly.
Don't wait until the anesthetic is putting you under to say, "Please tell me you are pro-life." The wise course is to ask in advance. If you want to be a survivor in the culture of death, your chances are much better with a pro-life doctor.
Ron Sutton is available to speak at churches or pro-life conferences. Meetings need to be scheduled at least 3 months in advance. Call (314) 931-6009 to rnake arrangements.
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