Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Washington State passes I-1000 assisted suicide Initiative - Just the beginning

Voters in Washington State have passed the I-1000 assisted suicide Initiative, thereby legalizing "Oregon Style" assisted suicide in their state. The Initiative 1000 passed by a 58 - 42 percent margin.

Exit polling data shows that people who identified themselves as conservatives opposed assisted suicide by a 66 - 34 percent, liberals supported assisted suicide by 81 - 19 percent and moderates supported assisted suicide by 63 - 37 percent.

Voters who considered themselves religious, either Protestant or Catholic, voted 50 - 50 percent. I guess the religious community were not convinced that the vulnerable in our society are not in need of legal protection.

Those who have followed my comments on this initiative will realize how grave a decision Washington State voters have made.

Assisted Suicide directly threatens the lives of the most vulnerable people in our culture. People with disabilities the dependent elderly, those who live with depression and mental illness and the poor will be directly threatened by assisted suicide in Washington State.

For people who believe that the I-1000 assisted suicide Initiative will not lead to a slippery slope then you need to read the comments made by Ted Goodwin, President of the Final Exit Network. Goodwin stated in a press release today:

November 5, 2008
Olympia, WA

Although the supporters of Initiative I-1000 are delighted that Washington becomes the second state to pass a "Death with Dignity Act", there is much more to be done.

Ted Goodwin, President of Final Exit Network, said, "We congratulate all those who worked so hard to achieve this important right for Washington's citizens, and we applaud the citizens of Washington State for making the right choice. "Final Exit Network and its members supported passage of this landmark initiative by donating to the advocacy effort spearheaded by Washington Death with Dignity and former Governor Booth Gardner. However, the job is not finished".

Although, like Oregon's "Death with Dignity Act," I-1000 gives doctors the authority to prescribe a lethal dose of medications to terminally ill individuals under strict controls, it condemns to continued suffering as many as 40% of those who desperately want to end their life because of intolerable suffering but cannot under the law because their illness is not diagnosed as "terminal".

"Unfortunately," said Goodwin, "many patients do not meet I-1000's strict criteria. Individuals with neurological illnesses such as Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and Alzheimer's disease often lose the reason and will to live long before their disease qualifies as 'terminal'." Goodwin adds, "For these individuals, neither I-1000 nor the Oregon law go far enough. "That is why Final Exit Network pledges, until laws protect the right of every adult to a peaceful, dignified death, Final Exit Network will be there to support those who need relief from their suffering today!"

"The Network's Exit Guide Program is available nationwide," Goodwin said. "With the Network's compassionate guidance and support, physically and mentally competent adults in all fifty states are free to exercise their last human right - the right to a peaceful, dignified death. "Final Exit Network is the only organization in the United States that will support individuals who are not "terminally ill" - 6 months or less to live - to hasten their deaths. No other organization in the US makes this commitment," said Goodwin.

Goodwin and other leaders in the euthanasia lobby will continue to push for changes until they have achieved their goal - death on demand.

Goodwin's ideology and the Compassion & Choices lobby plans are very similar. Compassion & Choices, the leading euthanasia lobby group are interested in spreading acceptance for assisted suicide before expanding its application. Compassion & Choices will focus on the next State initiatives to legalize assisted suicide. Those initiatives may include another ballot initiative or they may first attempt another legislative proposal.

Once Compassion & Choices have legalized assisted suicide in enough states, they too will seek to expand its application through legislative changes to existing statutes or through the courts.

Among his other comments, Wesley Smith commented on the support from the media and the liberal elite who have given incredible sums of money to support the euthanasia lobby.

Smith then says:
Meanwhile, the opposition is generally starved for funds, marginalized in the popular media, and as a consequence, always stuck in reactive mode when we need to be proactive.

But we can't do it alone. If people and foundations wish to stop this juggernaut, they are going to have to do what proponents have done and step forward and give those of us willing to give our all to fighting the death culture the resources we need to compete. If they don't, there will be more Washington States.

Anyone who still says "it can't happen here," isn't paying attention. It is happening here, and it will happen here increasingly unless there is a greater commitment shown by those with means who oppose these agendas to reversing the current course.

Link to Wesley Smith's blog:

For further analysis of the Washington State I-1000 assisted suicide Initiative go to the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide:

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International will continue to build a unified and organized effort of groups who are working to create a cultural barrier to euthanasia and assisted suicide while stemming the tide of the euthanasia lobby.

It is very difficult to organize and unify our efforts when we lack the necessary funds to build a stronger and more inclusive infrastructure.

Smith is correct. You will need to decide whether you are willing to invest in our work. Your support will enable us to build an effective opposition to the juggernaut of the euthanasia lobby.

It is your decision.

We know that the euthanasia lobby will continue to push their radical agenda until the right to die, becomes a duty to die.

To support or join the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, contact:
Call toll free: 1-877-439-3348

P.S. The comments by Mark Mostert on the disability matters blog are worth reading:

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