Death Struggles Return
Here comes the assisted-suicide debate again. Fights are heating up worldwide and here at home.
by Steve Weatherbe, National Catholic Register
State by state, supporters of assisted suicide are ramping up their efforts to seek friendly legislators or sympathetic judges to enable the terminally ill to get help ending their lives if they are incapacitated.
Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire and Vermont are among half a dozen states where legislators have recently faced bills to either legalize or outlaw assisted suicide….
“There have been three significant victories lately,” said Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, based in London, Ontario. “France, Hawaii and Montana.”
A string of pro-life victories internationally began in January of last year, when the Canadian parliament defeated Bill C-384, which would have legalized both euthanasia and assisted suicide. The vote was 228-59. In September, the Western Australia legislative council defeated a euthanasia bill, and in November, South Australia did the same. That same month the Scottish parliament decisively rejected an End of Life Assistance Bill, and in January of this year both the Israeli House of Representatives and the French Senate defeated similar measures.
Just last week, the Indian Supreme Court rejected a petition for active euthanasia.
In the United States, Hawaii presents the most decisive defeat for assisted suicide and euthanasia to date. According to Schadenberg, opponents from the Christian and disabled communities testified so convincingly before the legislature’s Health Committee that it defeated the measure unanimously. Even the bill’s most ardent backer, Senate Health Committee chairman Josh Green, a medical doctor, voted against it, saying, “Community sentiment here today has been overwhelmingly opposed to moving this measure forward.”