A Battle Won but the War Continues
If you are a regular listener to Conservative Refuge Radio or a regular reader of this blog you know that we have been following the issue of physician assisted suicide for months. Even prior the recent legislative session, we noted the national movement, led by
the Hemlock Society Compassion and Choices, to pass Oregon style physician assisted suicide bills throughout the country.
We discussed recently the demise of this effort in Maryland. Democratic leaders in the General Assembly, knowing the support for physician assisted suicide was not there, withdrew the bills without even a committee vote. It was a great victory for the pro-life movement and is a testament to the readers of this blog who heeded our call to action.
A great deal of credit, however, goes to the various groups who opposed this bill and who came together in the Maryland Coalition Against Physician Suicide. The coalition brought very disparate groups together to speak with a single voice about the true evils of this legislation. Their efforts were capped by the moving and poignant testimony of OJ Brigance.
The promoters of suicide however, and make no mistake that is what they are, have insisted that they will be back. We discussed on the Conservative Refuge how the proponents of physician assisted suicide are planning to form a “study group” and somehow expect to find a new way to package suicide in a way that Maryland legislators and voters can accept.
If the proponents are serious, maybe they will address some of the following criticisms they ignored during the legislative debate this year:
- Why the bill requires doctors to lie on the death certificate about the cause of death when there is an assisted suicide. This is a clear indication of the duplicity of the movement behind this bill. Similar bills in other states are calculated to lead to a one third increase in the suicide rate.
- How they expect Maryland to avoid the “dark fusion of socialized medicine and institutionalized medical euthanasia” that is already occurring in Oregon as exemplified by the examples of Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup.
- How they reconcile the fact that the nation faces a crisis in suicide and a lack of suicide prevention at the same time that bills such as this, especially with the championing of the idea of “autonomy”, promote suicide generally. Suicide is already the 10th leading cause of death in America with more suicides every year than homicides.
- They will also need to convince their progressive colleagues why they should ignore the Progressive Case Against Assisted Suicide.
My guess is they won’t ever get around to rebutting these arguments. Instead, they will trot out the same tired tropes like that recently made by the O’Malley cronies at Center Maryland:
According to Gallup, around 70 percent of Americans believe physicians should be able to legally end a patient’s life by some painless means. Citizen perceptions toward right-to-die legislation have remained consistent during the time period demarcated by the high-profile Terri Schiavo and Brittany Maynard cases. Although question wording and framing matters—support diminishes when the word “suicide” is present in the question—a majority of Americans support it, no matter how the question is asked.
In other words, you can dupe the public to support it provided you don’t actually call it what it is. Of course, the polling argument has been rebutted thoroughly by National Review’s Wesley J. Smith who has noted that the only polls that matter are elections and the last time the issue was on the ballot, in Massachusetts in 2012, it lost.
So, the fight will continue. I urge everyone who opposes this bill to join the Maryland Coalition Against Physician Assisted Suicide, continue to follow up here at Red Maryland and the other voices defending life and educate your friends and neighbors about this important issue.