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-‘End of Life’ Assisted Suicide Clinic Opens in California

by Dr. D ~ June 10th, 2016

LIFE

And so it begins. California’s first ‘end of life’ assisted suicide clinic opened on Thursday (6/9/16) in Berkeley. Here’s the story from NBC-Bay Area:

As California’s right-to-die law goes into effect Thursday, a Berkeley-based doctor will open one of the first practices in the state that specializes in end-of-life options.

"I think it’s an important right for the patient to have at the end of their life to control the way they die," says Dr. Lonny Shavelson.

The new law will allow terminally ill patients who meet certain criteria to ask their doctor for a prescription for life-ending medication. But in the event the patient’s doctor declines to participate, Shavelson will step in. He already has several appointments with patients t o evaluate their situations.

<Read the whole article>

Response: I received a special news release today (Thursday) from Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute with a reminder that people of faith and conscience, both doctors and allied medical workers, have a right to refuse to be involved in the ‘administration of death’ in any way. The freedom to refuse was written into the bill itself.

Brad also noted that similar policies in Europe have led to involuntary euthanasia:

The experiences of European countries and other states in the U.S. where this has been legal for several years is a chilling, cautionary tale. Doctor-prescribed death eventually becomes involuntary for some patients.

But his greatest concern is the possible pressure that will be placed upon doctors and health workers in the future:

We fully anticipate that pro-death advocates will eventually seek to coerce health care providers to abandon their beliefs.  If this happens to you or someone you know, we want to take action!  PJI will be monitoring implementation of this dangerous new law and stands ready to defend people of conscience.

This is also my greatest fear. We are now at the very beginning but if the greater American culture gets to the point that assisted suicide is morally ‘acceptable’ then involuntary euthanasia may not be far behind. Also there will be increasingly greater pressure upon doctors and health workers to participate. Some employers may even begin to demand it as part of the normal duties of a health care job regardless of the protections written into this initial bill.                *Top

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