Francis Schaeffer was prophetic about culture of death that Jack Kevorkian thrive in (Series on Jack Kevorkian’s legacy of death Part 4)

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What Ever Happened to the Human Race?

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Philosopher and Theologian, Francis A. Schaeffer has argued, “If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute.” Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live? (Old Tappan NJ: Fleming H Revell Company, 1976), p. 224.

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Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop could see that people like Jack Kevorkian would be coming down the road. Read Schaeffer’s words at the first of this article below. I put them in bold letters.

Below is a portion of an article from the Jeremiah Project:

The Slippery Slope

Once government begins to define life and humanity, there is no end to the possibilities for subjective and selective determination as to who will be allowed to live.

At one time, blacks were not recognized as human beings. This was the rationale behind the slave trade that brought black Africans to the United States. They were transported in slave ships that held them confined in the same manner that livestock is confined when shipped to the slaughter houses. In Nazi Germany, only the Aryan race was considered human, and we know the consequences of that thinking. The treatment of Jews and other non-Aryans was similar to that of animals. And the Nazi genetic experiments remain a source for horror stories even today.

Will a society which has assumed the right to kill infants in the womb – because they are unwanted, imperfect, or merely inconvenient – have difficulty in assuming the right to kill other human beings, especially older adults who are judged unwanted, deemed imperfect physically or mentally, or considered a possible social nuisance?

The next candidates for arbitrary reclassification as non-persons are the elderly. This will become increasingly so as the proportion of the old and weak in relation to the young and strong becomes abnormally large, due to the growing antifamily sentiment, the abortion rate, and medicine’s contribution to the lengthening of the normal life span. The imbalance will cause many of the young to perceive the old as a cramping nuisance in the hedonistic lifestyle they claim as their right. As the demand for affluence continues and the economic crunch gets greater, the amount of compassion that the legislature and the courts will have for the old does not seem likely to be significant considering the precedent of the non-protection given to the unborn and newborn. [Francis Schaeffer, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?]

Euthanasia
Joseph Fletcher, the popularizer of “situational ethics,” in his 1973 discussion of death with dignity gives this argument for euthanasia:

It is ridiculous to give ethical approval to the positive ending of sub-human life in utero as we do in therapeutic abortions for reasons of mercy and compassion but refuse to approve of positively ending a sub-human life in extremis. If we are morally obliged to put an end to a pregnancy when an amniocentesis reveals a terrible defective fetus, we are equally obliged to put an end to a patient’s hopeless misery when a brain scan reveals that a patient with cancer has advanced brain metastases. [Joseph Fletcher, “Ethics and Euthanasia,” American Journal of Nursing, 1973.]

One is reminded of the slave holders who devoutly espoused the theory that slavery was really for the good of the black man and that in the end he would be thankful for the opportunity to share in the white man’s culture, even from the distance of the garden shed. The Nazis also argued that their victims were being sacrificed for the high end of the general good of society. Many well-meaning people are attracted to what might seem to be the beneficial aspects of some sort of euthanasia program, because they think they can be free of the guilt of responsibility.

The “right-to-die” movement is not calling for a right to die, they’re mostly talking about a right to kill. The advocates of euthanasia are asking the government and courts to step aside and allow people who are feeble and elderly to be snuffed out.

Consider the people who were “assisted” in ending their lives by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He wasn’t killing terminally ill patients – they had Alzheimer’s and were in a lot of pain, but they were alive and walking around. Dr. Kevorkian portrays another basic belief of humanist ideology – the extermination of the old, useless, and the infirm. Kervorkian believes that he has the right to help people out of their pain if they want to die. He claims to render “a medical service,” and his lawyer is clear that “he’s not going to stop … doing the right thing.” Already the suicide doctor has had an impact on our society’s views regarding suicide and euthanasia.

Language is an important tool in convincing others of your position. Euthanasia advocates have been skillful in masking their true intent with slogans like “death with dignity” and “a right to die.” These phrases easily capture people’s attention. Everyone believes in a death with dignity.

Though I’m sure the medical community is well intentioned, it is still a fact that their idea of mercy is increasingly to dehumanize their patients, to disguise the helpless person so that not even their family recognizes them. In time, the family’s love turns to pity, which turns to horror until, to our warped hearts, murder becomes mercy.

But these slogans take on new meaning when they are interpreted by our courts. The right to die may sound wonderful – until we realize that legally it means that you can kill yourself or someone can kill you, even if you don’t want to die. Language is powerful. But when it is interpreted by the courts it becomes much more than mere slogans. It becomes the law of the land, and often that interpretation is not at all what we expected.

  • Daily, senior citizens and accident victims are starved to death because their families have been convinced that even food and water are extraordinary means to preserve their life.
  • Over one-fifth of Medicare expenses are for persons in their last year of life. Thus in fiscal year 1978, $4.9 billion dollars was spent for such persons and if just one-quarter of those expenditures were avoided through adoption of living wills, the savings under Medicare alone would amount to $1.2 billion. [ WASHINGTON POST, June 22, 1977]
  • The drug company, Hoescht AG, has been granted the first patent for a euthanasia drug developed by Michigan State University. The drug is intended for use on animals but the patent is worded to include humans. (Source: UPI)

Critics of the U.S. Supreme Court’ Roe v. Wade decision have long claimed that legalized abortion would lead to legalized euthanasia. Supporters of Roe have often scoffed at the idea, insisting that decisions to eliminate a human fetus in no way devalue the lives of born persons. Yet recent court cases in Michigan and Washington have reversed the debate: Euthanasia supporters are openly citing Roe as precedent for a constitutional right to “rational” suicide. In the case of People v. Kevorkian, a trial judge has relied partly on Roe and the later abortion case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, to find a consitutional right to assisted suicide. Jack Kevorkian’s attorney, Geoffrey Fieger argues that such a right is even better grounded than a right to abortion, because no unwilling ‘third party’ is involved.

Citing Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, on May 3, 1994, Washington U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein struck down the Washington state law that banned physician assisted suicide. Judge Rothstein stated that the terminally ill “have the same right to hasten death that they have to choose an abortion…” “Like the abortion decision, the decision of a terminally ill person to end his life involves the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime,” the judge wrote in her decision.

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