“Schaeffer Sunday” The Slippery Slope (includes the film DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE)

From the website www.jeremiahproject.com:

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.

Government Provided Rationed Health Care
Imagine your health care needs being met by a government agency. Our country has a shortage of morals, an excess of debt and pending currency crisis. Health care is a scarce resource, and all scarce resources are rationed in one way or another. With government provided health care, as we have already seen with Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA, health care is rationed by long waits, high patient copayment requirements, doctors withholding information about treatment options, low payments to doctors that discourage some from serving public patients, and limits on payments to hospitals.

We already kill preborn children; there is violence in virtually every city; drugs and weapons are in our schools; and what a few years ago was called pornography is piped into our homes 24 hours a day on television. The people raised with these norms will constitute the government running the health care system, in which every patient will be an expense. In our present system, every patient is a potential profit.

Consider the following scenarios:

  • A 70-year old retired man needs cataract surgery. This is going to cost the bureaucracy $2,000 for some guy who wants to see, but doesn’t make any money. No surgery. (Medicare has already advocated allowing people to go virtually blind before we fix their cataracts.)
  • A 60-year old grandmother who doesn’t generate any income needs dialysis because of kidney failure. That’s going to cost thousands. Forget it.
  • A 50-year old man who makes $25,000 a year needs bypass surgery because of his chest pain. This guy may pay $3,000 a year in taxes; his surgery is going to cost $40,000. His ledger sheet doesn’t balance. No surgery.
  • A baby is born with a handicap that’s going to require frequent doctor visits, physical therapy, and multiple medications. What a drain on the system. Deny the baby adequate health care and let him die.

When euthanasia becomes law it will start out on a strictly voluntary basis for the terminally ill. Then it will become available to anyone who wants it, and finally it will be involuntary, practiced on anyone who is a strain on the system: the elderly, the handicapped, the unemployable – potentially anyone who doesn’t benefit the system.

[Nov. 5, 1997] Voters in Oregon rejected Measure 51, which would have repealed doctor-assisted suicide. The vote and the legal interpretation mean a person who is mentally competent and diagnosed as having less than six months to live could request a lethal prescription from a doctor today, wait the required 15 days, then take the drugs. Dr. William Toffler, head of Physicians for Compassionate Care, a group of doctors favoring repeal, said the vote would put “the poor, the vulnerable, the weak and the aged” at risk. “It has profound complications for the whole world,” he said. “It’s a profound paradigm shift for the practice of medicine.”

Holland has euthanasia. They started out killing the terminally ill, but have veered markedly from this approach. Some estimate that over 50% of those euthanized in Holland are killed without consent. Some of the elderly are afraid to go to the doctor, for fear they will receive involuntary euthanasia. [ Dr. Tom Tolomeo, “Big Brother, M.D.,” All About Issues, July-August 1993]

Infanticide
When the United States Supreme Court made its ruling about abortion in 1973, Mr. Justice Blackmun delivered the opinion of the Court. The first section in his opinion was titled “Ancient Attitudes.” In it he referred back to pre-Christian law. He said, “Greek and Roman law afforded little protection to the unborn. If abortion was prosecuted in some places, it seems to have been based on a concept of a violation of the father’s right to his offspring. Ancient religion did not bar abortion.” Thus, as his first point, Mr. Justice Blackmun based his opinion on the practice of pre-Christian Greek and Roman law. Most people who read this did not realize the logical result concerning babies after their birth. Roman law permitted not only abortion but also infanticide. As we think this over, we ask ourselves, “Now that this door is open, how long will it be before infanticide is socially accepted and perhaps legalized?”

On June 14, 1981, the Hartford Courant ran an expose entitled “Defective Newborns Are Dying by Design” about infanticide at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The author, Diane Brozek, explained “In some of the cases… parents approached doctors about the possibility of overdose. Other times… doctors suggested the option, assuring parents they would sign the death certificate, no questions asked. The parents ended their infants’ lives with morphine or phenobarbital prescribed by the doctors and usually dissolved in a baby bottle.”

Changing attitudes toward infanticide

  • Peter Singer, who recently was seated in an endowed chair at Princeton’s Center for Human Values, said, “Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”
  • In May 1973, James D. Watson, the Nobel Prize laureate who discovered the double helix of DNA, granted an interview to Prism magazine, then a publication of the American Medical Association. Time later reported the interview to the general public, quoting Watson as having said, “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so choose and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this view is the only rational, compassionate attitude to have.”
  • In January 1978, Francis Crick, also a Nobel laureate, was quoted in the Pacific News Service as saying “… no newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment and that if it fails these tests it forfeits the right to live.”
  • At a population-control conference in Washington D.C. one speaker saw “no reason why anyone who accepted abortion should balk at infanticide.” Another urged certain medical qualifying tests for all newborns. These would determine their genetic characteristics and, thus, whether their right to life should be forfeited. Of course, at present only a few hold these ideas, but unfortunately they are presenting these ideas again and again. Taken a little more seriously each time, they become just a little more thinkable each time.
  • Forty-two percent of women studied in a medical study in France said that if they gave birth to a severely deformed baby, they would favor killing the child. Twenty percent said no, and the rest were undecided.
  • Certain segments of the church are also not without a positive opinion on the subject of infanticide. A task force of the Anglican Church of Canada reached a conclusion in a 1977 report that it could be morally right to terminate the lives of newborn infants with severe brain damage. The callousness of the report is evident in its phraseology: “Our sense and emotions lead us to the grave mistake of treating human-looking shapes as if they were human, although they lack the least vestige of human behavior and intellect. In fact the only way to treat such defective infants humanely is not to treat them as human.” Happily, the general synod of the Anglican Church in Canada did not approve the report, but that such a report came forth from an official group of a major denomination in our day says much about the direction taken by certain segments of the church in regard to infanticide.

How far have our Congressmen and Senators slid down that “slippery slope” of abortion toward infanticide? Is it right to kill a fully delivered child? Consider the exchange between Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) and Senator Russ Feingold (D., Wis.) during the Senate debate on whether to override Clinton’s veto of the ban on Partial Birth Abortions.

Sen. Santorum: “If that baby were delivered breech style and everything was delivered except for the head, and for some reason that that baby’s head would slip out – that the baby was completely delivered – would it then still be up to the doctor and the mother to decide?”

Sen. Feingold: “The standard of saying it has to be a determination, by a doctor, of health of the mother, is a sufficient standard that would apply to that situation.”

Sen. Santorum: “That doesn’t answer the question. Let’s assume the head is accidentally delivered. Would you allow the doctor to kill the baby?”

Senator Feingold: “That is a question that should be answered by a doctor, and by the woman who received the advice from the doctor.”

We cannot underestimate the enormity of the battle before us. For over a decade pro-infanticide forces have been preparing us to accept legalized infanticide. Legalized abortion has made infanticide the next logical step in the devaluation and destruction of innocent lives. Technology such as amniocentesis and ultrasound has enabled us to diagnose a variety of handicaps in the womb. We can legally kill a handicapped child or any child up until the day it is born. But what is the difference between killing a child two days before it is born or two days after its birth? The pro-infanticide forces are also using the same methods now that the pro-abortion advocates used to see abortion legalized. That is, they now focus on the “hard cases” in a way that opens the door. Later, as has happened in abortion, these “hard cases” wil be forgotten as infanticide becomes normal practice.

The potential abuse of genetic knowledge, the ever-expanding power of the government, and arbitrary law, and, indeed, the prospects for the right of the individual and for humanness are grim. Dr. James R. Sorenson, associate professor of socio-medical sciences at Boston University Medical Center, spoke at the symposium “Prenatal Diagnosis and Its Impact on Society” and said:

[There is] a developing cultural or social attitude that … a couple ought to exercise control over their reproductive fate. While a couple should have as many children as they please (within cultural “limits”), increasingly our societal view is that they should not have unwanted children. I think that this developing societal attitude can very easily extend to encompass not just control of the number of children but … control of their quality as well. In short, I am suggesting that it may become culturally acceptable and perhaps even expected that parents ought to avoid the birth of a defective child, especially when we have a technology that can help avoid such events.

The matter does not stop with malformed babies, but leads naturally to limiting the number of babies a family may have. In 1971, at the national Conference on Population Education in Washington, D.C., Martha Willing, co-director of Population Dynamics of Seattle, Washington, first proposed tax disincentives for parents who have more than two children. Then the state should proceed “to penalize deliberate violations of a small family norm and set up controls which prevent such violations.” The author continues:

After the third child is born, both mother and father will have to present themselves at a hospital to undergo sterilization procedures. If the couple does not appear, there will be no birth certificate issued to the third child, but instead a “third child paper.” The mother can be tattooed or marked to signify a third birth to any subsequent doctor. Instead of the missing parent, the child can be sterilized on the spot, insuring that this undue share of the gene pool will not be carried forward.

To quote C. Everett Koop,
“The moral question for us is not whether the suffering and dying are persons but whether we are the kind of persons who will care for them without doubting their worth.”

How we treat the sick and the unborn is not a measure of their humanity but of OUR OWN

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)


Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. C. Everett Koop pictured above.

__________

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