Tag archives: Massachusetts

Ted Kennedys Widow on Massachusetts’ Death with Dignity ballot initiative

by Cathy Ruse

October 31, 2012

Five years after the state of Oregon legalized doctor-assisted suicide, the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University conducted research on how the law was being utilized. Their findings, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, were shocking. They found that nearly 90 percent of people who ask their doctors for help in killing themselves later change their minds, and that what motivated most seriously ill people who asked was fear of pain — a fear that might be misplaced.

In one example, a man just 47-years old with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, sought suicide because he was scared to die like his father, who had died from colon cancer in great pain without adequate medication. But when he learned that ALS does not cause a painful death, he gave up thoughts of suicide.

Last week Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, published an op-ed against Question 2, the so-called Death with Dignity initiative on the Massachusetts ballot.

In it she blasts the measure, saying it is not about bringing family together to make end of life decisions but is intended to exclude family members from the actual decision-making process to guard against patients being pressured to end their lives prematurely.

Most of us wish for a good and happy death, with as little pain as possible, surrounded by loved ones, perhaps with a doctor and/or clergyman at our bedside, she writes, [b]ut under Question 2, what you get instead is a prescription for up to 100 capsules, dispensed by a pharmacist, taken without medical supervision, followed by death, perhaps alone.

In reflecting on her own husbands death, she closes this way: I know we were blessed. I am fully aware that not everyone will have the same experience we did. But if Question 2 passes I cant help but feel were sending the message that theyre not even entitled to a chance. A chance to have more time with their loved ones. A chance to have more dinners and sing more songs. A chance for more kisses and more love. A chance to be surrounded by family or clergy or a doctor when the end does come. That seems cruel to me. And lonely. And sad.

Sterilization and the Right to Life

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 18, 2012

A judge’s decision to order the abortion of “a mentally ill womans unborn baby and sterilize her if it meant she had to be ‘coaxed, bribed, or even enticed … by ruse’ into the procedure” has drawn appropriate fire from officials in the Bay State.

Judge Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last week, not only wanted to compel the woman known only as “Mary Moe” to have an abortion - a procedure the serious Catholic Ms. Moe said, explicitly, she did not want - but also to sterilize her. Thankfully, State Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger has reversed Judge Harms’ ruling, stating that ‘No party requested this measure … and the judge appears to have simply produced the requirement out of thin air. Justice Grainger has now given the case to another judge.

The forced sterilization of roughly 30,000 Americans occurred in our own country in the years leading up to World War II. According to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, “Between 1907 and 1939, more than 30,000 people in twenty-nine states were sterilized, many of them unknowingly or against their will, while they were incarcerated in prisons or institutions for the mentally ill. Nearly half the operations were carried out in California. Advocates of sterilization policies in both Germany and the United States were influenced by eugenics. This sociobiological theory took Charles Darwin’s principle of natural selection and applied it to society. Eugenicists believed the human race could be improved by controlled breeding.”

The inherent injustice and cruelty of the practice was not only odious to most of our fellow citizens, but its barbarity was cast into horrible relief with the rise of Nazism in German. Hitler’s “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases” (July 14, 1933) compelled “the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness (schizophrenia and manic depression), retardation (‘congenital feeble-mindedness’), physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism.” In addition to the estimated 400,000 persons sterilized, by 1945 up to 250,000 people had been murdered for their real or perceived physical or mental problems.

Sadly, although mass murder in the name of “racial purity” did not occur in out country, as late as 1970, “The Nixon administration dramatically increase(d) Medicaid-funded sterilization of low-income Americans, primarily Americans of color. While these sterilizations (were) voluntary as a matter of policy, anecdotal evidence later suggest(ed) that they (were) often involuntary as a matter of practice as patients (were) often misinformed, or left uninformed, regarding the nature of the procedures that they … agreed to undergo.” (Source)

All of this poses a troubling question: Our society’s outrage over Judge Harms’ decision, while admirable, is much too muted when it comes to the ongoing death of more than 3,000 unborn children daily in the U.S., as is our culture’s compassion for their mothers, who often are “left uninformed” of the other, non-abortion related options they have.

At FRC, we work with dedicated people across the country to provide those better options. That’s why, on Monday, January 23, FRC will launch the second edition of our “A Passion to Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families, and Strengthen Communities.” Make sure to visit our website, A Passion to Serve, where you will be able to download your own free copy on January 23.

Massachusetts, Senator-elect Brown, and Jack Bauers War

by Chris Gacek

January 26, 2010

Last week I wrote a blog post on Barack Obamas conduct in what I called Jack Bauers War. That is the war being conducted directly against the jihadists. In the week since then we have discovered more disturbing information about the Obama administrations performance in this conflict. For example, Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times asserted on his weekday radio show that it is now well-known that the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was questioned for only 50 minutes before he was read his Miranda rights. This is true. See the Wall Street Journal article affirming these facts.

I argued that these Jack Bauer war issues are a political acid that are badly damaging Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

The national security issue has been mentioned as one that Scott Brown ran on but MSM reporting has not placed it as a first-tier issue in Massachusetts. However, in Jamie Glazovs interview with national security attorney and former prosecutor, Andy McCarthy, in Frontpage Magazine, we read the following (my emphasis):

McCarthy: …. The Brown campaigns internal polling told them something very interesting. While its true that healthcare is what nationalized the election and riveted everyones attention to it, it was the national security issues that put real distance between the two candidates in the mind of the electoratein blue Massachusetts of all places. Sen.-elect Brown was able to speak forcefully and convincingly on issues like treating our jihadist enemies as combatants rather than mere defendants, about killing terrorists and preventing terrorism rather than contenting ourselves with prosecutions after Americans have been killed, about tough interrogation when necessary to save innocent lives. Martha Coakley, by contrast, had to try to defend the indefensible, which is Obama-style counterterrorism. It evidently made a huge difference to voters.

Similarly, the brilliant American-Israeli columnist for the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick, picked up on this as well. She made note of Robert Costas National Review interview (1/19/2010) with Eric Fehrnstrom, the Brown campaigns senior strategist. Fehrnstrom made the following points about the national security issue:

On the issues, people talk about the potency of the health-care issue, but from our own internal polling, the more potent issue here in Massachusetts was terrorism and the treatment of enemy combatants, says Fehrnstrom. Health care, he says, was helpful in fundraising, but it was the campaigns focus on national security in the final week that he believes helped to give voters another issue to associate with Brown…. (2nd paragraph from bottom)

Wow. KSMs trial in NYC; the undie bomber trial’s in Detroit; moving / releasing Gitmo prisoners. These are wounds that wont stop bleeding.