Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
Dr. Stephen Krason, president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, wrote a letter to the head of the American Medical Association which is considering changing its position against allowing physician assisted suicide.
In the letter, he warns of terrible consequences if it were to do so:
Our organization strongly urges you not to change your policy. Your organization has enormous influence in the shaping of public policy concerning health care and medical issues and a change in your position would almost certainly give momentum to the effort to legalize physician-assisted suicide in the U.S. This would have momentous consequences, as have been vividly apparent in the countries and U.S. states that have legalized this so far.
It will transform a healing profession into a killing profession. It will drive a wedge between physicians and their patients, causing people to deeply distrust their physicians who they will not be sure will be faithful to an ethic to help them when they are seriously ill. It will lead to the terminally ill and even others who are seriously ill being viewed as expendable and not being provided the kind of care that they need and deserve. It will encourage an attitude that it is not worth putting forth the expense to provide medical help for the latter and that supposedly limited medical resources should not be used to aid them. It will reduce medical decision-making to a kind of cost-benefit analysis, instead of it being concerned about upholding the basic dignity of the human person. It will result in those with mental illness, who are suffering depression and the like, to seek to be aided in killing themselves instead of getting the help they need to overcome their problems. It inevitably will spread to more and more categories of people, including those who aren’t even seriously ill and children with serious illnesses and birth defects, as the European experience is making clear. Instead of pediatric and neonatal specialists working to save handicapped newborns, they will be increasingly looked to for the purpose of ending their lives.
The AMA coming out in support of physician-assisted suicide would clearly devalue life - all life.
Imagine it this way, an elderly person knows they are terminally ill but understands it could take years before passing away. And knowing those years could be a terrible financial and emotional hardship on the family, one could see how one might consider hastening one's death as an act of sacrifice. With the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, that person might very well see it as a "duty to die" in order to alleviate the family from hardship. You could clearly see how this could become commonplace almost instantly upon legalization. As I always say, if all life is not considered priceless, it's just a question of how much it's worth and who's setting the price.