Doctors of Death?

You might not think a medical doctor would have to go to court to fight a command to take your life, but in California that’s precisely what is happening. If you request a doctor to end your life, it seems you might be the only one with a say in the matter. Are the convictions of doctors no longer relevant?

A small group of physicians, along with the American Academy of Medical Ethics, are fighting California’s Physician Assisted Suicide law requiring doctors to provide life ending “treatment” to patients requesting it. The law became effective earlier last month.

The Wall Street Journal covered this story in an article published this weekend by the title “Why Are They Trying to Make Us Kill Our Patients.” They quote the American Academy of Medical Ethics, a Christian medical group with thousands of members across the country. They say the law is at odds with a doctor’s basic calling and is a threat to society, “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

Philip Dreisbach, author of the aforementioned Wall Street Journal article, describes the physician assisted suicide law as a “organized, nationwide, social-engineering campaign” led by a “small, but influential necro-polotical movement.” Dreisbach is one of the six doctors fighting California’s suicide law. Christians should be aware of such legal battles and should pray, support, and when possible participate, with those defending the dignity of life.

This is an issue we must watch with eyes wide open as it strikes at the very heart of the Christian understanding of the sacredness of human life and forces medical doctors to violate basic convicitons. The campaign will come to us as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, promising dignity yet delivering something very different.  “One must ignore the false rhetoric, the clawing propaganda, used by the death-by-drugs advocates,” Dresibach writes, “Terms like “death with dignity” and “compassion in dying” are meant to obscure the fact that these death-march ideologues are targeting the doctor to become an instrument of death.”