RAUS: States Are Pushing Back On The Euthanasia Death Cult

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Sam Raus Contributor
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Virginia’s Democrat-controlled House of Delegates recently defeated a bill that would have allowed citizens 18 or older and deemed mentally competent to seek self-administered euthanasia after receiving a diagnosis of six months or fewer to live. The legislation received backing from Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Wexton, who has been diagnosed with terminal progressive supranuclear palsy. 

Simultaneously, West Virginia has placed stricter constitutional protections against euthanasia on the ballot in November with bipartisan support. Current common law already prohibits euthanasia in West Virginia. The ballot amendment will allow voters to more explicitly prohibit physicians and healthcare providers from providing “medically-assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing,” while not limiting access to pain relief medications or any life-sustaining treatment. 

Currently, 10 states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Washington and Vermont — and Washington, D.C., permit legal euthanasia in direct violation of the American Medical Association’s code of ethics

These states should reverse course. 

Physicians have a foundational role in our society; they are healers. As such, they should prioritize combatting patients’ illnesses and supporting life. Legal euthanasia directly opposes these standards of care, turning doctors into angels of death.

In addition, it places unreasonable pressure on those deemed terminally ill. Although promoted as offering “choice,” euthanasia exploits the financial and emotional burdens that life-threatening illnesses can impose to family, friends and loved ones. By offering patients — and their insurance providers — the relief of affordability, euthanasia sells death as a product for the poor and anxious. This social pressure particularly targets traditionally economically disadvantaged groups such as minorities, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, immigrants, and the uninsured. 

This harmful outlook frames life and survival as selfish and burdensome on others. Undermining the necessity for affordable, accessible healthcare, euthanasia enables a symptoms-over-solutions framework for health services. In offering death-on-demand, the practice dangerously circumvents efforts to improve physical and mental wellbeing. 

Supporters, such as state Rep. Wexton of Virginia, suggest euthanasia extends compassion to those with terminal illnesses by allowing them to control the end of their lives. But anyone concerned by increased rates of suicide and depression, especially among America’s youth, should harshly scrutinize euthanasia. As shown with its legalization in Canada, euthanasia can enable suicide by people facing mental health struggles. Instead, physicians should provide patients with evidence-based treatment when dealing with often-painful terminal illnesses.

Prescription opioid overdoses in America were responsible for 17,000 deaths in 2021, accounting for roughly 21 percent of all opioid overdose deaths. These prescription-induced deaths coincide with further life-threatening health outcomes stemming from the use of opioids such as morphine and oxycodone, including tumor growth, high blood pressure, heart disease, and mental health concerns. These drugs can induce indirect euthanasia, circumventing bans on direct, patient-assisted euthanasia. 

Medical coercion by opioid providers has received outsized media attention in recent years, from the movie “Pain Hustlers” and docu series like “Painkiller or “Dopesick to news headlines in the Washington Post and studies by The New England Journal of Medicine. While pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and insurance companies face countless lawsuits over prior abuses, lawmakers have stalled on legislative action. States need to pass clear, explicitly worded protections against indirect euthanasia and dangerous prescription opioid usage. 

Americans deserve ethical medical care. Physicians should not be permitted to offer death as an alternative. Socioeconomic factors and pharmaceutical sales tactics have no place in the treatment of those facing life-threatening diseases. States looking for a path forward on this issue should mirror West Virginia lawmakers and move towards banning euthanasia.

Additionally, legislatures can look to groups like Voices for Non-Opioid Choices to ensure medical practices end the painkiller addiction crisis and blatant manipulation by opioid providers. More abundant medical oversight and accountability can ensure patients’ pain relief more humanely and ethically. As important elections approach — including key state legislature races in Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania — these pressing health issues will be top of mind for many patients and well as their families and friends.

Sam Raus is a Young Voices Contributor studying public relations and political science at the University of Miami. His commentary has appeared in RealClearDefense, Free The People, the Standard-Examiner, and the South Jersey Times. Follow him on Twitter: @SamRaus1.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.