Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
Position on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
From its inception Right to Life of Michigan has been opposed to the social acceptance of assisted suicide and euthanasia. We believe that accepting these forms of intentional killing reflects a complete disrespect for the dignity of each person and for each person's right to life. Assisted suicide and euthanasia embody a fatalistic response to illness and disability -- offering death as a solution to the challenges of life.
We recognize that this issue involves the real pain and suffering of real people. In opposing assisted suicide it is not our intent to require of any person undue suffering. We hold that the "need" for assisted suicide is unsubstantiated. The implication that there are thousands of persons who are destined to suffer excruciatingly painful deaths is simply untrue. Advances in palliative care have made cases of unmitigated suffering extremely rare. Pain management and hospice care provide appropriate and sufficient means to meet patient needs. There is every reason to believe that any perceived "need" for euthanasia will become obsolete in the foreseeable future. Individuals need not live with the fear of facing a painful, agonizing death.
The greatest challenge we face comes not from pain and suffering, but from fear and ignorance. Physicians' ignorance of pain management techniques, and fear of using what they do know, leaves many patients to die in pain. Current medical practice, not medical capability, is failing patients. Patients' ignorance about their rights, and their fear, lead many to believe that they are destined to a painful death or an existence ravaged by the overuse of medical technology.
Painful and undignified deaths happen every day. Tragically, such deaths are essentially unnecessary. Our response to the ignorance, fear, and desperation associated with illness should be EDUCATION, HOPE, and LIFE AFFIRMING SUPPORT. We fail if our solution to suffering is to kill those who suffer... RTL Michigan (More)