CHAPTER 109 PAST AND FUTURE HISTORY OF THE WORLD EUTHANASIA MOVEMENT
American Life League

Life is not a quality; death is not a right, and it is not realistic to expect that euthanasia will remain voluntary. Euthanasia doctors will kill you with your consent if they can get it; and without your consent if they cannot. Euthanasia is not a right. It is the abolition of all rights.

                                                                                Dutch doctor I. van der Sluis.[1]

Anti-Life Philosophy.

WHEREAS, there is nothing more fundamental to American women than freedom of choice, and the U.S. Supreme Court, in Cruzan, has now established that there is a right to choose to die ... THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women affirms that the right to make appropriate and legal choices about dying is a feminist issue.

National Organization for Women (NOW) resolution of July 1991 entitled "The Right to Choose to Die A Feminist Issue."

It can't happen here. What happened in Nazi Germany can't happen here because the United States is an enlightened society. Our democracy has built-in safeguards that guarantee that its citizens have full protection under the law.

Anti-choice people apparently believe that, just because we have reproductive freedom, we will one day slide down the "slippery slope" to "euthanasia on demand," followed by "euthanasia on command."

How ridiculous! This cannot happen, just as forced abortions cannot happen.

Introduction.

The only thing that mankind learns from history is that mankind does not learn from history.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, the "Father of Utilitarianism."

Tried and True Anti-Life Strategies. 

Many of the members of the pro-euthanasia movement are veterans of the pro-abortion movement. Therefore, they are very experienced in the use of the standard anti-life strategies and tactics, including propaganda and media manipulation, that are described in Chapters 6 through 19 of Volume I.

The pro-euthanasiasts know what works to advance their cause. Since many or most of the most experienced euthanasiasts endured their "trial by fire" when pushing abortion, it is many times possible to simply substitute the word "EUTHANASIA" for "ABORTION" in their literature, as evidenced by reading the NOW quote shown at the beginning of this chapter.

As described in Chapter 16 of Volume I, pro-abortionists in the mid-1960s discovered that slogans were their most powerful weapons during the fight for prenatal genocide. A catchy slogan allows a person to buy into an entire philosophy without first having to think about it in detail, and is therefore a great boon to those people who are trying to reach masses of lazy and undisciplined minds.

The pro-death people have now slightly altered their 'sound bites' to accommodate their drive to kill born human beings.

The euthanasiasts talk of "victims" who are being "oppressed" by "vindictive and inhumane laws." They speak eloquently of "self-determination," the "freedom to choose," and the "right to control one's own body." And they speak of euthanasia as "an agonizing decision." This last slogan was echoed by Dutch euthanasia doctor Herbert Cohen when confronted by anti-euthanasia physicians who contended that the killing of sick people would lead to a cheapening of human life. Cohen claimed that "That [argument] implies that doctors think it is an easy solution to apply euthanasia. Well, it's absolutely not."[2]

This use of these slogans by euthanasiasts is particularly worrisome because they are so effective. The euthanasia movement in the United States is following precisely the same path that the eugenics/euthanasia movement did in Nazi Germany. It is also treading the same road followed by the flourishing Dutch euthanasia industry.

We need only examine the historical experiences of these two countries to find out what the future of euthanasia will be in the United States.

Here We Go Again! 

It is not necessary to make vague statements or insupportable comparisons between the German and Dutch 'experiences' of euthanasia and the one that we are currently undergoing in the United States.

Figure 109-1 merely lists the dates and progression of the euthanasia movement in both the United States and Nazi Germany and allows the reader to judge for himself.

FIGURE 109-1
PARALLEL QUOTES AND ACTIONS OF NAZI AND AMERICAN EUTHANASIASTS

[A medium text size on your computer's 'view' setting is recommended, otherwise, the tables may be discombobulated.]

1895: "If it is now pointed out that                       1972: "It is a wild contention that
the Jew is human, I then reject that                       newborn babies are persons."
totally."                                                                    Dr. Michael Tooley.
    The German Reichschancellor,
    before the assembled Reichstag.

"What good does it do to humanity to                  "Most birth defects are not discovered
maintain artificially and rear the thousands             until birth. If a child were not declared 
of cripples, deaf-mutes and idiots? Is it not           alive until three days after birth, the
better and more                                                   doctor could allow the
rational to cut off from the first this unavoidable    child to die if the parents so chose and 
misery which their poor lives will bring them-        save a lot of misery and suffering. 
selves and their families?"                                     I believe this view is the only rational,
    Nazi 'ethicist' Dr. Ernst Haeckel, 1904.            compassionate attitude to
                                                                           have."
                                                                               American 'ethicist' Dr. James 
                                                                               Watson,  1973.

1920: Alfred Hoche and Judge Karl                    1931: Margaret Sanger, in her book 
Binding Die Freigabe der Vernichtung              Pivot of Civilization, wrote that 
Lebensunwerten Leben
("The                            "[Philanthropists] encourage the 
Permission   to Destroy Life                                healthier and more normal sections of 
Unworthy of Life"), which recom-                       the world to shoulder the burden
mended the active euthanasia of                          of the unthinking and indiscriminate 
"absolutely worthless human beings,"                   fecundity of others; which brings
including the retarded, the deformed,                   with it, as I think the reader must 
and the feebleminded and senile. The                   agree, a dead weight of human
book referred to eugenic murder                         waste. Instead of decreasing and 
 as "a healing work," and "an allow-                     aiming to eliminate the stocks that are 
able, useful act." Frederick Wertham,                  most  detrimental to the world, it tends 
author   of A Sign for Cain, wrote                      to render them to a menacing degree 
that "This little book influenced, or at                   dominant."
least crystallized, the thinking of a 
whole generation." 

1931: Physicians and psychiatrists                       1926: "There is only one reply to a 
begin to discuss means of mass                            request for a higher birthrate among 
sterilization and/or killing of mental                       the intelligent, and that is to ask the 
patients while meeting at professional                   government to first take the burden of 
conventions.                                                        the insane and feeble-minded from 
                                                                          off your back. [Mandatory] sterilization 
                                                                           for these is the answer."
                                                                               Margaret Sanger, Birth Control 
                                                                               Review
, October 1926.

1933: 'Lifeboat exercises' are introduced to         1965: 'Lifeboat exercises' are 
propagandize school children into accepting         introduced  into the public schools 
killing of the "useless." For example, Problem      for the purpose of propagandizing
95 of Alfred Dorner's mathematics text               school children into accepting the
Mathematik in Diensteder National-                killing of the "useless." For example,
politischen Erziehung
asks, "The                      one question from a Shippensport, 
construction of an insane asylum requires            Pennsylvania text asks, "A new country 
six million Reichsmarks (RM). How many           is being formed because the problem 
new housing units at 15,000 RM each                 of overpopulation has completely 
could have been built for this sum?"                     destroyed your former country. Select 
below. The remaining 18 will die                         any eight persons out of the list of 26 
                                                                          of starvation. Give reasons for your 
                                                                          selections."

1933: Selective forced abortions                         1907: Indiana becomes the first of 28 
and the mass sterilization of those                         states to pass a mandatory sterilization 
with "serious hereditary diseases"                         law aimed at those considered "unfit." 
begins.                                                                58 years later, the selective forced 
                                                                           abortions and mass sterilization 
                                                                           programs aimed at Puerto Rican 
                                                                           and Native America women are 
                                                                           still being carried out.

"The enormous costs imposed on                        "Institutional care for Down Syndrome 
our society by congenital defects                          alone represents an expense of 
is calculated to be 1.2  billion                               $250-350 million per year." 
Reichsmarks annually."                                            National Academy of Sciences, 
    Dr. Gerhard Wagner, 1935.                                1975.

1935: Hitler convenes high-level                         1967: Euthanasia societies begin to 
conferences to discuss the possibility                   hold high-level conferences for the 
of establishing programs for liquidating                 purpose of discussing the liquidation 
the "incurably ill."                                                of "human vegetables" and the
                                                                          "incurably ill elderly."

1935: On May 10, the first large-scale                1987: The first large-scale murders 
murders of helpless people by the                        of helpless people by American 
Nazi regime occurred when twelve                      euthanasiasts occurred when  eight 
mental patients were euthanized at                       elderly persons were starved to death 
Hadamar, Germany.                                            at a nursing home in Galveston, Texas.

1936: "Jews living in Germany are not                 1973. "The vegetable patient is 
'persons' in the legal sense."                                 dead, a nonperson."
    German Supreme Court, April 2, 1936.               'Ethicist' Joseph Fletcher.

1938: Leipzig. Baby boy Knauer is born blind      1982: Bloomington, Indiana. Baby 
and missing part of one arm and one leg. He is      Doe is born with an esophagal defect 
the ideal test case for Germany's euthanasia/         and spina bifida. He is the ideal test 
eugenics program. Hitler's personal physician,       case for  America's euthanasia/
Karl Brandt, murdered the child. The eugenicists   eugenics program. The baby was  
carefully observed the reaction of the judicial         allowed to die of thirst and starvation.  
system and the press to this murder.                      The eugenicists carefully observed the  
    It was positive.                                                 reactions of the judicial system and 
                                                                            the press to this murder.  
                                                                                It was positive.

1941: Goebbel's propaganda film Ich                   1987: ABC releases its propaganda
Klage An ("I Accuse") is released. This                film "When the Time Comes." This
"docudrama" portrayed a woman suffering            "docudrama" portrayed a woman
from multiple sclerosis who is 'mercifully'               suffering from cancer who is
euthanized by her loving husband to the                'mercifully' euthanized by her loving
accompaniment of soft, soothing piano                  husband to the accompaniment of
music.                                                                  soft, soothing piano music.

Reference: Most of these events and quotes are described in William Brennan. The Abortion Holocaust: Today's Final Solution. Order from Landmark Press, Post Office Box 13547, 1461 Dunn Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63138, or Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. 1983, 237 pages.

This chapter also includes a detailed description of the current Dutch euthanasia situation and concludes with a description of some of the pivotal events regarding "mercy killing" in the United States.

The Paramount Lesson.

There is one lesson that must be learned from the German euthanasia experience. It is pivotal. It is absolutely basic. It is that

ALL EUTHANASIA BEGINS WITH AN 'INFINITELY SMALL, WEDGED-IN LEVER.'

This phrase was originated by Dr. Leo Alexander, instructor in psychiatry at Tufts College Medical College, who served as a consultant to the Secretary of War and was on the staff of the Chief Counsel for War Crimes at Nuremberg. He said that

Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated that they had started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived.

This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually, the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and, finally, all non-Germans. But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which this entire trend of mind received its emphasis was the attitude toward the nonrehabilitable sick.[3]

The remainder of this chapter traces the progress of the American and Dutch euthanasia programs. Although the sequence of events in the United States is not precisely the same as that of Nazi Germany or Holland, it is obvious from these events that we have already traveled far down the road to "euthanasia on command."

Dark Beginnings.

Introduction.

Lawmakers and judges usually position themselves at the forefront of any major movement for social change.

However, the euthanasia movements seem to be different. Doctors, not politicians, have always been in the vanguard of the push for the killing of human beings.

Das Recht Auf Den Tod.

Direct euthanasia is certainly nothing new. It has been discussed in writings of great antiquity, some of which are thousands of years old.

One of the first modern-day references to utilitarian or 'economic' euthanasia in Western literature can be found in the 1877 work Lebenswunder of the German biologist and philosopher Ernst Heinrich Haeckel; "What a tremendous sum of pain and grief ... what losses of property, private and public, could be spared, if only people would decide at last to release the absolutely incurable from their unspeakable ills with a dose of morphine."

In 1895, Dr. Adolf Jost published his book Das Recht Auf den Tod ("The Right to Die"). He outlined for the first time the "slippery slope" theory as applied to euthanasia; "Of course, at first, strict limitations must be respected. For example, the right to die of lunatics will only come into consideration later, because consent of the patient is of course lacking, and this circumstance could easily, at least at the beginning of reform, be a disadvantage."

The First Euthanasia Society.

Dr. Killick Millard founded the first euthanasia society in the world, the Voluntary Euthanasia Legalization Society of London, in October of 1935. He was also the first modern-day doctor to push for involuntary euthanasia of the incurably ill.

Charles E. Nixdorff, treasurer of the Society, restated Dr. Jost's "slippery slope" theory when he wrote in the January 27, 1939 New York Times that the Society's proposals were limited only to voluntary euthanasia at first. However, when the public mood inevitably became more "liberal" about such affairs, the Society would then move to establish the means for the widespread killing of what the Society referred to as "useless persons."

After the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, various authors referred to this "Eichmann Effect," where a person "... is willing to commit atrocities he would not normally commit when he sees himself as merely an instrument of some higher authority."[4]

This effect occurs when physicians deceive themselves into thinking that they are merely doing the will of society by eliminating those who are a "burden" to it.

The Evolution of Euthanasia in the United States.

If subjects are needed to render accurate knowledge about the workings of the human mechanism, there is an endless supply. Take the extreme elderly, the senile, use the criminally insane, rapists and murderers. They are largely useless and doomed anyway.

                                                                          Professor Ron Westover in 1985.[5]

Introduction.

The euthanasia situation in the United States is far more serious than most people realize, and can be summarized by examining the various court decisions that have progressively and relentlessly expanded the "right to die" and the "right to be killed."

The most important euthanasia court cases that have been decided to date are described in Chapter 107.

The 1986 Bloomington, Indiana "Baby Doe" case riveted national attention on the problem of infanticide in this country. Infanticide, however, is nothing new to American hospitals. As long ago as 1965, children with spina bifida and Down Syndrome and who were otherwise healthy were slowly and quietly starved to death.[6] There were also numerous cases of the involuntary euthanasia of sick adults who could still "think, see, speak and hear."[6]

Parallels With Nazi Germany.

Figure 109-1 shows how closely the American medical profession is following the lead of the Nazi "doctors."

The primary lesson we must learn from these progressions is that a certain utilitarian attitude towards human life will lead to a definite progression in euthanasia that is all but set in concrete. Thus, it is no surprise that many of the Nazi and American quotes shown in Figure 109-1 are almost identical.

Anti-Semitism flourished simultaneously in both the American and Nazi euthanasia movements. In the mid-1930s, the pathologically anti-Semitic American Madison Grant argued that "sentimental beliefs" (such as Christianity) short-circuited the practice of infanticide, which he saw as a natural weeding-out process necessary to the "preservation of the [human] species."[7]

Charles Davenport, another prominent American eugenicist, asserted that "Our ancestors drove Baptists from Massachusetts Bay into Rhode Island, but we have no place to drive the Jews to. Also, they burned the witches, but it seems to be against the mores to burn any considerable part of our population."[7]

Meanwhile, leaders of the Nazi eugenics/ euthanasia movement held that Jews and others not of Aryan quality "... had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, with which a healthy body may become infested. This was not cruel, if one remembers that even innocent creatures of nature, such as hares and deer, have to be killed, so that no harm is caused by them."[8]

The Nazis were deeply interested in euthanasia for eugenics and for economics. So are many Americans. For example, State Representative Walter W. Sackett Jr., M.D., proposed a euthanasia bill for consideration by the 1972 session of the Florida legislature. This bill was a concrete expression of Dr. Sackett's concern that the State of Florida was spending far too much money on the ill, especially Down Syndrome children. As Dr. Sackett stated, "Five billion dollars could be saved in the next half-century if the State's mongoloids were permitted merely to succumb to pneumonia a disease to which they are highly susceptible."

Another primary concern of the Nazis was euthanasia for the purpose of expanding Lebensraum "living space." Many American doctors also share this concern. For example, Dr. Robert H. Williams of the University of Washington Medical School says that "Planning to prevent overpopulation of the earth must include euthanasia, either negative or positive."[9]

And Edgar R. Chasteen, in his ominously-named book The Case for Compulsory Birth Control, stated darkly that "Soon the world may well be engulfed by indescribable horrors as these nations of the starving are crushed under the weight of their teeming populations."[10]

The Nazis did not want the bodies of their victims to go to waste, and so they salvaged their organs for the purposes of medical research. American doctors are now proposing a "dissent form" approach to organ donation. These laws allow doctors to ransack any or all of the organs of those people who have not indicated a contrary wish in "Living Wills" or other legally-binding documents. The implications of this type of approach for medical experimentation are obvious. What euthanasia 'doctor' could resist the opportunity to remove organs from a victim scheduled to die at a particular time?

In 1988, Nevada became the first State to adopt this "dissent form" approach to organ donations. As described below, this is also the situation in Holland.

Nazi and American euthanasiasts inevitably share even the same language. By the end of World War II, a quarter of a million people had been exterminated under the euphemisms Den Recht Auf den Tod ("the right to die"), Todhilfe ("aid in dying"), and Gnadentod ("good [dignified] death") the exact words used by the Hemlock Society and other pro-euthanasia groups today.[11]

Yet More (Yawn) Dissenters.

One of the most powerful weapons used by the anti-life media cartel in the United States is the exploitation of so-called "dissenters" who publicly repudiate and undermine the pro-life philosophies of their parent organizations in particular, the Catholic Church. This strategy has been employed in the past to disarm or discredit the most powerful potential foes of abortion, and it is working just as well for the euthanasia pushers.

Predictably, just as happened with artificial contraception and abortion, much-publicized dissenters have "boldly and courageously" stepped forth to combat the "hierarchical church's rigidity in matters of personal choice." These include Father Kevin O'Rourke of the Center for Health Care Ethics, who filed a friend of the court brief urging the starvation death of Nancy Cruzan. Other "dissenters" include the Catholic Health Association, which regularly advocates the withdrawal of even food and water in its ironically-named magazine Health Progress.[12]

This is in direct defiance of the Vatican's 1980 Declaration on Euthanasia; "It is necessary to state firmly once more that nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action."

Euthanasia: How It Will Be.

You are a member of the first generation of doctors in the history of medicine to turn their backs on the oath of Hippocrates and kill millions of old useless people, unborn children, born malformed children, for the good of mankind and to do so without a single murmur from the august New England Journal of Medicine. And do you know what you're going to end up doing? You, a graduate of Harvard and a reader of the New York Times and a member of the Ford Foundation's Program for the Third World? Do you know what is going to happen to you?

You're going to end up killing Jews.

                                                            Walker Percy, The Thanatos Syndrome.[13]

Two Predictors and Two Deaths.

History has given us two predictors of the future progress of euthanasia in the United States. It has also benchmarked the progress of the movement in our country with the tragic deaths of two women.

The first predictor is that we can say in general that the overall strategy of the euthanasia movement in our country almost exactly parallels that of the pro-abortion movement, but trails it by about twenty years. These parallels are illustrated in figures contained in Chapter 112, "Euthanasia Objectives."

And the second predictor is provided by Holland. We can look to the example the Dutch are setting for us. We are now proceeding along the very same road in the very same manner that the Dutch did but we are trailing them by about ten years.

Two women Janet Adkins and Nancy Cruzan have firmly defined for us the current status of euthanasia in this country. After these shocking deaths, many people outside the pro-euthanasia movement wondered where we were headed.

The euthanasiasts know, but they aren't telling.

It is instructive to examine the situation in a country where euthanasia is a fact of life in order to ask ourselves the question: Do we really want this for our country?

For the answer, we need look no further than Holland, whose permissive euthanasia laws have come under increasing scrutiny over the last five years.

A Matter of Mere Economics ...

Being elderly and ill in Holland is a frightening experience, because the elderly know that they are officially "expendable." They are expendable because the primary motivation for Dutch health 'care' is not care per se, but cost containment.

This is the most inhuman legacy of the menace called 'socialized medicine.'

Consider the predicament of a 60-year old Dutch person who simply cannot avoid seeking medical care in a hospital. He or she is acutely aware of the following facts.

Dutch Doctors Have a License to Kill.

Every Dutch doctor has received formal "how-to" euthanasia training in medical school.[14] The Royal Dutch Society of Pharmacology (KNMP) has issued a "how-to" euthanasia book to every doctor. This book contains recipes for undetectable poisons that can be placed in food or injected in such a manner that they are almost impossible to detect during an autopsy.[15]

The exact cost of each line of treatment for every common illness or injury is known beforehand and written up on charts for easy reference and analysis in each individual case.[16] Therefore, based on the information contained in these charts, general practitioners have been instructed by their hospitals to give involuntary lethal injections to those elderly patients whose care is deemed "too expensive."[17]

There is an 80 percent chance that any individual Dutch doctor has killed someone deliberately through direct or active (not passive) euthanasia.[18] And a 1991 government survey found that only one in 10 Dutch physicians would refuse a request for euthanasia.[2]

As in the United States, the real motivation for most Dutch euthanasias is not to alleviate the pain of the patients but to enhance the convenience of the doctors and the families of the ill. Dr. Pieter Michels, director of a Dutch hospital for terminal patients, said that only nine of three thousand dying people passing through his hospital asked for euthanasia over twenty years, and most of these requests came about because of pressure from their families. One doctor admitted to killing people because the sight of their suffering upset him.[19]

As leading Dutch euthanasiast Dr. Pieter Admiraal asserted at the 8th biennial conference of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, "Every patient has the right to judge his suffering as unbearable and the right to ask his physician for euthanasia. Pain is very seldom a reason for euthanasia."[20]

As with abortionists, the physicians have to inure themselves to the thought of killing human beings. Dr. Cornelius van der Meer said of his euthanasias that "You have to conquer something in yourself to do it. It's not a natural act."[19]

Dutch doctor-killers are advised to not drive alone to the "procedures," and to seek counseling before and after their killings from psychologists who specialize in treating doctors who regularly commit euthanasia.[19]

How it is Now: The New Abortionists.

Dutch doctor Herbert Cohen recently described in detail how he kills his patients. It is interesting to note his attention to aesthetic detail, and it is also significant that he is only one of scores of Dutch doctors who still make house visits not to heal but to kill.

Cohen appears on the front doorstep of the "chosen" with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He chats amiably with the family to put them at ease, and then approaches his victim, whom he injects first with a sleeping agent and then with the fatal paralyzing agent curare. Cohen is punctual: "If the appointment is for 8 o'clock, I'm there at 7:55, the patients is asleep by 8 and dead by 8:10." Then he calls the police and informs them that a euthanasia has taken place, and a medical examiner is sent to the house.[21]

Although he has followed this procedure dozens of times, he has never been prosecuted.

"Living Wills" Mean Nothing.

Patient statements regarding a desire to live or a desire to receive certain treatments in documents similar in nature to American "Living Wills" and Durable Powers of Attorney (DPAs) mean nothing in the Netherlands.

Euthanasia is often performed involuntarily on patients who have chronic diabetes, rheumatism, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, bronchitis, and upon older accident victims, no matter what the prognosis.[17,18] Many Dutch citizens, in self-defense, are now carrying a "Declaration of a Will To Live" (issued by the aptly-named Sanctuary Society, or Schuilplaats, and The Hiding Place Foundation), which states that they do not want to be euthanized without their knowledge. Predictably, these Declarations carry very little weight with the same doctors who introduced and then ignored the so-called "Living Wills."

Dutch cardiologist Richard Fenigsen notes that "The burden of justifying his existence is now placed upon the patient."[22] And Dutch attorney General T.M. Schalken said in 1984 that "... elderly people begin to consider themselves a burden to the society, and feel under an obligation to start conversations on euthanasia, or even to request it."[23]

Patients are Pressured.

If a person sixty years of age or older cannot avoid entering a Dutch hospital, euthanasia will be suggested repeatedly to him, even if he has not asked for it, and even if he is suffering from only a minor illness.[24]

All of this leads to a chronic and unquenchable fear among the Dutch elderly that they will be put to death if they encounter health professionals in any capacity. A comprehensive 1987 poll showed that 68 percent of all Dutch elderly feared that they would be killed without their consent or even their knowledge.[25] And 93 percent of those living in the few remaining Dutch nursing homes are "strongly opposed" to euthanasia and for good reason!

Yet another survey showed that the majority of the elderly in Dutch nursing homes will only drink water from faucets and will touch no other liquid, because they believe that their orange juice or milk may be spiked with deadly poison.[26]

This phenomenon is certainly not restricted to the nation of Holland. The sick elderly deeply distrust the medical establishment in every country that has come under the regime of socialized medicine. In England, Richard Lamerton, Medical Director of the Hospice of the Marches, Hereford and Cheltenham, says that "Every time euthanasia was discussed on television I had old people in my general practice refusing admission to hospital for fear of being 'put down.' And the fear that I was gently poisoning them stopped some of my dying patients from taking their pain drugs."[27]

The number of nursing homes in Holland has decreased by more than 80 percent in the last 20 years, and the life expectancy of the few elderly who remain in such homes is becoming shorter all the time. In some cases, it can be measured in hours.[22]

Involuntary euthanasia is administered to even non-terminally ill patients in Dutch nursing homes, including those with multiple sclerosis, blindness, or those who require intensive home care.[28] Involuntary euthanasia is also administered to accident victims and those people with rheumatism, diabetes, AIDS, and bronchitis.[29]

Even young children are not safe from the "new abortionists." On October 9, 1987, doctor P.A. Voute told the daily newspaper Het Parool that he had given a poison pill to a 14-year old boy. He also claimed that, since 1980, he had given poison pills to many teenagers who have suffered from cancer, even when the disease was nonterminal.[30]

No Prosecution for Mass Killings.

It is a primary strategy of the anti-life movements to simply ignore laws that members do not like, and to completely disregard moral rules that they consider "inconvenient." After all, when one commits the ultimate crime (killing) and gets away scot-free, what other laws can possibly be of consequence?

Pro-abortionists in the United States helped about 200,000 women annually receive illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. Infanticide of handicapped newborns is practiced widely and routinely in our neonatal intensive care units without fear of prosecution, despite the fact that such killing is blatantly illegal.

And Derek Humphry, founder and president of the Hemlock Society, killed his first wife and got away scot-free.

The logic behind these murders is solid. If a law is ignored widely enough even laws against killing the law becomes a joke, people get used to the idea, and everyone can break the law with impunity. As Alan Guttmacher, former Medical Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America claims, "A law which good citizens contrive to fracture, and usually without penalty, is a bad law."[31]

In Holland, serial killers practice "medicide" on a wide scale, despite the fact that it is technically illegal.

The precedent was set in April of 1973, when a Leeuwarden doctor was tried for killing her 78-year old mother who was lodged in a nursing home. The doctor was found guilty of murder but was sentenced to exactly one week in jail (suspended).

The presiding judge stated that the Court accepted euthanasia under certain conditions: The disease had to be incurable, the suffering unbearable, the patient terminal, and the killing would have to be requested by the patient. There was no appeal to a higher court, so this decision established a firm precedent. The virulently pro-euthanasia press hailed the Court's decision as "wise, compassionate, and merciful."

Just a few days after this trial, the Dutch Voluntary Euthanasia Society was founded. It grew explosively, and in 1978, 20 of the 150 members of Parliament attended its annual meeting. By 1980, there was a large Parliamentary majority favoring the legalization of euthanasia.

The following examples show how meaningless even the most carefully-written "laws with exceptions" truly are, because anti-lifers all over the world simply ignore rules that do not suit them, and carry on regardless.

• A doctor embarked on a crusade to "clean out" DeTerp Nursing Home and killed 20 residents without their consent or knowledge. He was charged with five murders pleaded guilty and was cleared of all counts by a Dutch court during his trial. He was even presented with an award of $150,000 for "having his name maligned!"[32]

• Four nurses at an Amsterdam hospital admitted to killing numerous unconscious patients by injecting them with fatal doses of insulin without their consent or knowledge. The "nurses" were wholeheartedly supported by the hospital's employee council, which called the murders of the patients excusable by dint of "humane considerations." The district courts agreed with this reasoning, and no charges were lodged against the nurses. In a subsequent sickening media propaganda piece, the children of the victims hugged the nurses and thanked them.[32]

• Several doctors directly killed 21 men and women at a nursing home in the Hague in the Spring of 1985. One doctor admitted to killing six of the patients without asking their consent, but he was not even charged with a crime. He stated that he based his actions on vague statements from patients like "I don't want to become a vegetable," made as early as four years previously.[1] This is a fine example of how euthanasiasts will seize upon any splinter of "evidence" to kill even undocumented statements that may or may not have even been made. The same psychology is evident in abortionists who commit all of their thousands of killings for the "health" of the mother.

• On November 4, 1983, Dr. Pieter Admiraal killed a young woman suffering from multiple sclerosis by the same method used by Dr. Jack Kevorkian to kill his first victim, Janet Adkins; the first injection was a powerful sedative, and the second was a killing poison. He was tried and acquitted of all charges. The Dutch Euthanasia Society had published his "how-to" euthanasia manual in 1977. This manual is presented to every doctor in Holland, and has also been translated into English and shipped to the United States.

These examples give vivid support to the statement by Dutch doctor I. van der Sluis that "Life is not a quality; death is not a right, and it is not realistic to expect that euthanasia will remain voluntary. Euthanasia doctors will kill you with your consent if they can get it; and without your consent if they cannot. Euthanasia is not a right. It is the abolition of all rights."[1]

Dutch euthanasia proponent Dr. Julius Hackethal confirmed Dr. van der Sluis' fears that not only are flagrant abuses inevitable under the current legal system in the Netherlands, they are happening right now on a wide scale; "I know based on my 40 years of experience in 5 hospitals 12 years I spent in university hospitals that killing by applying death shots to a hopelessly ill patient against his will or at least without his definite wish, happens much more often than is made public."[33]

What on Earth Happened?

Many people were deeply impressed by the example set by the Dutch medical profession during the early stages of World War II.

In 1941, Artur Seyss-Inquart, the Reich Commissar for the Netherlands, ordered Dutch physicians to participate in the Nazi selection and extermination projects. The Dutch doctors unanimously refused. Seyss-Inquart then threatened to pull their medical licenses, and the doctors mailed them to him, continuing their practices in secret. Seyss-Inquart finally seized a hundred of the doctors and shipped them off to concentration camps, but the remainder still unanimously refused to cooperate in the Nazi genocide.

Things have turned completely around in the last fifty years. Today it is the German physicians who are strongly rejecting euthanasia while their Dutch colleagues embrace it.

Why are Dutch physicians so enthusiastically killing their most helpless patients just fifty years after defending them with their very lives?

The answer lies in the power of propaganda and is a testimony to the extraordinary influence of the media in a modern society.

Dutch citizens have been subjected to an intense pro-euthanasia propaganda barrage through all of their media outlets for more than twenty years. The Dutch doctors initially resisted and spoke out against the media, but prominent anti-euthanasia physicians were destroyed by the press. Eventually, the resistance of anti-euthanasia doctors was officially punished and suppressed.

This media bombardment has affected the Dutch public most profoundly. 76 percent of the Dutch public support voluntary euthanasia, which is supposedly the ultimate in "freedom of choice," but, paradoxically, 77 percent also support involuntary active euthanasia, which is the denial of freedom of choice. And fully 90 percent of university economics students support the compulsory (forced) euthanasia of groups of people deemed to be a "burden to society" for the purpose of "streamlining the economy."[23]

Dr. Hackethal revealed the root cause of the Dutch ethical disintegration at the Hemlock Society's Second National Voluntary Euthanasia Conference. He showed that the Dutch doctors have thrown off all pretense of being limited in any way and are now a completely independent elite corps with literally unlimited power, unregulated by the courts, the legislative system, or even a moral code;

Sorry my English is not good enough ... I am impotent, English-impotent ... I studied that [Hippocratic] oath exactly. The conclusion of my Hippocratic Oath study is: "A more bad physician's oath doesn't exist!" One sentence of the patient-hostile Hippocratic Oath is: "I will never give anyone a deadly poison, not even at their request, nor will I give them any advice as to a deadly poison." But it doesn't apply for the last 50 years. Today I judge such an oath to be an act of unmedical patient-hostility, an act of inhumanity.[33]

The Magnitude of the Killing.

According to various Dutch sources, there are about 3,000 cases of registered voluntary euthanasia in Holland annually. There are also at least this many involuntary cases of euthanasia each year, and some sources put the number as high as 15,000.[34]

On September 10, 1991, the Dutch government summarized the country's euthanasia situation. Its two-volume report, entitled Medische Beslissingen Rond Het Levenseinde, reported that 91% of all cases of Dutch euthanasia violate the already-permissive limits set by Dutch courts. Only 200 cases of euthanasia are performed within legal limits annually, and the commission found that at least 2,400 illegal mercy killings and assisted suicides happen each year. There are a total of 6,000 legal and illegal mercy killings and assisted suicides in Holland each year, which is equivalent to 4.7 percent of all deaths in the country.

The report found that, when the more than 1,000 annual cases of involuntary euthanasia are added to the total number of mercy killings, more than 23,000 patients had their lives "significantly shortened" by overdoses of painkillers each year. Of these, 2,500 cases were done with the specific goal of shortening or ending life.

Four out of every five Dutch general practitioners have performed active euthanasia at some point in their careers. More than one-fourth (28%) actively euthanize at least two of their patients each year, and one of seven (14%) actively euthanize at least five of their patients annually.[35] According to the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, at least eight Dutch hospitals are performing widespread involuntary euthanasia.[36]

Jack Kevorkian's system of "obitoriums" staffed by professional "obitiatrists" is a reality in Holland.

In June of 1984, the Board of the 30,000 member Royal Dutch Society of Medicine (KNMG, the Dutch equivalent of the American Medical Association) approved a "Position on Euthanasia" paper that supported the legalization of both voluntary and involuntary active euthanasia ("mercy killing").

Three years later, the Committee on Medical Ethics of the European Community unanimously rejected the Dutch medical society's radical proposals on euthanasia with the statement that "We hope that this strong reaction will induce our Dutch colleagues to reconsider their move and return to the happy communion of utmost respect for human life."[30]

This "strong reaction" was completely ignored by the Dutch serial killer-'physicians.' In 1990, Dutch anesthesiologists refuse to participate in surgery on Down Syndrome children; at least 300 handicapped newborns are starved to death each year; and cardiologists flatly refuse to treat any person over the age of 75.

Involuntary euthanasia is routinely defended in the two major Dutch medical journals. Newborns with Down Syndrome, duodenal atresia, cerebral hemorrhage, and other major diseases and birth defects are killed outright.

Almost the Final Chapter.

On February 9, 1993, the Dutch Parliament finally caved in. It could not bear to put up with the continued divergence between national morals and the law and legalized what was "happening anyway." Apparently unaware of the ghastly irony of its actions, the Parliament codified the Royal Dutch Medical Association's euthanasia guidelines as an appendix to the Disposal of the Dead Act.

Maurice De Wachter, director of the Institute for Bioethics in Maastricht, ominously said that "The Netherlands is what I would like to call a test case for an experiment in medical ethics ... There is a practice growing where doctors feel at ease with helping patients to die, in other words killing them."[2]

The Future of Euthanasia in Holland.

The Dutch Health Council (Gezondheidsraad) is the official medical society advising the Dutch government. This organization has proposed a "Model Aid-in Dying Law" that would allow any child of 6 or over to make a death request. According to this Model Law, if the child's parents objected to the decision, the child could present himself to a special aid-in-dying board for a final binding decision. According to the Model Law, "Minors have the right to request aid-in-dying whether or not their parents agree."[29]

Note that the child would not have to be terminally ill, or in fact, ill at all a teenaged boy who is depressed over losing his girl or being cut from the soccer team would no longer has to drown or shoot himself; he could be executed "safely and legally" in a Dutch euthanasia clinic under this proposal. A 13-year old girl who was pregnant as a result of rape or incest and was depressed by her situation could be put to sleep as well.

Reaction of the Americans.

The topic of runaway health care costs is becoming more and more prominent in the United States. As may be expected, the more utilitarian (or eugenicist) mindset naturally opts for the easy solution: Instead of working to increase efficiency and cut waste, simply eliminate those who are too costly to care for under the current system.

Daniel Callahan of the openly pro-rationing and pro-euthanasia ethics "think tank," the Hastings Center, says that;

... a denial of nutrition may in the long run become the only effective way to make certain that a large number of biologically tenacious patients actually die. Given the increasingly large pool of superannuated, chronically ill, physically marginal elderly, it could well become the nontreatment of choice ... Our emerging problem is not just that of eliminating useless or wasteful treatment, but of limiting even efficacious treatment, because of its high cost. It may well turn out that what is best for each and every individual is not necessarily a societally affordable health care system.

Callahan and his peers advocate a "fixed categorical standard" which would flatly deny each category of surgery past certain ages, regardless of prognosis. As an example, coronary bypass surgery would be banned after the age of 60. Naturally, those elderly people who happen to have money could still buy any surgical procedure they wanted if the price was right. This situation would thus become a curious reflection of the Neofeminist complaint that, if abortion were to become illegal again, only rich women could afford safe ones.

There is growing fear among medical professionals that programs such as those in Holland will quickly become entrenched in United States health care facilities. Dr. Charles L. Sprung warns in the April 25, 1990 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that "Widespread practice of active euthanasia in the United States appears not very far away."

However, others would welcome such 'advances' with open arms. Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, said of the euthanasia program in Holland; "It's been tested there ... it appears to be working."[37] Margaret Battin, another Hemlock officer, urged that the United States adopt the Dutch euthanasia program; "Let's use the Netherlands as a role model."[38]

And the Hemlock Quarterly reported that "The Netherlands are closest to having achieved their goal of active voluntary euthanasia."[39]

Such a model would certainly save money in the United States. It is estimated that 20,000 persons are killed in Holland every year most of them involuntarily (the 3,000 Dutch voluntary euthanasias are strictly registered; the remainder are classified as involuntary).[40]

Holland has a population of about 15 million. If this figure were ratioed up to the United States' current population of about 265 million, this would mean 360,000 murders by euthanasia every year in this country one every twenty seconds during working days equivalent to the total population reaching the age of 75 every year!

And so, Hollywood's "B" movie "Logan's Run" has become eerily prophetic.

1990: The Adkins Case.[41]

A Choreographed Killing.

One incident in particular stands out in the push for euthanasia in the United States, because it displays the same canny sense of timing and exploitation of the news media displayed by the early pro-abortion movement.

Janet Adkins, a 54-year old Portland, Oregon resident, was assisted in her June 1990 suicide by a retired pathologist, Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

The apparently choreographed killing of Adkins accomplished two standing pro-euthanasia objectives;

(1) to 'show' that laws banning doctor-assisted suicide were 'inhumane' and 'unenforceable' by pushing them to their limit, and

(2) to "rekindle the public debate on euthanasia" (what this really meant is that the public was losing interest in the euthanasia debate, and Adkin's death would lead to a new round of talk-show appearances and debates by pro-euthanasia activists).

The push for euthanasia was lagging because its message was not being widely accepted; suddenly the euthanasiasts tore a page from the pro-abortionists's strategy book and began to emphasize "personal choice" at every opportunity. This is the new approach to the media and the public.

The Victim's Background.

Janet Adkins was diagnosed in June of 1989 as having the very early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Physicians at the Oregon Health Sciences University said that persons in such a situation live an average of ten years after diagnosis. Adkins appeared to be perfectly healthy and normal, and had even played tennis with her son the week before her assisted suicide.

Adkins was a member of the Hemlock Society. So was her husband.

The Killer's Background.

25 years ago, Neoliberals laughed at pro-lifers who were fretting over the gradual liberalization of abortion laws and who were predicting the establishment chains of abortion clinics across the land. Now pro-euthanasiasts are chuckling at the same people who are worried that euthanasia clinics will soon sprout up all over the country.

This is despite the fact that several leading euthanasiasts have advocated and even described such chains.

One of these is Jack "The Dripper" Kevorkian, the 62-year old retired pathologist who likes to kill sick and depressed people.

Kevorkian, who had been in trouble for draining blood from dead bodies and pumping it into living patients, has little use for any limits on his activities, no matter what their source. He claimed that death-row prisoners and others should be freely experimented on and says that

The so-called Nuremberg Code and all its derivatives completely ignores the extraordinary opportunities for terminal experimentation on humans facing imminent and inevitable death. Intense emotionalism engendered by the concentration camp atrocities of World War II has unfairly stigmatized this honorable concept and cloaked it in
silence ...[13]

He revealed his hard-core anti-theistic beliefs (and his lack of knowledge of current events) when he railed against the court system;

They are dictating how medicine should be practiced. You know the court is dominated by religion ... 'Life is sanctity, this and that ...' The problem with medicine today is that it's under the Dark-Age mentality of mystical religion, which has permeated medicine to the core since Christianity took over.[13]

Kevorkian firmly roots his activities in the shifting and unchartable sands of situational ethics;

The origin of the ethics, however, must come from the situation as it exists. And the code must fit the situation. And the ethics must change as the situation changes. That's the way to keep control. Not by an inflexible maxim that applies for two thousand years, but an ethical code that will change a decade later. It's ethical conduct within the framework of time and space. Ethical codes should never be set in stone. They can't be, they must change constantly ...[13]

Kevorkian has published a serious proposal to establish a chain of euthanasia mills "obitoriums" where trained staffs of suicide specialists ("obitiatrists") would help people commit medically-assisted suicide, or "medicide" with the use of killing machines he calls "mercitrons."[42] He has said "Let me put together a small [euthanasia] team called the Untouchables. I guarantee, under my supervision, it would be incorruptible."[43]

Sure, Jack. Just like abortionists, right?

To be fair to Kevorkian, his ideas are positively tame when compared to the wild dreams of other pro-euthanasia theorists, One of these is American Council of Life Insurance speaker Ronna Klingenberg, who said that by the year 2000 our country will have many "neomorts" (which are people sustained in comatose conditions for the purpose of organ harvesting) because we will have the right to sell our organs after we die so that we may make money to enjoy our lives more now. She also said that soon people will have the right to "choose painless death with ample use of heroin and mind-control techniques" and that travel agencies will offer "adventure deaths." These would involve the person killing himself heroically on an elaborately-staged set of his own choosing. Such scenarios would be planned by "lifestyle engineers."[44]

Gun battle at the OK Corral, anyone?

But back to Jack. Kevorkian had advertised in the March 18, 1990 Detroit Free Press; "Applications are being accepted. Oppressed by a fatal disease, a severe handicap, a crippling deformity? Show him the proper compelling medical evidence that you should die and Dr. Jack Kevorkian will help you kill yourself free of charge."

Interestingly, Kevorkian's business card reads:

Jack Kevorkian, M.D.
Bioethics and Obitiatry
Special death counseling
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Kevorkian describes himself as an "obitiatrist" ('death doctor'), and has advocated everything from involuntary medical experimentation on death-row inmates to chains of non-profit suicide clinics.

His motto is "A rational policy of planned death."[43]

His reason for this policy is quite simple: 

Allowing someone to starve to death and to die of thirst, the way we do now, is barbaric. Our Supreme Court has validated barbarism. The Nazis did that in concentration camps ... It took her [Nancy Cruzan] a week to die. Try it! You think that just because you're in a coma you don't suffer?[45]

After the Adkins debacle, Kevorkian lost his license when the Michigan Board of Medicine voted 8-0 to suspend it. However, he vowed to keep killing people despite this loss.

He was true to his word. The following year, he assisted in the suicides of two non-terminal patients, Sherry Miller, 43, who was suffering from multiple sclerosis, and Marjorie Wantz, 58, who was afflicted with pelvic disease.[46]

After Kevorkian killed Susan Williams on May 15, 1992, Hemlock of Michigan president Janet Good announced that "Hemlock has prospered and grown because of him."[47] And commentator Harry Schwartz dared to characterized Kevorkian's work as "saintly," and compared him to Mother Teresa, neglecting to mention that the latter saves lives while the former ends them.[48]

In addition to these four assisted suicides, Kevorkian also advised a cancer-stricken Los Angeles dentist by phone how to rig a machine that would deliver sodium pentothal and potassium chloride into his veins. Dr. Gary Sloan took 20 minutes to die in July 1990 14 minutes longer than Kevorkian said it would.[49] By March of 1993, he had run his tally up to 15 assisted suicides.

Kevorkian is obviously following his credo, which will tolerate absolutely no interference from any source: "Medicine should be absolutely separate from the law, politics, religion, and the judiciary."[46]

Kevorkian is also a member of the Hemlock Society.

The Quality of Life "Minister." 

Before her "assisted suicide" in June of 1990, Adkins met with her minister, Alan Deale, of the First Unitarian Church in Portland, who stated that "We support the freedom of choice. Life only has dignity if it has some quality." Deale admitted that he knew about Adkin's plans and approved of them.[43]

The First Unitarian Church, a "New Age" organization, has aggressively supported Portland abortion clinics and has taken a very strong position in favor of euthanasia.

In other words, Adkins, Kevorkian, and Deale were all made for each other. They were the key actors in what appeared to be a carefully-planned and successful public relations stunt.

And so, in support of this "stunt," Adkins died a singularly lonely and undignified death in the back of Kevorkian's battered and rusted 1968 Volkswagen van.

But she achieved the Hemlock Society's objective of restarting the euthanasia debate yet again, just as Sherrie Finkbine did 25 years ago for the abortion debate.

Lessons Learned. 

The primary lesson to be learned from this case is quite simple.

In their literature and debates, the Hemlock Society and other euthanasiasts have been claiming all along that they wanted only to relieve the pain of those people who were suffering from incurable diseases in their very last stages.

Remember that Kevorkian, in his Detroit Free Press advertisement (shown above), had called for people "Oppressed by a fatal disease, a severe handicap, a crippling deformity," and with "proper compelling medical evidence" to show that they should be assisted in their deaths.

Here we go again.

One suspects that "proper compelling medical evidence" is of the same class as women must present today to obtain an abortion.

Janet Adkins certainly did not qualify under any of these criteria, yet Hemlock member Kevorkian helped her kill herself anyway. This lays bare the true goals of the Hemlock Society and shows beyond any reasonable doubt that euthanasia limits, once set, are always expanded by the anti-lifers.

The true objective of the euthanasiasts is: To allow people to kill themselves (or be killed) at any time whatsoever, based solely upon their own assessment of the elusive "quality of life."

Even this will eventually be expanded to having people killed involuntarily because others judge their "quality of life" to be substandard.

1990: The Pivotal Nancy Cruzan Case.

The Beginning of the End. 

1990 was a very good year for the euthanasia movement. First, they established an assisted-suicide precedent with Janet Adkins, as described above. And then they finally managed to dispose of Nancy Cruzan amid the predictable flurry of publicity and propaganda.

On January 11, 1982, 25-year old Nancy Cruzan was driving alone on an icy road, lost control of her vehicle, and was seriously injured in the resulting accident. She never regained consciousness and became one of the approximately 10,000 Americans living in a persistent comatose state.

Contrary to persistent media lies, she was not in a "persistent vegetative state;" her medical status was "severely handicapped." She required no life support machinery other than a feeding tube implanted in her stomach in early 1982.

The Process of Dehumanization. 

Nancy Cruzan was now an inconvenience to many people; the cost-conscious health care system, the State, and in particular her parents, Joe and Joyce Cruzan.

But she was the opportunity of a lifetime for pro-euthanasiasts.

In order to kill Cruzan, it was necessary to first dehumanize her, a task willingly and expertly taken up by Dr. Fred Plum, Chief of Neurology at the Cornell New York Hospital.

During testimony, he referred to her as a mere "collection of organs" and an "artifact of technological medicine."[50]

In an interview with Nat Hentoff, Dr. Ronald Granford claimed that she was "the moral equivalent of a biopsy from Nat Hentoff's arm," and asserted that her "legal personhood" should be revoked so the could be disposed of or experimented upon without the bother of having to go to court.[50]

Just as the unborn are being referred to as "pre-human," those in a coma are now commonly referred to by physicians as "post-human."

And the euthanasia doctors are not the only ones who are 'preparing the ground;' the National Abortion Rights Action League was obviously looking ahead when it claimed that "Abortion and euthanasia are separate issues (though determining the end of the human person is as difficult a question as determining the start); we set speed limits at 60 MPH and do not necessarily move them to 70 MPH (one step does not necessarily lead to another)."[51]

The Legal Process. 

Nancy's parents petitioned a lower court to order the Missouri Rehabilitation Center at Mount Vernon to allow their daughter to die. This court granted the petition, but the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the lower court decision, and, on appeal, the case Cruzan v. Director of Missouri Department of Health became the first to directly address the question of euthanasia at the United States Supreme Court level.

In a victory for life, the United States Supreme Court narrowly averted making this case the euthanasiast's Roe v. Wade by denying that the so-called "right to die" is unfettered and absolute. The justices ruled that the States may require "clear and convincing" evidence that a comatose person actually wished to die before they lost their ability to decide their fates for themselves.

The Court essentially held that the States do not have to buckle under to family member's demands when a patient's wishes cannot be concretely proven.

However, the ruling indicated that there is a Constitutional right to refuse tube feeding and other life-sustaining measures when patients make their wishes clearly known before they become incompetent.

The Final Tragic Act of the Drama. 

So a determined Joe and Joyce Cruzan trudged back to the Missouri courts, and rounded up a string of Nancy's co-workers who were willing to testify that she would never want to live "like a vegetable." Nobody bothered to explain how her co-workers could all remember such a statement so clearly after more than eight years or why a perfectly healthy 25-year old Nancy Cruzan would even make such statements before her car accident.

Nancy did not enjoy any kind of representation in the State court; nobody testified for her, because all of those who wanted her to live were ruled automatic non-parties to the litigation by the judge. The outcome of the one-sided hearing was a foregone conclusion.

So Nancy was sentenced to death. Her feeding tube was removed on December 14, 1990 at the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon, Missouri.

In a chilling portent of the future, the first rescue mission staged to save a born person from death occurred on Tuesday, December 18, 1990. 19 persons were arrested as they tried to reach Nancy's hospital room. They were charged with the same offenses they had previously encountered at abortion mills; criminal trespass and unlawful assembly.[52]

Scores of armed police officers patrolled the halls of the Missouri Rehabilitation Center (George Orwell would be proud of this name!) until she finally died of starvation and thirst the day after Christmas 1990.

Doron Webster of the New York chapter of the Society for the Right to Die stated ominously that "We feel that Nancy Cruzan has made legal history."[52]

Yes, she certainly has.


References: History of the Euthanasia Movement.

[1] "Suicide on Prescription." Sunday Observer, London, England, April 30, 1989. Page 22.

[2] John Henley, Associated Press. "Dutch Euthanasia Rule Stirs Ethical Conflicts." The Oregonian, February 11, 1993, page A9.

[3] Leo Alexander, M.D. "Medical Science Under Dictatorship." The New England Journal of Medicine, July 14, 1949, pages 39 to 47. This superbly-written summary of the medical horrors inflicted by Nazi 'doctors' on their victims is available as Reprint #605 from the Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences (The Hastings Institute), Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, 10706. Also quoted by Nat Hentoff in "The 'Small Beginnings' of Death." Human Life Review, Spring 1988.

[4] W.L. Gardiner. Psychology: A Story of a Search. Philadelphia: Brooks/Cole Publishers, 1970. Page 41.

[5] San Diego University Professor Ron Westover in a letter to the Los Angeles Times. Described in the July 1985 American Spectator.

[6] B.D. Colen. "Doctors Decide on Life Support End." The Washington Post, March 10, 1974. Discussion of an incident where physicians at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medicine turned off the respirator of a man without his consent or the consent of his family. Also see "Doctors Ponder Ethics of Letting Mongoloid Die." The Washington Post, October 15, 1971.

[7] Allen Chase. The Legacy of Malthus: The Social Costs of the New Scientific Racism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press). Pages 69, 103, 349, and 635.

[8] Father James Tunstead Burtchaell. "The Holocaust and Abortion." Supplement to the newsletter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, volume 9, no. 11.

[9] Robert H. Williams, M.D., Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "Numbers, Types and Duration of Human Lives." Northwest Medicine, July 1970. Page 493.

[10] Edgar R. Chasteen. The Case for Compulsory Birth Control. Chasteen's suggested law mandating sterilization and birth control is shown in Chapter 131, "Overpopulation").

[11] Robert J. Lifton. The Nazi Doctors. New York: Basic Books, 1986.

[12] Mary Meehan. "Fierce Debate Rages Over the 'Right to Die'." National Catholic Register, March 12, 1989. Pages 1 and 9.

[13] Sarah Sullivan. Kevorkian: The Rube Goldberg of Death." Cornerstone, Volume 19, Issue 93, pages 14 and 15. Also see Jack Kevorkian. "The Last Fearsome Taboo: Medical Aspects of Planned Death." Medicine and Law 7 (1988).

[14] "The Member's Aid Service of the Dutch Association for Voluntary Euthanasia." Euthanasia Review, Fall 1986, page 153.

[15] "Choosing When to End Life." Albuquerque Journal, October 16, 1988, page F1.

[16] "Restructuring Health Care." The Lancet, January 28, 1989, page 209.

[17] "Involuntary Euthanasia in Holland." Wall Street Journal, September 29, 1987, page 3.

[18] "Do Not Go Slowly Into That Dark Night: Mercy Killings in Holland." The American Journal of Medicine, January 1984, page 140.

[19] "Voluntary Euthanasia Common, Accepted in Netherlands." The Washington Post, April 6, 1987, page 3.

[20] Dutch physician Pieter Admiraal, at the 8th biennial conference of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, held in Maastricht, Holland, on June 7-10 1990. Quoted in Rita L. Marker, "I Only Kill My Friends." 30 Days, September-October 1990. Page 34.

[21] As described in Roddy Ray. "Euthanasia: Netherlands Tolerates It." The Oregonian, November 21, 1991, page A3.

[22] Dutch cardiologist Richard Fenigsen, M.D., Ph.D. "A Negative Verdict on Euthanasia." Medical Economics, March 7, 1988.

[23] "Suicide on Prescription." Sunday Observer, London, England, April 30, 1989. Page 22.

[24] Dutch cardiologist Richard Fenigsen, M.D., Ph.D., at a November 2, 1990 conference at Seattle University. Quoted in "Holland Euthanasia Experience Described." Human Life News (Washington State), November/December 1990, page 6. Also see Dr. Fenigsten's pamphlet entitled "A Case Against Dutch Euthanasia." This 16-page pamphlet is published by the Medical Educational Trust, and is available from Human Life International, 7845-E Airpark Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879.

[25] Address by Pieter Admiraal, leading Dutch euthanasiast, to the Voluntary Euthanasia Society in London, England, on April 14, 1985.

[26] "Dutch in Agonizing Debate Over Voluntary Euthanasia." The Pittsburgh Press, July 31, 1989. Page 1.

[27] Richard Lamerton, Medical Director of the Hospice of the Marches, Hereford and Cheltenham, England. "Euthanasia Threat to Old People." Friends of Humanity Backgrounder [England], December 1987, page 4.

[28] "Euthanasia in Holland." Human Life International Reports, December 1987. Page 1.

[29] "Dutch Leaders Address Agonizing Issue of Legislating Mercy Killings." Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1987. Page 6.

[30] Richard John Neuhaus. "The Return of Eugenics." Commentary, April 1988, pages 15 to 26.

[31] Alan Guttmacher, M.D. Pregnancy, Birth, and Family Planning. New York: Viking Press, 1973. Page 143.

[32] "Where Euthanasia is a Way of Death." Medical Economics, November 23, 1987. Page 23.

[33] From the transcript of a speech by Dr. Julius Hackethal entitled "Medical Help By Suicide As a Method of Voluntary Euthanasia," presented at the Second National Voluntary Euthanasia Conference of the Hemlock Society on February 9th, 1985, in Los Angeles, California.

[34] Eileen Brown, R.N. "Then and Now: Euthanasia in Germany, Holland, and America." Human Life of Washington Newsletter on Initiative 119, Summer 1990. Also see the Bernadell Technical Bulletin of January 1990.

[35] I. van der Sluis, M.D. "The Practice of Euthanasia in the Netherlands." Living World (publication of International Life Services, Inc.). Volume 5, Number 2, pages 18-21.

[36] "Is the Physician Allowed to Kill?" (Mag de Dokter Doden), Querido Edition, Amsterdam, 1986. ISBN: 90-214-5958-2.

[37] "Involuntary Euthanasia in Holland." Wall Street Journal, September 29, 1987. Page 31.

[38] "Dutch Euthanasia Issue May Be a Pandora's Box." Worcester [England] Sunday Telegram, July 5, 1987. Page 6A.

[39] Derek Humphry, founder and President of the Hemlock Society, on "Face the Nation," September 2, 1985.

[40] Margaret P. Battin, "The Art of Dying in the United States and Holland," presentation given at the Hemlock Conference in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 1989. Also see "Report on the World Conference of Right-to-Die Societies," Hemlock Quarterly, April 1987. Page 3.

[41] The following articles on the Janet Adkins case may be found in the National Right to Life News. (1) David H. Andrusko. "A Free Market in Killing." June 25, 1990, pages 2 and 14. (2) Pat Buchanan. "" Dr. Death" and the "Suicide Machine."" June 25, 1990, pages 8 and 14. (3) Liz Townsend. ""Dr. Death's" Legacy?" September 4, 1990, page 9. (4) Liz Townsend. ""Dr. Death" Charged With First-Degree Murder." December 13, 1990, page 4. (5) Liz Townsend. "Kevorkian Cleared of Murder Charges." January 8, 1991, page 24. (6) Liz Townsend. "Kevorkian Is Barred From Using Suicide Machine." February 11, 1991, page 11. (7) Liz Townsend. "Kevorkian Says He Built Another Suicide Machine." March 26, 1991, page 5.

[42] Jack Kevorkian, M.D. "A Fail-Safe Model For Justifiable Medically-Assisted Suicide (Medicide)." American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, February 1992. Also quoted in Associated Press. "Doctor Asks Suicide-Aid Network." The Oregonian, January 23, 1992, page A11.

[43] "Janet Adkins' Minister Supports Her Suicide," and "Judge Restricts Kevorkian on Use of Suicide Machine." The Oregonian, June 9, 1990, pages D1 and D3.

[44] William Lambdin. Doublespeak Dictionary. Los Angeles: Pinnacle Books, 1979. Page 174.

[45] "Medicide: The Goodness of Planned Death. An Interview With Dr. Jack Kevorkian." Free Inquiry ["An International Secular Humanist Magazine"], Fall 1991, pages 14 to 18.

[46] Jeff Holyfield. "Michigan Board Suspends Kevorkian's Medical License." The Oregonian, November 21, 1991, page 1.

[47] Mary Meehan. "Down the Slope." National Catholic Register, June 7, 1992, pages 1 and 6.

[48] Commentator Harry Schwartz. "Suicide Is a Basic Right." USA Today, May 20, 1992, page 10A.

[49] Associated Press. "Journalist Reveals Long-Distance Suicide." The Oregonian, February 13, 1992, page A13.

[50] David Brockbauer. "Pagan Ethics: The Nancy Cruzan Case." Fidelity Magazine, February 1990, pages 11 to 14.

[51] Looseleaf booklet entitled "Organizing for Action." Prepared by Vicki Z. Kaplan for the National Abortion Rights Action League, 250 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019. 51 pages, no date.

[52] "19 Protestors Halted." The Oregonian. Wednesday, December 19, page A17. Also see Jerry Nachtigal. "Nancy Cruzan Dies Peacefully." The Oregonian, December 27, 1990, pages 1 and 12.


Further Reading: History of the Euthanasia Movement.

Catholic Health Association. A Time To Be Old, a Time to Flourish: The Special Needs of the Elderly At-Risk
Report of the Catholic Health Association's Task Force on Long-Term Health Care. 1988, 109 pages. Order from the Catholic Health Association, 4455 Woodson Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63134. Telephone: (314) 427-2500.

Hugh Gregory Gallagher. By Trust Betrayed: Patients, Physicians, and the License to Kill in the Third Reich
Henry Holt and Company, 115 West 18th Street, New York, New York 10011. 1990, 335 pages. The details on Nazi Germany's "Aktion T-4" program and the disturbing parallels to today's treatment of the weak and disabled.

Carlos F. Gomez, M.D. Regulating Death: Euthanasia and the Case of the Netherlands
Free Press, 866 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10022. 1991, 170 pages. The ethics and history of euthanasia in Holland; the role of the courts; euthanasia from theory to practice; and the unavoidable dangers of regulating death.

Father Paul Marx, OSB. And Now ... Euthanasia (second revised edition). 
Human Life International, 7845-E Airpark Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879. Telephone: (301) 670-7884. 1985, 106 pages. This little book, directed at the general reader, offers an up-to-date assessment of the euthanasia situation in the United States and other countries. The basic history of euthanasia, the tactics of the pro-killing people, and the role of the courts are examined. Essential basic reading for the beginning anti-euthanasia activist.

United States Government. Institutional Protocols for Decisions About Life-Sustaining Treatments
Focuses on formal policies and guidelines through which hospitals and nursing homes specify decisionmaking procedures regarding treatment for adult patients with life-threatening conditions. Serial Number 052-003-01123-9, 1988, 89 pages. Order by mail from Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by telephone from (202) 783-3238.

Wolf Wolfenberger. The New Genocide of Handicapped and Afflicted People
Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Training Institute. 1987, 114 pages. Reviewed by Julie Grimstad on page 46 of the May 1990 ALL About Issues. This little volume deals with the progressive expansion of "deathmaking" and its ties to the anti-life mentality.


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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published by American Life League.


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