Picture this: The state licenses nonmedical “telostricians” who perform “aid-in-dying” by administering lethal drugs to patients expected to die “within six months, a year, or ten years” or to those who are “technologically dependent.” Under such a plan, parents could request aid-in-dying for children under the age of six. Children older than six could request aid-in-dying on their own, and if their parents disagree, they could go to an “Aid-in-Dying Board” for permission.
An outlandish proposition that will never be accepted in this country? Think again, say euthanasia opponents across the country. The plan is, in fact, a “Model Aid-in-Dying Act,” published in the October 1989 Iowa Law Review. “Euthanasia is not a threat that we might be facing in years to come,” International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force director Rita Marker told CHRISTIANITY TODAY. “It is a threat that is with us right now, and people need to be aware of it.”
When the U.S. Supreme Court decided the highly publicized Cruzan case in late June, it refused to find in the Constitution a “right to die,” a right that euthanasia advocates say should be recognized. However, the Court also refused to deny such a right. “[It] is the [better] part of wisdom not to attempt, by any general statement, to cover every possible phase of the subject,” wrote Chief Justice William Rehnquist, quoting an earlier opinion. But, Rehnquist also noted, previous Supreme Court decisions do indicate that a competent person “has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment.”
In a five-to-four decision, the justices did rule that Missouri could require “clear and convincing evidence” of an incompetent patient’s wishes before the removal of food and ...1
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