"Mercy" Killing Trials Analyzed

By Bob Kellogg

Have you noticed the rash of "mercy" killings to hit the United States in the past few weeks? As medical workers and others go to trial, the outcomes could have a lasting impact on this country's future.

A Missouri nurse has been charged with 10 killings, a former Texas nurse may have killed 20. A Georgia mother has confessed to shooting her two sons to end their suffering. Why this rash of murders? Ryan Ross, of the Hemlock Society, a supporter of mercy killing, speculates. "It is common for caregivers and relatives and loved ones, to want to do something to help," Ross said.

As defense lawyers tug at the heartstrings of jurors in these cases, Ross hopes their messages will affect public opinion. "Even in cases where somebody has engaged in murder ... it's important to remember what their motive was in ending the life of somebody who was in pain and suffering," he said.

Jonathan Imbody, of the Christian Medical Society, thinks God is being forgotten. "We have lost perspective of the eternal as a society," Imbody said. "And we've come to think that all there is to life is what's going on in our bodies." He said true compassion doesn't involve murder or assisted suicide. "True compassion doesn't mean killing the patient," Imbody said. "True compassion doesn't mean killing your loved one. It means coming alongside them to provide physical and spiritual comfort."

He said the outcomes of these trials will have a significant impact on society. "Do we want to battle aging or illness in a society where caring means killing, or 'death with dignity' means someone puts a bullet in your brain?"

Source: Source: Focus on the Family; August 7, 2002. Provided by the Pro-Life Infonet (infonet@prolifeinfo.org).

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