Quotations on Euthanasia
“I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel” ... The Hippocratic Oath
"From the Soviet gulag to the Nazi concentration camps and the killing fields of Cambodia, history teaches that granting the state legal authority to kill innocent individuals has dreadful consequences." ... Pete Du Pont, former Delaware governor
"The fundamental question about euthanasia: Whether it is a libertarian movement for human freedom and the right of choice, or an aggressive drive to exterminate the weak, the old, and the different, this question can now be answered. It is both." ... Richard Fenigsen, Dutch cardiologist
"the terminally ill are a class of persons who need protection from family, social, and economic pressures, and who are often particularly vulnerable to such pressures because of chronic pain, depression, and the effects of medication." ... from the State of Alaska's arguments that assisted suicide is dangerous (Sampson et al. v State of Alaska, 09/21/2001)
Senator and former Vice Presidential Candidate Joseph Lieberman said doctors need to learn more about pain control and should be protected from prosecution "if they prescribe pain killers that may increase the possibility of death so long as their specific intention was not to end life."
"Doctors should do everything they can to reduce pain, but not to administer drugs to end life, I think we go over a line then."
... Joseph Lieberman (From a March 19, 2001 article in the Post-Intelligencer Washington Bureau. "http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/national/suicides19.shtml" )
"A man, even if seriously sick or prevented in the exercise of its higher functions, is and will be always a man ... [he] will never become a 'vegetable' or an 'animal,'" the Pope said. "The intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being does not change depending on their circumstances.“
... Pope John Paul II, 2004
"Experience in The Netherlands, where there has been relatively little effort to improve pain and symptom treatment, suggests that legalization of physician-assisted suicide might weaken society's resolve to expand services and resources aimed at caring for the dying patient. (Foley, 1995; Hendin, 1994)"
... "Treatment of Pain at the End of Life", A Position Statement from the American Pain Society
In the election campaign of 2000, Presidential candidate Ralph Nader said he was worried that the Oregon law legalizing assisted suicide targets terminally ill patients who suffer from depression and those who worry about being a financial burden to their relatives.
"Then along come doctors working for HMOs who are under pressure to cut costs, and the deed is done,“ ... Ralph Nader
"You matter because you are you.
You matter to the last moment of your life,
and we will do all we can,
not only to help you die peacefully,
but also to live until you die." ... Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of Hospice
"Those who promote this last, fatal escape as a "right" should remember that such a "right" may quickly become an expectation and, finally, even a "duty" to die. We fear eventually some individuals and families will be forced to put financial concerns above the needs of loved ones."
... Statement against assisted suicide by members of Michigan's Religious Leaders Forum, a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders (5/7/98).
"... like the majority of domestic violence cases, women are the majority of victims in murder suicides by despairing spouses unable to cope with the stress of caregiving. As women statistically have longer life spans than men, they are the most likely targets of physician assisted suicide. The majority of euthanasia advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s victims have been women. If assisted suicide and euthanasia are sanctioned choices, how many women will feel pressured to choose them?"
... Serrin M. Foster, Executive Director, Feminists For Life of America
“To destroy the boundary between healing and killing would mark a radical departure from longstanding legal and medical traditions of our country, posing a threat of unforeseeable magnitude to vulnerable members of our society. Those who represent the interests of elderly persons with disabilities, and persons with AIDS or other terminal illnesses, are justifiably alarmed when some hasten to confer on them the "freedom" to be killed.” ... U.S. Catholic Bishops
"This is a precious possession which we cannot afford to tarnish, but society always is attempting to make the physician into a killer to kill the defective child at birth, to leave the sleeping pills beside the bed of the cancer patient ... It is the duty of society to protect the physicians from such requests.” ... Margaret Mead, anthropologist (quoted in Maurice Levine. Psychiatry and Ethics. George Braziller Publishers, New York, 1972, page 325.)
"I have yet to hear of a set of guidelines for euthanasia which would not lead to terrible abuses even in the opinion of those physicians who are sometimes willing to practice it. Inevitably, this form of ‘therapy’ would spread to situations in which at present it would be unthinkable." ... Jonathan H. Pincus, M.D., Yale University
"If a physician withholds maximum efforts from patients he considers hopelessly ill, he will unavoidably withhold maximum effort from the occasional patient who could have been saved." He reasoned that the only way to be sure a case is hopeless is to try all available therapies and find them of no avail.”
... Lawrence V. Foye, M.D
"But we didn't think it would go that far."
"It went that far the very first time
you condemned an innocent human being."
... Conversation in the American motion picture "Judgment at Nuremburg."
"And can a man his own quietus make
With a bare bodkin?
With daggers, bodkins, bullets, man can make
a bruise or break of exit for his life,
but is that a quietus, 0 tell me, is it quietus?
Surely not so! for how could murder
even self murder,
ever a quietus make?
O let us talk of quiet that we know,
that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
of a strong heart at peace!"
... “THE SHIP OF DEATH” by D. H. Lawrence