Remember back in the early nineties when Jack Kevorkian, a.k.a Dr. Death, started the whole “Right to Die” conversation? Back then, most people found it abhorrent that a physician who had taken an oath to do no harm would help his patients die. He was eventually charged with second degree murder and convicted in 1999.
Now, nearly ten years later, the public pendulum of approval for the right to decide when to end your own life seems to be swinging in favor of legalized doctor assisted suicide. It’s been re-named “Death with Dignity” and over the last few years, some very viral stories, like those of Brittany Maynard and even Terri Schiavo have steered the conversation around legalizing assisted suicide.
In the United States California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have legalized assisted suicide but is Indiana next? One Bloomington lawmaker hopes so.
Rep. Matt Pierce, a Democrat from Bloomington, has introduced legislation in the form of House Bill 1157 that would make available an assisted-suicide option to people who are facing “imminent death” within six months. “I am hopeful the introduction of this bill will begin a discussion among Hoosiers about this difficult end-of-life issue,” Pierce said at a news conference early Thursday morning.
While your heart goes out to people facing circumstances where the end of life quality will certainly be painful, not only for them but for their families, taking one’s life is never the right solution. Besides the obvious, faith based objections to euthanasia, there are also a whole host of ethical boundaries that doctor assisted suicide crosses.
The fight to legalize assisted suicide is just starting in Indiana (and will probably continue for quite some time), but pro-lifers need to be thinking about how this will play out on a national stage. This issue has been bubbling beneath the surface for quite some time and likely will become a political platform for the left sooner rather than later.