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August 7, 2017

Charlie Gard and the Future

Patricia Price

The death of Charlie Gard demonstrates what is wrong with assisted-suicide laws and socialism. By design, social programs cannot address individual’s needs. Within a socialist health care system, like that in the United Kingdom, the value of human life is assessed by economic class and economic utility/cost to the state. It is called economic determinism.


We can assume that Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren would not have had treatment delayed until death: economic class. Since January of this year Charlie Gard was refused treatment. His condition was not a terminal illness, per se.


Foreign doctor’s agreed that treating Charlie would have been sensible, but treatment is not cheap. Did Charlie’s parents have the right to pursue treatment, which his parents could afford? Who decides?


This year 28 states had introduced legislative proposals in this matter, yet none passed.


New Mexico’s 2017 “End of Life Options Act” (HB-171) did not pass, but it is unique and requires attention. It is a glimpse of the future.


Very different from earlier laws and proposals, HB-171 signifies the next stage in assisted suicide advocacy to normalize death by lethal prescription as a “standard “of medical practice.


HB-171 eliminates any protection for patients by excluding the requirements for second opinions, waiting periods, multiple and witnessed documentation, reporting requirements and other safeguards, which advocates had once agreed were necessary. It reduces the reality of assisted-suicide, subject only to “best practices “and viewed as a “standard of care.”


This New Mexico proposed legislation would have given an “attending health care provider,” such as an advanced care nurse or physician’s assistant, the authority to diagnose a patient’s terminal illness and prescribe the lethal drug (considered “medical aid in dying”).


This means that in the same day, a nurse can diagnose a patient as terminally ill, deem the patient eligible for assisted suicide, notify the patient of the availability of assisted suicide, and write the prescription for the lethal dose of drugs – without the patient having time to think and recover from the shock of being diagnosed as terminal: “standard medical care.”


HB-171 makes requests and documentation for suicide no stricter than receiving a flu shot, and there is no waiting period. Most often a depressed and ill patient is not rightly capable of making a rational decision, and yet assisted suicide proponents claim that safeguards are “restrictive and burdensome.”


A striking component of HB-171 is the requirement to falsify death certificates. Although the cause of death is the lethal dose of drugs, individuals filing the certificates would be required to note the patient’s illness as the cause of death.


Lastly, but not least, HB-171 would allow insurance programs to cut costs by denying payment of more expensive treatments, while approving coverage for the less costly lethal drug prescription.


It is staggering that HB-171 was taken seriously and failed by a vote of 20-22.


Should we be so careless?


Do you trust insurance companies?


Why wasn’t Charlie Gard given a fair chance at treatment and who decides?


When God is replaced by government, or the courts, in decision making, there is no justice – no safeguards.


We should not debate the existence of God when it comes to freedom. Rather we must understand the necessity of God and adhere to it!


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