The following is the observations of a personal friend and her recount of dealing with end of life issues in her own family. Hope you all enjoy her point of view on this very personal and at times controversial subject.
By: Beth Hope Cushey
Standing at just five foot tall, my eyes barely see over the stack of boxes that I am carrying. I shift the boxes to one arm and lean in to open the door, when all of my packages spill onto the feet of a young man. “Whoops!” He said with a hint of a smile. Pushing past me, he let the door close nearly on my fingers. I struggled not to yell profanity after him, while I hurled my packages at his smug expression. I recalled words my husband often says, when we run into similar rude or obnoxious people. “ I think we will be the first generation to be euthanized.” We would laugh at the words but lately those words seem to be a prophetic warning of things to come.
Death panels, hospitals refusing treatment on a severely brain-damaged child, and laws allowing the euthanasia of children, sounds like a futuristic novel, only it’s not fiction it is happening. The Belgium government passed a law overwhelmingly 86-44 with 12 abstentions that legalizes euthanasia for terminally ill children under the age of 18. Five years ago, Belgium passed a law to allow euthanasia in terminally ill adults. Since then, caregivers and family say there has been a rise in unauthorized killing of patients. Basically, hospitals are killing off patients that cost too much in the system or that are too sick. It’s not just Belgium, it is encroaching into our health system here in America and with the high cost of healthcare, things will only get worse.
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