Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A City's Progressive Commitment to Death in a Nation that Promotes Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

The silence is wrenching.  Candles are lit amongst the chorus of modern protestants tearily signaling there discomfort of heart and burden of soul.  Death has visited the streets of this haunted estate.  Once home to ancestors that felt the vibrant oppression of Jim Crow, isolated, they assemble upon the streets of their neighborhood seeking a visible hand to dispel the pains of their long-suffering.  A journalist breaks the tender night to ask the grieving, “Do you feel that anyone will do something to help your community?”  Steely eyes lift from the harbor of devoted sorrow and affix upon her small stature in the cool autumn night.  The response tears at the very fiber of society.  It is neither faint nor disarming.  Upon receipt, it thunders through mind and blasts the very spirit of mankind.  The mother of the deceased wrests her sights upon her candle and softly utters, “No.  It is the way of the Streets.  It is the way of the City.  We will grieve.  The candles will burn out and we will rise again to die.”  Trembling, the journalist turns to the cameraman and signals him to turn off the video equipment.  The production light quickly shutters.  The candles burn until the evening winds silence them forever.

The foul scent amongst us is not the hopelessness of the grieving mother.  We often share tears in public and private for those that have suffered the loss of loved ones.  The disdainful odor is the acceptance of death as a way of life.  That the pursuit of death in the District of Columbia has become an accepted right of residency should be a stark and abrasive acknowledgement.  The Nation's Capitol has been consumed with the overwhelming optics of death as a means of living.  For some, the years of gang violence, illicit drug trade and biased economic outcomes has been a fitful reasoning for the Great Acceptance.

“We understand why they kill themselves and each other.”

“Who wants to be in such an environment.”

“People need to consider their ways before they even have children.”

The origins of this Great Acceptance is evident in those that have been chosen to represent the people of Washington, DC.  Those agents of “change” have not pursued Life, Liberty and Happiness for all in DC.  In fact, some like the DC City Chair Pro Tempore, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, refer to the Constitution as a “pesky” thing.  Yes, their focuses have been upon protecting the waste, fraud and abuses of government sponsored suicide, abortion and unresolved homicides.  The City has become noted as a place that one can get away with murder.  So infamous for its leniency on abortion, the City actually has medical tours created that persons from around the world may travel here to abort their child.  Now, to dissuade citizens from the City's ostentatious plans for economic gentrification in its most poor neighborhoods, they want Americans to accept and promote suicide as a dignified endeavor.  Washington's fame for a Progressive Commitment to Death exceeds the Founding Father's desire of a Capital City in a Nation that Promotes Life, Liberty and Happiness.

Once again, the Progressives are assaulting the Walls of Life and persisting that the world would be better off with the “Death with Dignity Act of 2015.”   A Councilmember who would love to remove the federal protections that gun manufacturers have finds it not harmless to apply immunities from  criminal and civil liabilities for those that would implement the strategy of ending someone's life.  “I think the time is right,” Councilmember Mary Cheh said. “There are some things that are momentous and are deserving of singular attention.. . .This is something we ought to take up as a community.”  Great legal minds like Cheh say that our society has arrived at a point that we should be more than willing to support the final will of a few.  A will challenged by the torment of disease and illness.   Ms. Cheh, in 2015, the City said NO!  Ms. Cheh, I am praying that in 2016 that the City will rise up again and say this time, “HELL NO!”

The American Medical Association, the oldest and largest association of physicians in the nation, has an official statement of opposition to assisted suicide.  That statement reads, in part: “It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duress–such as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illness–may come to decide that death is preferable to life. However, allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good.  Assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks…(American Medical Association, Code of Medical Ethics, Opinion 2.211)”.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has developed a policy for the prevention of suicide. It includes as essential components of suicide prevention the following measures: educating professionals in recognition and treatment of individuals at risk; educating society that such individuals are suffering from a medical condition that must be recognized and treated rather than stigmatized, and that effective treatments are available; and educating survivors of suicide attempts about the resources available to them.  I suppose, however, that if you are deemed "terminally" then, all bets are off!  No need for reading or teaching.  Give 'em two pills, turn off the lights and plan the funeral.

Lucia Silecchia, professor of law and vice provost for policy at the Catholic University of America, spoke to the reasons that people choose suicide in “terminal medical conditions”: “Contrary to common belief, those who chose assisted suicide do not cite excruciating physical pain as their primary motivation.  Rather, they fear burdening others and losing "autonomy" and "dignity."  The great shame is that progressives will not end their pursuit of death for the weak, the broken and the poor.  O, Ken, you are just being mean.  Well, the National Institute of Mental Health says, I am not.  NIMH says, "high-risk groups include the elderly, the sick, and the mentally ill."  When we should greet the misery of those in greatest pain with compassion, we offer a bottle of pills and the exit door of the doctor's office.

When we consider the inequalities of medical care, the progressives push for socialized medicine.  An agent of economic disparity that has left those with greatest medical needs with limited physician resources, few health plan options and higher premiums and deductibles.  Now, as we await the November surprise regarding ObamaCare, minorities are offered another option.  Just in case the healthcare thing doesn't work.  According to the Patient's Rights Council:

“Black and poor Medicare patients are more likely than others to be discharged from hospitals in unstable condition.”

“Outpatients with cancer who went to clinics that served minority patients were 3 times more likely to be under-medicated for pain than were patients in other settings.”

“African-American cancer patients in nursing homes are severely undertreated for pain – some don’t even get aspirin.”

Disability activist Diane Coleman put it this way: “If policies or laws permitting assisted suicide are approved, assisted suicide could become the only type of “medical treatment” to which certain people — those who are members of minority groups, those who are poor, or those who have disabilities — would have equal access.  The last to receive health care would be the first to receive assisted suicide.”

Dignity, from the Latin dignus, means "worth (n.), worthy, proper, fitting".  It is not proper or fitting that we act as “gods” to men, women and children that desire and need to know the Love of God most in the midst of their dismay.  If we do not know the final hour then, we must not cease to comfort the burdened and strengthen those bond by illness and disease.  We do not have the privilege of forgoing the challenges of loving those when they need us most.  This is the Nation's Capital.  Your City, America.  Contact the Chairman of the DC City Council, Phil Mendelson, at pmendelson@dccouncil.us or phone (202) 724-8032 or fax (202) 724-8085.  America, tell Mendelson what President Barack Obama encouraged the world to do as he eulogized former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres:  "Uvacharta Bachayim.  Choose life.  For Shimon, let us choose life, as he always did."

Choose Life DC.

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