"If the church fails to apply the central truth of Christianity to social problems correctly, someone else will do so incorrectly.” Carl F.H. Henry

We’ve Heard This Before: “Safe, Legal, Rare” & Euthanasia

Euthanasia or “Physician-Assisted Suicide” continues to gain traction across American culture. Opponents of the practice warn that going down a path of state-sanctioned suicide will have unintentional consequences as a result.

Those consequences are becoming a reality.

A California (where euthanasia is legal) woman with a terminal illness—Stephanie Packer—was denied medication by her insurance company that would potentially prolong her life.

Can you guess what the company did approve paying for? A deadly cocktail of drugs that would end Packer’s life.

Let’s make the moral calculus of this situation very clear: Because the state of California is now in the business of regulating suicide, an insurance company has done the acturarial math and determined that denying coverage in order to end life is a more effective business strategy than offering coverage to prolong life.

A person not wanting to die was confronted with the option of necessary dying in order to assuage the concerns of third parties.

Thankfully, Packer’s insurance company overturned their original decision after Packer threatened to tell her story to the media.

Nonetheless, the moral calculus for determining whether to end a life or save a life now has precedent in the insurance company world.

The Culture of Death that John Paul II warned of is upon us. Such a culture makes utilitarian calculations about the measure of dignity it is willing to extend to its citizens; but that is not a humane culture.

There are two options before us in response: Humans are immeasurably dignified at all stages of life, or else dignity becomes the measured subject belonging to majoritarian democracies.

This will not be the last story we hear like this. Mark my word. This is what comes with euthanasia. It’s the third-party, unintended consequences that we do not currently think about that end up being the most dangerous to you and to society.

A state that regulates suicide will have its effects trickle down into every sector of life.

We are only in the beginnings of euthanasia’s regime, and it already impacting America’s conversation about end of life options. As the same article notes:

Lawmakers in the Netherlands are considering a proposal to allow older people who don’t suffer from terminal illnesses, but feel they have “completed life,” access to aid in dying.

The slippery slope is very slippery once the state opens the gates to death.

Outcomes such as what Mrs. Packer was confronted with are the consequences of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. In the name of “compassion” and “choice,” those not wanting to end their lives are paying the price for a legislature’s sanctioning of death.

We will come to see that the “safe, legal, and rare” misnomer is as deceptive on euthanasia as it has been for abortion.