Chuck Donovan of the Lozier Institute introduces us to blogger Ana Carolina Caceres, born with microcephaly. Concerns about how the mosquito-borne Zika virus might cause microcephaly in children exposed to the virus in utero have led to some calls for abortion as a solution. Caceres and Donovan point in another direction: access to treatment for microcephaly. “Born with purportedly grim prospects, [Caceres] is today an accomplished woman, who plays the violin and writes compelling prose. The world needs more people like her, and more people like her mother and other family members, who stayed calm and chose life. Similar to the global response to the polio crisis, the medical community should continue its fight against the Zika virus by refining treatments, decreasing transmission pathways, and ultimately developing a vaccine against Zika.” Read the whole post.
Business at abortion facilities is apparently so bad that abortion promoters want to co-opt pro-life pregnancy care centers into advertising for them. California has already gone this route (and is now in court over it). Illinois is on the same path. “While pregnancy help organizations counsel clients and patients on such facts as the baby’s development, and the physical and psychological dangers of abortion, the proposed legislation’s inclusion of a requirement to counsel on the ‘benefits’ of abortion has also raised concern among pro-life opponents to the bill. Although the bill requires pro-life healthcare providers and organizations to participate in abortion, it does not include stipulations that healthcare professionals, institutions, or organizations counsel patients on alternatives to abortion such as parenting or placing for adoption. Similar government-sponsored speech for pregnancy centers has been struck down as unconstitutional in Austin (TX), Baltimore and Montgomery County (MD) and New York City.” Read the whole post.
“The movie Me Before You will be released in theatres across North America on June 3. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is urging its supporters to boycott Me Before You to not give any money to the production of movies that perpetuate the ideology that death is better than living with a disability. This is not a campaign to obstruct free speech, this is a campaign to oppose the ‘disability death porn’ that this movie promotes.” Read the whole post.
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is drawing attention to a recent study on overall suicide rates in states where physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is legal. The conclusion of a team of researchers: a state’s legalization of assisted suicide is associated with a 6.3% increase in total suicides in that area. The study looked at suicide rates between in Oregon, Washington State, Vermont and Montana, where physician-assisted suicide is legal.
Bear in mind that official statistics on euthanasia are squirrelly things at best, usually relying on self-reporting by prescribing physicians (sound familiar?). Researchers and statisticians looking at PAS are stuck with that limitation.
Schadenberg refers in his post to a decision earlier this year by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding euthanasia. The Carter decision is as sweeping regarding euthanasia as Roe v. Wade is regarding abortion. The legalization of assisted suicide in Canada will go into effect in 2016, barring further legal action.
Related news, provided by EPC: “A California group called Seniors Against Suicide, who opposed the California assisted suicide bill that was signed into law by Governor Brown on October 5, filed papers with the California Attorney General’s office to put the issue of assisted suicide on the State ballot in 2016, as reported by the Associated Press.”
Yesterday’s East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide was a splendid event, and I’ll share more about it in upcoming posts. For this weekend’s collection of short items, though, I recommend you add these people and organizations to your social media feeds for ongoing information. This is not a comprehensive list of resources, but it should keep you busy for now.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, led by executive director Alex Schadenberg, has become an indispensable resource for anyone investigating the status of assisted suicide and euthanasia laws worldwide. Alex is based in Canada, but his work keeps him traveling to the United States and beyond. Follow the EPC blog at alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca, “like” EPC’s Facebook page, and follow @AlexSchadenberg and @EuthanasiaPC on Twitter.
The Family Institute of Connecticut’s involvement in the defeat of Connecticut’s assisted suicide bill this year was notable. Web site: www.ctfamily.org. Twitter: @FICaction.
Not Dead Yet (or as the heading for their web site says, Not Dead Yet: The Resistance) is a disability rights group that frankly and rightly sees assisted suicide and euthanasia as tools of discrimination against people with disabilities. Web site: www.notdeadyet.org. John Kelly is NDY’s New England regional director, Boston-based, and his Twitter feed @JohnBrianKelly aggregates a number of news stories and blog posts about discrimination against people with disabilities.