Using Word Games to Kill

(This is the fourth of several articles dealing with protecting the elderly and infirm).

Resorting to euphemisms is a time-tested, deceptive way to manipulate public opinion.

Abortion is called a "choice", sexual perversion becomes “pride,” assisted suicide is "death with dignity", and genocide is "ethnic cleansing".

Seeks to Define Eating Utensils as "Medical Care"

Now there’s an effort to use that strategy in re-defining ordinary eating utensils as "medical devices" in an effort to allow physicians to speed the death of the elderly and infirm.

The issue involves expanding the suicidal practice of Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) into a non-voluntary form of euthanasia for certain individuals against their will.

And where else?

Oregon, the first state to legalize assisted suicide in 1994, shows it continues to be the bellwether when it comes to creative ways to deny the sanctity of human life.

This year the state’s legislature will continue debating a measure that would allow the starvation and dehydration of mentally ill or disabled patients without their consent. The bill passed the state’s Senate last year and was sent to the House for consideration in 2018.

The proposal, SB494, redefines food and water delivered by cup or spoon—everyday utensils—as a regulated, physician-controlled form of “medical care,” rather than basic, ordinary care.

It also removes current safeguards in Oregon that protect the right of patients to receive food and water as part of basic care.

People who are awake and conscious—but unable to feed themselves due to disability, brain injury or lack of physical mobility—would face the possibility of being denied food and water.

In addition, a patient’s healthcare representatives could ignore an advance directive and coerce doctors to starve them to death.

The bill is the result of a dispute between the husband of an Alzheimer’s patient and her nursing home. She wanted to eat, but needed assistance. 

Her husband, claiming she would not want to live that way, asked that feeding be stopped, but the facility maintained it was required by law to provide her with food and water as long as she wanted to be fed.

After his request was rejected in court, the issue was brought to the legislature.

The case is eerily similar to that of Terri Schiavo, who brought international attention to the practice of denying a patient food and water in 2005.

Declared to be in a so-called vegetative state in 1990, Schiavo had been nourished via a feeding tube for 15 years.

Her parents fought to keep her on a feeding tube in the hope that she would one day recover.

However, her husband maintained his wife would not want to live in that condition and fought to have her nourishment removed.

He eventually prevailed, even though Terri was not actively dying, had no terminal illness and was not on an artificial life support system. She died in March 2005 after being starved for nearly two weeks.

Horrors of Dehydrating to Death

Supporters of VSED claim it “provides a gentle, peaceful slipping away.” Talk about false advertising, nothing could be further from the truth.

Schiavo's ordeal was described by Father Frank Pavone, Director of Priests for Life, who was present during most of the time during her last days.

“Terri’s death was not at all peaceful and beautiful. It was quite horrifying. She was dehydrating to death and looked it. Her face had an expression of dread and sorrow.”

Father Pavone’s observation echoes that of a ruling by the Massachusetts' Supreme Court that revealed the horrors of VSED.

A partial list of VSED effects found by the court include: a dry and cracked mouth; parched and cracked lips; a swollen and cracked tongue; sunken eyes and cheeks; loose, dry and scaly skin; dried out stomach lining that causes convulsions; and thick secretions plugging the lungs.

This hideous process has even been approved as acceptable by the American Nurses Association (ANA).

Whether by starvation or lethal injection, the tragic reality is that our country—and others—are well along the road that has moved from respecting the sanctity of life to evaluating one’s presumed “quality of life.”

Once that evil concept is accepted, it’s an easy road from “right to die” to “duty to die.” Oregon officials have sadly reached that stage. 

They have no intention of honoring the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

Please pray for members of Oregon’s House of Representatives—and lawmakers around the country—to realize how morally wrong these ideas are and reject them.

The personhood of individuals is at stake, no matter their physical, mental, or emotional capabilities. It is a great necessity to share this deplorable secret with your family, friends, and neighbors.


By Wayne DuBois
Georgia Right to Life
Media Relations Advisor