Oregon Legislature Seeks to Expand Assisted Suicide Law

Oregon Legislature Seeks to Expand Assisted Suicide Law

House Bill 2217, which will effectively legalize euthanasia, is scheduled for a public hearing in the Oregon Legislature’s House Health Care Committee on Tuesday, March 19.

Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide in 1997. Since then, 1,459 patients have taken the lethal medication to end their lives. Currently, there are several reasons patients claim as their reason for requesting assisted suicide. According to deathwithdignity.org, “The most frequently reported end-of-life concerns were loss of autonomy (91.7%), decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable (90.5%), and loss of dignity (66.7%). During 2018, the estimated rate of deaths under the law was 45.9 per 10,000 total deaths in the state.”

Under the current law, patients must physically ingest medication by themselves. When requesting life-ending medication, patients must sign a form stating “I expect to die when I take the medication to be prescribed.”

However, Oregon lawmakers are seeking to expand the scope of this bill by changing the definition of  “taking” to “self-administer.” As defined by HB 2217, “self-administer” means “a qualified patient’s physical act of ingesting or delivering by another method medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner.”

Lois Anderson, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, stated, “There is no safety mechanism in place to ensure that another person isn’t the one administering the medication. By adding ‘delivering by another method’ they are redefining the law to allow the drugs to be administered through an IV, feeding tube, injection, or even through a gas mask. And, potentially, by a person other than the patient.”

The proposed changes appear to contradict the intention of Oregonians when they narrowly legalized assisted suicide. When voters approved Measure 16 in 1994 it explicitly stated, “This measure does not authorize lethal injection, mercy killing or active euthanasia.”

HB 2217 would effectively legalize euthanasia in Oregon by involving more people in the deaths of vulnerable Oregonians.

Oregonians will be gathering in protest of HB 2217 at the hearing on Tuesday, March 19th. For more details or to contact committee members in opposition, please go to  https://www.ortl.org/noeuthanasia/.

Rob Tibbets and aunt Billie Jo Calderwood against the hatred of the Hispanic community

Rob Tibbets and aunt Billie Jo Calderwood against the hatred of the Hispanic community

 

On Jul. 18, 20-year-old, Mollie Tibbets thought it was the perfect evening for a run in Poweshiek County, Iowa. Then on Aug. 21, she was proclaimed dead. 

At no suprise her family was heart broken. “Our hearts are broken.” Her family then went on to express their thankfulness the support this nation and worldwide gave to their daughter. “We thank all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl…again, thank you for the outpouring of love and support that has been shared in Mollie’s name. We remain forever grateful.”

Despite, the fact that Tibbets was killed by undocumented immigrant, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, and regardless of Republicans pressing for harsher immigration laws – Tibbet’s father, Rob, diminshed the virulence of hate against Hispanics. On his daughter’s funeral this past Sunday, he spoke of his positive feelings for the local Hispanic community. “The Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values as Iowans.”

As authorities searched for his daughter, he ate at numerous Mexican resturants. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food, ” he said.

While, it is not made clear if the family forgives Riveria, it is evident that they are taking the step towards being tolerant toward the person who brutally stabbed their daughter to death and then hid her body in a cornfield.

In the period of debate circulating around Riveria’s immigration status, Mollie’s aunt, Billie Jo Calderwood, doesn’t want her niece’s tragedy to catapult in the sea of political opinions surrounding the tragedy. “I don’t want Mollie’s memory to get lost amongst politics.”

Although, immigration status and laws are pertient to our nation, it is not okay to proclaim bias against a race of people, simply because one happened to kill a college student. As Tibbet’s aunt, puts it, “evil comes in every color.”

In the lieu of hate and controversy, I commend Tibbet’s father and the rest of her family for clininging to an optimistic spirit. Instead of focusing on the hate toward Riveria and instead of treating it as a complete tragedy, it is admirable that the family chooses to focus on who their daughter was as a person; her Instagram bio reading, “it’s a good day to be alive.” In this time of turmoil, it is also wonderful to look at this incident as a celebration. After his daughter’s death, he asked moruners to join him and his family to celebrate her.

“Today, we had to turn the page. We’re at the end of a long ordeal,” he said. “But we need to turn toward life – Mollie’s life – because Mollie’s nobody’s victim. Mollie’s my hero.”

 

Cancer patient opposed euthanasia despite terminal diagnosis

Cancer patient opposed euthanasia despite terminal diagnosis

When doctors diagnosed J.J. Hanson with terminal brain cancer, he considered sparing his family, and himself, needless pain and suffering.

“I was done,” Hanson recalled. “Would this be easier if I just gave up–if I just said, ‘This is too much of a burden on my family, the pain is difficult, I don’t want to deal with this?’ What if I just said I’ve had enough and ended it.”

Hanson passed away in December 2017–but not from a lethal dose of medication. Rather, he spent his final days vigorously opposing physician assisted suicide.

Hanson was president of the Patients’ Rights Action Fund, an anti-euthanasia organization, during his battle with cancer. He ultimately chose to fight that battle to the end: “Every single day is a gift, and you can’t let that go,” Hanson explained in a video released by the organization.

Hanson received his cancer diagnosis in May 2014, after an MRI scan revealed two lesions on his left temporal lobe: evidence of Grade 4 glioblastoma. Doctors deemed the tumors inoperable, and gave Hanson four months to live.

Hanson and his wife Kristen faced “overwhelming grief” but sought a second and third opinion. They eventually located a neurosurgeon who was willing to operate on Hanson’s tumors. “We were so grateful,” Kristen recalled. “We had hope that with treatment we could get time together.”

After a successful operation, Hanson entered a clinical trial to receive chemotherapy and radiation. Initially, Hanson appeared to respond to the treatment. However, optimism soon gave way to despair: in 2014, Hanson caught a common cold, which resisted his body’s efforts to beat it back.

“Those were dark days,” Kristen told reporters. “He questioned everything–whether it was worth fighting, whether he was too much of a burden to his family and whether it would be better for everyone if he gave up.”

Ultimately, however, Hanson decided that the answer to each of those questions was “no.” He continued treatment, and by 2015 doctors found no evidence of his tumors.

“My hope and my fight is to keep [the cancer] at bay for as long as possible,” Hanson stated at the time. He had reached a clear conclusion regarding physician-assisted suicide: “You can’t unmake that choice. Once you do it, it’s done,” Hanson said.

Hanson’s heroic battle against his disease and against euthanasia won him valuable time with his family. Hanson lived to welcome his newborn son Lucas into the world. “Life was good,” Kristen told The Washington Post. “It was a gift to have all that time that we never expected.”

Although Hanson eventually passed away in 2017 after his cancer returned, Kristen feels grateful that her husband chose to live his life to its natural conclusion.

“It was time I would never give back for anything,” she said.

Pope Francis condemns abortions of children with birth defects

Pope Francis condemns abortions of children with birth defects

In a statement confirmed by the Vatican, Pope Francis denounced abortions of unborn children with congenital defects, reports CNN. The Pope compared the practice to Nazi eugenics.

“I have heard that it’s fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let’s send it away,” Pope Francis stated. “I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.”

In their quest to create a pure Aryan race, the Nazis compelled individuals with physical and mental illnesses to undergo sterilization, and terminated fetuses deemed weak or unhealthy. The modern world condemns such practices in hindsight, yet does not feel repulsed by infanticide today, noted the Pope.

Pope Francis expressed his opinions on abortion during a meeting with a delegation of Italy’s Family Association in Rome. While the Pope did not prepare his comments beforehand, they were verified by Vatican officials after the interview.

During the meeting, Pope Francis also spoke about his views concerning marriage, which consists of a union between one man and one woman. That union reflects God’s image, according to the Pope.

“Today it is hard to say this, we speak of ‘diversified’ families: different types of families. . . . But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one,” the Pope asserted.

Pope Francis spoke just days after Argentina, his home country, voted on a measure to legalize abortion as early as 14 weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life advocates must hope that Argentinian lawmakers remain responsive to the Pope’s spiritual authority.

Florida Deputy Saves Life of 3-month-old

Florida Deputy Saves Life of 3-month-old

Deputy Jeremie Nix (FL) has been praised for saving the life of a three-month-old baby who stopped breathing. Nix was flagged down on May 9th by the child’s mother who couldn’t get her baby to respond. Several life-saving techniques were administered by Nix, but he was unable to revive the child named Kingston. Instead of waiting for the medics and the ambulance that was coming, he took the child in his patrol vehicle, turned his lights on and drove quickly to the nearest emergency room, Ocala Regional Medical Center. Kingston recovered with the help of the doctors. Deputy Nix has been commended for his quick thinking, which saved Kingston’s Life.

The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in an article by People.com, “We are tremendously proud of Deputy Nix and we can already see that he and Baby Kingston will have a deep connection that will last a lifetime!!”

The child’s mother, Nechole Cromwell, was on her way to the emergency room but had been unable to get there fast enough due to traffic. She spotted Nix on the road and turned on her emergency lights to get Nix’s attention.

The whole ordeal was captured by dashcam video from deputy Nix’s patrol vehicle. Watch the video here.

Nix, in an article by the CNN, told reporters, “I remember praying, thanking God for putting me in the right place, at the right time for the right reason. This was the most emotional day I’ve ever had in my career. It was also the scariest and the most rewarding.”

Kingston’s mother acknowledged the excellence of deputy Nix’s performance. “I am forever grateful,” Cromwell said in an article by Inside Edition. “He was my baby’s guardian angel on earth. It was God and Deputy Nix who saved [Kingston’s] life.” Cromwell expressed her thankfulness in a Facebook post. “I just wanted the world to know how great this officer is, & how GREAT GOD is,” she wrote.

Marion County sheriff’s office said in an article by People.com, “We are happy to report that Baby Kingston is doing very well and doctors say he will make a full recovery.”