Please pray for the defeat of Initiative 1000, the Washington state ballot measure that, if passed by voters Nov. 4, would legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill adults with a prognosis of less than six months to live.
The passage of I-1000 would be bad news for everyone, especially the most vulnerable in society. It would be the first in a row of dominos down a slippery slope. If it passes here, it will pass in other states and, over time, attitudes and laws will grow increasingly lax until society as a whole doesn’t blink at the government forcibly exterminating people as “burdens.”
Don’t believe me? Read the New York Times Magazine piece on Booth Gardner, the former Washington governor who’s led the push for I-1000:
“Gardner’s campaign is a compromise; he sees it as a first step. If he can sway Washington to embrace a restrictive law, then other states will follow. And gradually, he says, the nation’s resistance will subside, the culture will shift and laws with more latitude will be passed … ”
Or look at Oregon, where a similar law is on the books, where poor people with cancer are sent letters telling them they can’t have chemotherapy but the state will gladly pay to give them massive and lethal (and much cheaper) overdoses of barbiturates.
If I-1000 passes, the poor and uninsured will be the first to suffer, and it will all be – if Oregon’s experience is any indication – for the sake of the convenience of a handful of well-off, well-educated white people who don’t have the guts to kill themselves themselves, without getting the rest of us involved.
If assisted suicide is legalized here, it will almost certainly spread to the entire country, riding the tide of an insidious and deadly cultural shift. The shift is already happening.
Don’t worry, we’re told by the initiative’s supporters, there are plenty of safeguards: Doctors must ensure that patients aren’t depressed before prescribing them the “medicine.” Never mind that this apparently hasn’t happened in Oregon – what has happened to a society when a desire to kill oneself is no longer seen as an obvious symptom of depression?
Ultimately, any “safeguards” must be illusory, because this initiative – like the worldview of which it is an outgrowth – has no foundation in anything foundational. It is a clear rejection of the sanctity of human life, and once that’s gone, nothing is off limits.
The polls don’t look good. At this point, we may need a miracle. So please pray for the defeat of Initiative 1000.