Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy

Are We Becoming A Nazi-Like Nation?

By Ron Panzer
President Hospice Patients Alliance
April 25, 2005

I can't help asking the nagging questions that some continually push away. When not-so-subtle or even blatant pressures are applied to certain categories of individuals in order to "facilitate" their death, is our society becoming more like the Nazi Third Reich than the land of the free? When patients are kept alive for the express purpose of having them eventually killed, is our society becoming more like the Nazi Third Reich? We are not targeting ethnic groups for extermination, but our society is targeting the elderly, severely disabled and chronically ill.

A 2001 Congressional Report initiated by former California Congressman Henry Waxman, "Abuse of Residents Is a Major Problem in U.S. Nursing Homes" confirms that even one third of all nursing homes are cited for neglect and abuse of nursing home residents. "The third most common abuse violation was the failure to protect residents from sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, corporal punishment, or involuntary seclusion ... almost 20% of all homes cited for an abuse violation -- were cited for this violation."

And a 2000 U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services report is summarized by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging: "We're talking about people dying of dehydration because they don't get water into their system, malnutrition because they don't get enough food, and ... bed sores because they don't get turned enough," said

How is it that in this modern, compassionate society, with the "very best" in health care available, we have people dying of dehydration, dying of malnutrition because they don't get enough food and bed sores because they are not being turned enough. These are the most basic of care needs and our society is not doing a very good job in the nursing homes that care for the vulnerable, dependent citizens of our country.

And what about criminal sexual abuse of the vulnerable? "The state inspection reports also documented numerous instances where residents of nursing homes were subjected to sexual abuse by nursing home personnel or other residents."

And what about physical abuse of the vulnerable? "Many residents were subjected to serious physical abuse by nursing home staff. This physical abuse caused numerous injuries, including a fractured femur, a fractured hip, a fractured elbow, severe bruises, lacerations of the head, neck, and hands, bruises to the eye and bruises to the thigh, a fractured wrist, a fractured thumb, and a variety of other injuries."

Well, you may say that even that treatment does not compare with the abuse, neglect, criminal atrocities perpetrated against the Jews and others during the Nazi era, and you would be correct. However, for those elderly, disabled and chronically ill who were beat, who were raped, who were deprived of fluids and nutrition, and who did die as a result, the result is the same exact thing: imposed death!

Deprivation of hydration and nutrition is effected knowingly by corporations that intentionally short-staff their facilities. Administrators know that the direct result will be the failure to properly hydrate the residents of these facilities and over time, they will die sooner, rather than later, and the corporation believes it is saving money by hiring fewer staff to provide care.

For those who have increasing dementia, enrollment into hospice program services (provided in the nursing home or not) when these patients are not terminal, is a decision to end the life of the patient. While terminal sedation is appropriate for patients with severe agitation at the end-of-life that is not controllable through other means, it is increasingly used with the intention of ending the life of the patient, as a way around laws barring euthanasia and/or assisted suicide.

The Compassion in Dying organization encourages the use of terminal sedation as a legally acceptable way of ending the patient's life:

"Terminal sedation has been proposed as an alternative to physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients with severe symptoms. This method does not require changes in the law. The patient is sedated to unconsciousness to relieve severe physical suffering and is then allowed to die of dehydration or some other intervening complication. Terminal sedation is ethically considered to be a combination of aggressive symptom management (sedatives to treat unbearable symptoms) and withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy (fluids, nutrition, and other treatments). When considered as an aggregate act, terminal sedation may be more morally complex and ambiguous than is generally acknowledged, but many persons who adamantly oppose physician-assisted suicide find this practice acceptable. The practice differs from euthanasia in that the dose of medication is maintained but not increased once sedation is achieved and no subsequent intervention to accelerate death, such as the introduction of a muscle paralyzing agent, is given."

"Terminal sedation allows health care providers to respond to a much wider range of suffering than would physician-assisted suicide even if it were legalized, because the latter would be restricted to competent terminally ill patients who are capable of self-administration."

It is clear that terminal sedation is intended (by those at organizations like Compassion in Dying) to be used when the patient is not necessarily "competent," not necessarily "terminally ill," and not necessarily "capable of self-administration" of assisted-suicide medications. Turning that around into straight talk, we get the message that it is acceptable to them to end the lives of the not mentally competent, not terminal, and dependent. We also get the message that the "morally ambiguous" nature of terminal sedation is valued by such organizations, because it confuses the issue, making people think they are not "killing" the patient when they actually intend to end the patient's life and do effect the killing of the patient! Double-speak is routine for those committed to legalization of euthanasia and/or assisted suicide.

The real-world consequences occurring within healthcare institutions as a result of their philosophy of death dealing is the use of terminal sedation to kill patients all over the USA. We have received reports from nurses who witnessed Alzheimers patients being transferred to the "hospice" wing of the nursing home, though the patients were physically stable, and shortly thereafter, the patients died. Were they "euthanized," "killed," or "murdered?" The staff and administrators only say that they were "allowed to die" and "kept comfortable." What is the reality? They were killed. They did have hydration withheld from them. They were sedated. Their deaths were intended.

If we kill through gassing, injecting or shooting, is the result much different from sedating, dehydrating or "morphining?" We must admit that our society has targeted the elderly, chronically ill, severely disabled and other vulnerable for elimination. It is not the Jews being targeted, but we as a society are targeting our own.

The Jews were selected for "special treatments." They were marked, robbed, subjected to every type of humiliation, raped and beat, segregated, placed in ghettos, placed in slave factories. The men were separated from the women; the children separated from the parents. They were eventually tortured and experimented upon, and "experimented upon" doesn't convey even the half of it. Some were used to find better ways to sterilize men or women; caustic chemicals were applied to their organs, surgeries were done. The methods used are too gruesome and horrible to discuss here. Some were shot, some were gassed in the chambers and some were lethally injected. The Nazis perfected execution by just about any method. See "The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide" by Robert Lifton for extensive details about how it was done.

And it was "policy," handed down by the "state," approved by the policymakers, ordered by the courts. And the Jews never understood the warning signs until the very end. They could not even imagine what was coming their way. Nobody could conceive that former neighbors would be so murderously evil. The world found it very hard to believe when they came across the death camps at the end of the war, or came upon the skeletal few who "survived."

The aging population tends to believe they will not fall prey to the problems encountered by those shipped off permanently to the nursing home. But if their care needs become unmanageable at home, or even in an assisted-living facility, then in our society, they will be shipped off to one nursing home or another. And if they have dementia, they may be targeted for terminal sedation eventually.

The Nazis started their murderous campaign by executing those who were mentally incapacitated or brain-injured. They used the term "euthanasia" describing the murder of the vulnerable as a "good death." The Nazi doctors perfected the misuse of morphine and other drugs to kill. And when the decisions we make for the vulnerable are based on the same rationale as used by the Nazis, do we deserve to consider ourselves to be a "morally superior society?"

And please, don't think I'm going to swallow that line about assisted-suicide and euthanasia being all about patient rights to "choose" and respecting their "privacy!" Those who push the hardest for tainted hospice that is secular, utilitarian, and willing to hasten death through various methods, and those who promote assisted-suicide and euthanasia are the same individuals who are spreading the same philosophy the Nazis had: that the "unfit" to live, the "unworthy" of life needed to be eliminated, and that killing them is morally acceptable, because they were not "real" persons. It's all about "mercy" according to them. But whose kind of "mercy?" It doesn't seem too "merciful" to the ones they kill.

Ronald Cranford, MD, a leading advocate of euthanasia and assisted suicide goes around the country serving as an expert witness in courts so that the mentally incapacitated may be put to death. He is the main physician relied upon to justify the killing of Terri Schindler Schiavo. He sits on the board of Choice in Dying and lectures on why it is ethical to end the lives of the mentally incapacitated. And why is it "ethical?" He and secular bioethicists like Peter Singer believe that those who are mentally incapacitated are less than "human" and are not even "persons."

Florence S. Wald, RN, MN, MS, FAAN, founded the first U.S. hospice (the Connecticut Hospice) and is a former dean of the Yale University School of Nursing. While Wald fought against overmedication of the elderly and is one of the most important leaders in creating the modern hospice movement in America, she also states in a JAMA article by M.J. Friedrich, "Hospice Care in the United States: A Conversation With Florence S. Wald" that,

"I know that I differ from [Dame] Cicely Saunders, who is very much against assisted suicide. I disagree with her view on the basis that there are cases in which either the pain or the debilitation the patient is experiencing is more than can be borne, whether it be economically, physically, emotionally, or socially. For this reason, I feel a range of options should be available to the patient, and this should include assisted suicide."
   see: JAMA, May 1999; 281: 1683 - 1685.

What are we talking about here when Wald [and many others] encourages the option of assisted suicide for economic or social reasons? We really need to think about that. Wasn't the killing of the vulnerable during the Nazi reign of terror justified by its economic and societal "benefits," at least those desired by the Nazis? Does this mean that if the family doesn't want to spend the money on caring for the patient, the patient should be "assisted" to die? Does this mean that if society doesn't want to spend the money for the patient (but can very well spend millions on questionable projects all over the USA and waste billions) that the patient should be "assisted" to die? Does this mean that if society just doesn't care enough to care for the patient, they can be "assisted" to die?

Weren't the mentally retarded, brain-injured and other disabled "assisted" to die in Nazi Germany? Whether they were shot or injected lethally, the result is the same. If we do it "sweetly" by sedating the patients, "putting them to sleep" and watching them die over several days, and "being" with them while we kill them, is it any different? Because it looks so "peaceful," does that make it ethical, moral or acceptable?

You don't want to remember what happened to the vulnerable in Nazi Germany? You don't want to think about it? You want to just go about your life and not be bothered with all these concerns? That was the attitude of those who watched as the vulnerable were eliminated and the Jews were rounded up and then obliterated in front of them. The ashes of the murdered wafted up from the smokestacks at the incinerators, covering the land like a horrible "snow" that revealed the massive genocide!

You just want to be merry? Well, go ahead! Be merry! But we need to realize that in American society today, you are just one step away from the brink. You drive down the street and do not realize, at any second, some drunkard could change your life, or the lives of those you love, forever. You might end up in the same condition as those you pitied, those like Terri Schindler Schiavo who were executed, but don't want to think about.

The American people are proud of our nation's heritage and consider the "American way" to be a shining example for the world, but is the America we know today that shining example? Is it the America that many of the "greatest generation" died to preserve? Is it the America that was intended by the founding fathers? Could they have imagined that 50 million babies would be slaughtered in just thirty years by this "Christian" nation? Is this something to brag about? Or should we be hanging our heads in shame?

Can we be proud that our society executed Terri Schindler Schiavo? Can we be proud that the courts refused to allow her parents to care for her and that the courts insisted on her death? Can we be proud that the President, the Congress, the Supreme Court and the state government in Florida didn't bother lifting a finger to do anything actually effective to stop her murder?

Can we be proud of the changes envisioned for the hospice industry? The history of hospice demonstrates a concern for improving the care of the dying, but will it become the vehicle to cause dying?

Those at the hospice who worked for her court-ordered death night and day for years knew they intended her murder, whether she wanted to die or not. They know that they seek to eliminate the vulnerable, and they want legal sanction to do so. They know that they want to add "assisting death" to the services to be provided in hospice. They don't need any concentration camps or chambers; they want to turn hospices into killing fields, letting nurses oversedate, overdose, and dehydrate patients till they die. They're very patient; they're willing to kill one-by-one.

And they said they knew they'd win the legal battle, because it was "policy." What policy? "Policy" set from on high at the national policymaking levels. What policymaking circles? Places like the Hastings Center, the Center for Biomedical Ethics, and other secular bioethical thinktanks... Places where the sanctity of life ethic is completely ignored, and the "quality of life" ethic is used to devalue those who don't meet their arbitrary standard to justify their existence. Ronald Cranford, MD is a prominent member of these thinktanks, councils and advisory boards, along with others just like him. And where are the funds coming from? Foundations like the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, and George Soros' former Project on Death in America, with money coming from people who wish to change how people think about death, with the professed goal of having better end-of-life care provided to the dying, but also, and very significantly, so that the unfit may have their lives ended legally in a medical setting, a hospice, a nursing home, or a hospital.

And that's why the government didn't save Terri. The government representatives who ordered her death pretended to be respecting her "choice," but what they really wanted is the choice for society to kill. If there are any who are severely incapacitated, they will make the "choice" for them. For as so many in the media were quick to remind us, "Who would wish to live like that?" as they insisted her "quality of life" was just unacceptable. And if by chance the state and federal budgets are more balanced in the process, they will happily consider it more than enough justification.

Yes, while those who intended her death argued that they were "respecting her right to privacy;" they said nothing about respecting her right to life! They don't even consider the vulnerable to be truly "alive," or even "persons!"

So, they cannot acknowledge a right to life for those they deem to be unworthy of life. And they trample the rights of those they refuse to grant any rights. That's why they were so adamant about rigging the diagnosis so Terri was deemed to be in a "persistent vegetative state." The euthanasia advocate, Dr. Cranford saw Terri for 43 minutes, even complimenting her on how she responded. Another physician "examined her" for 10 minutes. And the third...? The brother of a close associate of the death attorney Felos! If there ever was a rigged outcome, this was it. Rigged, at the orders of George Greer, judge in Pinellas County! A rigged court determination so they could achieve their "permission" slip to kill, because anyone who is in that condition would clearly be "better off dead" according to their values.

And no consideration was given that Terri receive the therapy so many doctors and therapists said would help her. The court made sure that Terri never received the therapy her parents tried so desperately to provide. For the vulnerable, the "right to life" is not a phrase, and it is not a slogan; it is everything! And that right to live must be extended to all. While we can acknowledge that some injuries are irreversible, we cannot know what recovery can occur if we don't honestly provide the care needed.

So what did the courts do? They refused to allow further testing or treatment and covered up the years-long effort by her "husband" to keep her from recovering and to make sure she died. They buried the reports of abuse and neglect. They whitewashed everything for the press, and the "impartial" "unbiased" press reported everything just as the euthanasia advocates would want. But what was the reality?

Terri Schindler Schiavo was not kept to care for her; she was kept for the killing!

Is this America's current contribution to the world? Is this what we fought wars to defend? ... The right to kill the helpless?

While the courts re-affirmed each other's evil deeds, and the attorneys used that power to arrange death, it was all based upon lies and distortion. It was all based upon a violation of everything America was supposed to stand for: justice, honor, integrity and caring. It was a betrayal of the Christian foundation of our laws, based upon honest testimony, process and judgment. "They make many promises, take false oaths and make agreements; therefore lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in a plowed field." (Hosea 10:4)

When our doctors, lawyers, and the judges in the courts pronounce death for the helpless disabled of any age ... when prosecutors refuse to press criminal charges against those who impose death within the health care setting ... when elderly or disabled individuals can be forcibly taken from their homes and placed in nursing homes or hospices against their will and have all their assets seized ... when guardianship courts empower corrupt guardians who intend the death of the ward (not the care of the ward), can we pretend that we are a shining beacon of freedom for the world?

We cannot pretend to think that everyone who is in a nursing home or hospice should be there! When Parkinson's patients are hauled off to hospice and killed, when the elderly are killed outright, when patients not in pain are given significant amounts of morphine to hasten their death, we need to stop where we are at and think about what we are doing!

We dare not pretend that everything occurring within health care is as it should be. How many crimes within a health care setting are ignored and swept under the rug? We read of such crimes regularly.

When the judges were associated with the pro-death attorneys and also associated with the hospice that made itself an accomplice to Terri's murder, this travesty of justice is cause for national shame.

In Nazi Germany great attention was given to obtain court approval for the killings that occurred within health care settings. But it seems our society has forgotten!

How is it possible that we have forgotten? Have some never even heard about what occurred? Have our children not been taught? Have the tears of my people, has the blood of my people, have the ashes of my people been poured out on the streets for naught? When the ghettos were "cleared," when the children hid in order to try to save their lives, when the mothers sobbed, and fathers could do nothing, when hundreds huddled together when they were about to be gassed, was this not enough to make us remember? Rivers of blood are not enough to make us remember? Is this not enough to make us tremble as we walk down this old and evil path?

This is not the glorious new way we are told it is; others have walked it before. It is not "modern." It is not "progressive." "What has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Eccclesiastes 1:9 It is the barbarous, unmentionable horror of murder, war, against this group or that group, repeated over and over throughout history. And when the families of the victims cry out because their loved one has been murdered, they cannot simply grieve and accept it as they are counseled to do by hospice and health care staff. They cannot complete the grieving process, because their loved one did not die a natural death, but their death was orchestrated in a deceptive environment that confuses the families, disguises killing and makes it look "all so pretty."

And when they call here, we recognize their unending grief. A grief that is not significantly different from those who had their loved ones slaughtered in a time of war, or due to the decree of an evil king.

"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Matthew 2: 18

Whether it was the Romans, or the Germans, or the Huns, or soldiers massacring native Americans from the East Coast of North America all the way to slaughtering the Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee ... whether it was the Ku Klux Klan members lynching the slaves in the South, or Hutus and Tutsis killing each other to the tune of millions in Rwanda ... or anyone who plunders and kills and victimizes the helpless. Whether it is six million, ten thousand, one hundred or one at a time repeated six million times, the result is the same. Mankind's inhumanity to man is never-ending!

And when the Jews were hauled off by mobile killing squads, the people who remained seized their possessions, businesses and dwellings. They did not speak about what they did or what they saw. And when I met some of them in Germany decades later, in 1977 and asked some of them about what they knew or did, if they knew what was happening to the Jews, they told me ... no, ... they didn't answer, they looked away clearly with shame and again, they remained silent.

Does this not also happen in the "mini-world" of the elderly? Are not many shipped off before their time to the nursing homes, out of convenience for the younger generation that did not wish to care for them? What does it feel like to be shipped off to a nursing home, to be kept there against your will by force if necessary, knowing you will never get out unless you leave in a body bag? And if you ask the children what they did, if they shipped off their Dad to the nursing home much before his time, they look away and remain silent. What are they to say?

Nuclear families or even single parent families do not lend themselves to easily caring for an elderly dependent parent or a child. The extended family that was traditionally part of a stable Judeo-Christian lifestyle allowed for the support of not only the dependent children and elderly, but also the caregivers and bread winners. As the family structure became splintered, the desire and need for greater governmental intervention arose. And that is one major reason the traditional family structure and Judeo-Christian values are being attacked by those who desire even greater powers for government. Totalitarian socialism is antithetical to the respect for individual rights embodied within the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Those who sacrifice and care for their families, doing the best possible, merit tremendous respect, for caregiving is one of the most difficult of tasks. And if they find themselves unable to manage, there is no shame in accessing the health care system and the nursing homes for care. That is why they exist.

But not all family members love their elderly parents. I have seen the children of the dying argue about who is going to get the house, the jewels, the furniture, in the hearing of their own dying parent, at his or her death bed. And any hospice nurse with experience has seen it from time to time. It happens! You see just about every type of relationship in health care settings. And you say to yourself, "what can they be thinking?" Clearly, not every parent dies surrounded by the presence of loving children!

And it is not unknown for such children to hasten the death of their parents, through an overdosage or by not providing the medications they need and not seeing to it that they receive other care or nourishment they need. They may believe that their parent is better off dead, and there are enough health care workers to assist them.

We know that back in the time of Nazi Germany, as they ramped up to the full-blown mass murder of millions of individuals, the Nazis started out by killing many thousands of mentally ill, mentally retarded, and institutionalized individuals, and they killed them one by one, one after the other. This was all done in a predominantly Christian nation (just as "Christian" as America today) and the official stance of the churches was to remain silent. As hard as it may be to believe, there was NO massive outcry from the church leaders of the time! The churches remained silent as Jews were hauled off to the ghetto and their possessions and businesses seized. And when some of them were killed in the streets of Germany, the churches remained silent. When the Jews were shipped off to the concentration camps, the churches still remained silent. When the ashes of my people floated in the skies over Auschwitz, the church leaders did not rise up to stop the killings.

The Christian churches need to face their role in not standing up to protect the vulnerable during the Holocaust. Nowadays the Christian churches need to evaluate their failure to stop the execution of the very elderly, severely disabled, chronically ill within the health care system. While the Jewish people or the Gypsies are not being hauled off to concentration camps as was done during WW II, there is a growing trend to regard the vulnerable as "useless eaters," "unfit for life" just as was done by the Nazi society. The conclusion is inescapable: the powerful in our society, represented by the doctors, the lawyers and the courts, want them dead, and the general public, including our churches and synagogues, is doing little to protect them.

In Nazi Germany, the Jewish population was about 1 percent of the total population, and the disabled, mentally handicapped population that was exterminated was less than that. It was an easy target, a minority without political power, a minority that could not mount an effective resistance, though many did resist. It was a convenient, virtually helpless segment of the population.

In the USA, the number of institutionalized disabled is about 2.1 million out of about 296 million or about 0.7% of the population. Who are the institutionalized disabled? They are predominately the severely disabled, chronically ill or very elderly. This is the same category that was eliminated during the Holocaust, and this is the category most threatened today, right here in America. The disabled and vulnerable are conveniently powerless politically, just as the Jews were during the Holocaust.

Sacrificing individual welfare for the benefit of the state and the "common good" was one of the central principles of Nazi society. And when physicians and bioethicists promote the rationing of health care resources for the "good of society," they choose to sacrifice the welfare and even the lives of individuals for what they perceive to be the greater good of society. However, wherever the individual good is sacrificed for the "common good," tyranny reigns supreme and individual rights are trampled.

Our nation was founded upon a deep, abiding faith in God as Creator of all life, and a deep commitment to respecting individual rights. Nazi practice was to ruthlessly snuff out the lives of any who challenged the policies put forth by the government. Nazi practice routinely obliterated individual rights. There was no consideration given to respecting the Creator of all life. Nazi practice was to eliminate the institutionalized disabled.

While we are not rounding up ethnic groups for mass extermination, those in power in our society have set into motion policies that routinely victimize the severely disabled. Even after decades of hearings in Congress, the victimization of the elderly, severely disabled and chronically ill in our nation's institutions goes virtually unchecked. Corporations that defraud the Medicare and Medicaid programs and profit at the expense of the vulnerable are rewarded by the U.S. Justice Department by policies that allow the criminal enterprises to keep significant sums stolen from the federal and state health insurance programs.

When the public complains to the state attorneys, when the public complains to the state departments of health, when the public complains to its elected officials, nothing significant is done to reform the industry. Many of those appointed to run the departments of health are industry-friendly "gatekeepers" who prevent any serious effort to investigate or prosecute criminal activity on the part of the corporations running our nation's major health care facilities. And these corporations return millions of dollars taken fraudulently from Medicare & Medicaid into the pockets of those politicians who make sure the corporations' operations remain untouched. In a never-ending cycle of corporate corruption and government corruption, the needs, the pleas of the patients and their families are brushed aside.

In Nazi Germany large industries routinely victimized the vulnerable. In some well-documented cases, groups were held in slavery and used to maximize corporate production and profit.

In the USA, doctors, social workers and the courts work together to force some vulnerable individuals into institutions even when they might be cared for at home by family. While not all residents are forced into the facilities, there are enough cases to ask why any are forced into these facilities? There are enough cases to ask why the government has not implemented policies that would encourage these vulnerable people to remain in the community, in their own homes, supported and cared for by those who love them? It is clear that the policies being implemented favor the placement of individuals into the facilities so that the facilities' beds are kept full and the cash cow of Medicare and Medicaid can be milked by the corporations for every dollar that can be squeezed out of the government. And when the residents of these facilities die sooner, the federal and state governments save billions on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

In the USA, the vulnerable population is used to maximize corporate profit within the health care industry. And when the vulnerable are no longer profitable to the industry, i.e., they require "too many" services to be profitable to the corporation, they are denied treatments that would help them and are hastened to their death through a variety of means, including forced dehydration and death (through removal of tube feedings, for example).

Are we a Nazi society? In that our government and corporations increasingly exploit the vulnerable, and impose death upon some of them, yes. In that some are considered "useless eaters," yes. In that society considers some to be expendable, yes. In that the police or security guards are increasingly used to enforce the death-decrees of petty courts and make sure that the killing of the vulnerable occurs, as they did in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, yes. When courts, the laws, the police and security guards are in place to assure the killing of an individual, rather than provide equal protection to all individuals, we have really turned down a dark path.

Are we a Nazi society? Not exactly, but we are increasingly moving in that direction.

Joyce Morrison reported in 2005 that an Illinois mother was arrested for attempting to intervene in her 14-year old child's decision to have an abortion. The police made sure that the 14 year old was able to have the abortion by arresting the mother who was trying to protect her daughter from the consequences of having an abortion and also to save her grandchild. If this can happen here in America, the answer is increasingly, "Yes."

When our society casually kills 50 million babies out of convenience, when the law imposed on our society by the Supreme Court (not by our elected officials) condones it and mandates that we allow the murders to continue, the answer is unavoidably, "yes." Who are we? What are we? Blood is on our hands!

Years ago, a young man would marry a woman who he impregnated; there was a sense of decency, a recognition that the man was to help support and care for any child he caused to be brought into this world. Nowadays, not supporting, not caring for, not marrying the woman impregnated is common, and women have bought into the lie that it is better this way! Research consistently shows that children fare much better when both father and mother raise them in a traditional family. As a society, are we doing what is best for the children, for the women, or for the men? Increasingly, the answer is, "no."

We live in a society of shortsighted "convenience," that has had deadly consequences, lifelong guilt and anguish for those who willingly killed their own babies, and the disintegration of the stable family structure that was the backbone of America. When the family is increasingly secondary in power and the government becomes primary in determining how people live and who shall live and who shall die, it is no longer the America admired in so many lands around the world. People in other lands now admire our prosperity, but they almost universally despise our degraded way of life.

In Nazi Germany, the killings escalated from targeting the mentally incapacitated, to targeting any who challenged the government, to any who were deemed to be less than "perfect," less than "acceptable." We are being told that any congenitally different newborn, any severely mentally incapacitated should have their lives snuffed out. We are being told that these individuals are not fully "human," and therefore, killing them is not "murder" or "wrong."

For the Nazis in Germany, the Jews were not considered full human beings; their extermination was not only accepted, but was desired. Eugenics was an accepted "philosophy," and certain individuals (of any age) were selected to be put to death. In the current American health care system, the disabled and the congenitally different are increasingly considered not fully "human" beings, and therefore, they are also selected to be put to death.

Decades ago, every baby was considered a "baby," and the scientific fact that every woman's ovum, once fertilized by a man, was obviously, a complete human zygote, a unique human individual capable of developing into a complete adult human being over time, ... a "person."

Nowadays, in order to rationalize endless killings out of convenience, the baby is labeled an expendable "embryo," and understood NOT to be a "person," until after implantation, or a "fetus" after months, or at birth, or after certain specific arbitrary "conditions of personhood" are met. Nowadays, even adults are not considered "persons" unless they have complete brain function and cognition. When did we stop caring? And when did we start killing? Nurses report Alzheimers patients being sent off to hospice even though the patients are physically stable.

Are we a Nazi society? Are we exactly like the Nazi society that devastated Europe over 60 years ago? Certainly not! The question is not really the best question to ask.

Although it is helpful to ask that question, it is more helpful to examine how we are very quickly adopting many of the beliefs and practices that the Nazis held dear. We are at a unique moment in time and history. The Nazis would acknowledge our society's implementation of life-ending practices applied to the vulnerable (for the "common good") as a step in what they would call the "right" direction.

We are creating our own "flavor" of Nazi-like practices, and we should be shaking with fear for the future of our nation. Unfortunately, our society appears to be so numbed to the killing occurring, it doesn't even recognize the problem!

We don't even remember the laws that guided us along the straight paths. We no longer have any shame. We as a society no longer have a healthy fear of God. Why is a healthy fear of God needed? "... so that the fear of God will be with [us] to keep [us] from sinning." Exodus 20:20

But we as a society don't make decisions based upon what would please God. We as a society don't even believe that God may punish or reward a nation, or that there is such a thing as "sin," or "evil." When people suggest that God may reward or punish a nation, they are ridiculed. These decisions are best left to the doctors and attorneys, they say. We pride ourselves on how modern we are. We pride ourselves on how advanced our health care is.

We deceive ourselves about how ethical we are!

It was generally understood that our nation was blessed, because we endeavored to follow a Judeo-Christian way of life and had faith in God. But, I believe we have incurred God's wrath. Some say that we are long past that point. History shows us that no nation is immune from attack: no nation lasts forever. And if it comes to pass that we do not change, I believe that "all the nations will ask: "Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?" "And the answer will be: "It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant He made with them when He brought them out of Egypt." Deuteronomy 29:24-25

Have we never heard? "You shall not murder." Exodus 20:13

How long can we go on killing and not resemble the Nazi society we despised only a few decades ago?

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