Knowing the Death Dealers

by Ron Panzer
President, Hospice Patients Alliance
October 23, 2003

Knowing the Death Dealers is a difficult thing to do if you listen to the major media's spin on the right-to-die/kill crowd.  If you listen to major media, you will be thinking, "that doesn't sound so bad," ... "death with dignity" "a controlled death" "relieving suffering" "compassion in dying."   In fact, "dignity, compassion and control" is the theme or motto of the Hemlock Society, now called "End of Life Choices" which has its website at:

Often, I have found it helpful to think about what I don't see at a website or in an article or statement, or what is NOT said, because that is often extremely revealing.  It is often so revealing that your mind's "eyes" will be able to see through what people are "telling you" they mean and see what they ACTUALLY mean or intend.

With the death-dealers, you will NOT see any indications of reverence for LIFE.  You will not see indications of reverence for GOD.  You will not see warnings about the dangers the legalization of euthanasia and/or physician-assisted suicide pose to the general public.  You will not see any mention of the involuntary forced-deaths (euthanasias) confirmed as occurring in the Netherlands (where euthanasia is legalized).  They will not tell you the horrors exposed by the Netherlands government itself, contained in its official report called the "Remmelink Report."

"Dignity."  To the right-to-die zealots, "dignity" means that nobody has to care for you or wipe your bottom at the end of life.  You don't need to depend upon anyone; you just "exit," i.e., commit suicide before you get to that point.  Something like getting on a train to the next station and then getting off at the next station.  Very casual.  No big deal, apparently.  They will never mention the anguish that some other family members may feel, probably will feel upon seeing their loved one commit suicide, or be "helped" to commit suicide.  They will never mention the sacred moments of life that are snuffed out, never to be regained, forever lost to all.

"Compassion."  The death-dealers say that their approach is "compassionate."  Kill the patient so they don't have to suffer.  Yet, providing excellence in end-of-life care, often in a hospice or palliative care setting, is exactly where suffering is to be relieved.  We may need better education of end-of-life professionals.  We may need better funding of end-of-life care.   But "kill the patient to solve the problem?"  That is the simplistic approach of the death-dealers.  You will never hear them admit that where their agenda has been legalized, a massive increase in INVOLUNTARY forced deaths has occurred.  NO!  They would never mention THAT!

"Control."  People who "elect" to choose death in their own timing will not admit that their life is created by God.  They will not agree with the statement that life is to be revered.  They will not accept that death comes in its own timing.  They will not readily allow others to help them.  "Control."  Hmmm.  They will not admit that those who are forced to die, where death is IMPOSED upon them, lose ALL control.  In their ideal, utopian dreamworld, NO wrongful deaths will occur if "aid in dying" or even "euthanasia" is legalized.  How incredibly naive!  "Control." Didn't we just cover that?  I ask, at what cost?  

The death-dealers, whether to themselves or others, wish to impose their agenda onto the entire health care system, making it possible for health "care" workers to kill their patients.  Patients will never know if they are to be cared for or killed, in reality.  Hardly "control!"  Hardly, "dignified!"  Hardly, "compassionate!"

I have tremendous trouble with the gobbledygook, doubletalk of the so-called "right" to die zealots.  "Helped" to die?  Isn't that just murder?  Obviously.  "Aid in dying?"  Isn't that just the same thing?  In fact, the term, "euthanasia" was used by the Nazi regime during World War II, and literally it translates as "good death."  That's what they wish to "sell" to the public.  That's what they wish us to believe.

If a hastened death is a "good death," then why is suicide condemned by the religions which formed a basis of the great American nation?  Christianity (both Protestant and Catholic flavors) condemns suicide, and so does Judaism.  There is a basic reverence for life that is implicit in the very fiber of the American nation, its founders and founding documents.  

Remember that the Declaration of Independence states:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Where in the literature of the right-to-die zealots do we read about a Creator who created each individual's life?  A Supreme Being, a God.  Where do we read in their literature about the "unalienable right to LIFE" of each person, whether healthy or ill, able or disabled, young or old?  We don't.  And there is good reason that we don't.  No person, who truly reveres God and recognizes that God is the creator of life, can in good conscience take that life away, throw it away through whatever means.  Yet the death-dealers push all of that aside.  They don't perceive the "self-evident truths" that all the founders of our nation saw.  The death-dealers don't believe in the basic principles that are the foundation of our nation!

There is something completely foreign in the thought process of the right-to-die zealots compared to those who revere life!  The founders of our nation revered life.  They could not imagine that a large number of individuals would choose to commit suicide, nor would they find it believable that some would wish to make it legal for those who care for the ailing, to kill them!  

Self-evident truths ... yes, I believe these truths are "self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."  "Unalienable."  What does that mean?  It appears to mean that one cannot separate these rights from the very existence of the individual, that they are part of human nature, that people universally seek these rights and instinctively thirst for their fullest expression.  The death-dealers do not recognize the "unalienability" of the rights enumerated in our Declaration of Independence.

The death-dealers promote and hide behind "Advanced Directives" which are supposed to be a free expression of the choices of each individual.  Yet the reality is that these same "advanced directives, sometimes called "living wills," are actively used to justify and excuse the putting to death of a patient.  I agree that each individual should have the ability to refuse treatments at any time.  But when health care workers become executioners, perhaps nurses and doctors will wear pure black, as pure black in our culture is a symbol of death.

Patients may someday be greeted at the doors of the "hospital," with the following, "your executioner is here to take you to your room."  And the death dealers will smile!  And when two people get married, they will promise to care for each other "till death do us part," however, they will remove the phrase "in sickness and in health."  Husbands, wives!  You will only have to care for your "spouse" in health.  If your "spouse" should be so unfortunate as to have a serious injury or illness, disability, or by accident arrived at an old age, you will not be required by your marriage vows to care for your "spouse" at that time.  Michael Schiavo: hero of the death-dealers!  Betrayer of vows!

Note: for those of you wish to check it out, see "End of Life Choices"
See what you cannot find there.
Go to Hospice for Hemlock and see if God, reverence for life or a "Creator" are mentioned.   [Note: the Hospice for Hemlock organization failed, its website was taken down. The link here shows how the site appeared in the past, through the Web archives.]

Ron Panzer
President, Hospice Patients Alliance

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