The pro-death folks are at it again, and your voice is needed to stop them!
Once again, Maryland legislators have brought forward a bill to legalize assisted suicide. This bill (SB 701) will be heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Friday afternoon.
This assisted-suicide bill will allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to anyone who has been “qualified” to end their own life. The so-called “protections” in these bills are weak, leaving our most vulnerable people – the disabled, the mentally ill and our teens – at higher risk for abuse.
Sadly, suicide tends to generate copycats among the emotionally vulnerable via a phenomenon called suicide contagion, where one suicide leads to many. Suicide is already the second leading cause of death for teens, and suicides among veterans far outnumber combat fatalities.
This bill sends a very bad message to our most vulnerable teens and veterans – that suicide is okay in some instances.
We need your help to encourage the senators on the committee to vote NO on assisted suicide. In just 30 seconds, you can send a message to all of the committee members – that in Maryland every life is worth fighting for.
Thank you for speaking up for life!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
P.S. Please spread the word and forward this information to family and friends using the share button below so they can make their voice heard, too!
My wife had an interesting encounter in a coffee shop recently that reminded our family that not everyone thinks all lives are worth fighting for.
Here is her story:
Our daughter Stephanie and I like to go out for coffee. It makes for great mother-daughter time and we often go to a coffee shop nestled inside a bookstore. That’s a win/win for us. However, sometimes things come up that you do not expect. This was one of those occasions.
One of these “coffee dates” found us hunting for a table, because it was particularly crowded that day. We found a table and shortly thereafter a young man dressed in all black approached the table and sat down next to us. Oh well, I thought, I guess it can’t hurt to be sociable, and space is limited after all. We struck up a pleasant conversation, but then things took a disturbing turn.
He told me how he currently worked as a store clerk, but that he wanted a different job. He then went on to explain with enthusiasm that he had a college degree in death/dying and that he wanted to work in a retirement community to see death up close. I could feel my skin crawl. He even tried to tell me that Alzheimer’s patients have lucid moments in which they can request death and understand what they are doing. I was upset and angry by then. My mother-in-law, a beautiful Christian woman, had died of Alzheimer’s. From my experience, nothing could be further from the truth.
I figured at this point I had three options: simply leave, tell him in an emotional way how I really felt about what he wanted to do, or pray and try to calmly speak truth into the situation. Thankfully I chose the latter.
I paused, prayed, and then spoke. I told him of my experience and how I knew that in my mother-in-law’s situation, his theory did not hold water. From our interactions with her, we could tell that even in her most lucid moments, there was no way she could comprehend such a choice. I followed it up with saying that therefore I did not believe his hypothesis at all.
I went on to say that as a Christian I could not agree with what he wanted to do. God gives life and we should choose life. I then used a quote from The Lord of the Rings (something he might give more credibility than the Bible!) where Gandalf says, “Can you give life?…Then don’t be so quick to take it.”
The young man just stared at me, in a bit of shock. I then excused us, and we left. Stephanie and I went into the bookstore and found a quiet place to talk and pray over it. Most of all we prayed for this young man’s soul and that God would thwart any attempts he made to fulfill his dream. After all, all life should be cherished.
As my wife Ruth so vividly describes, our culture has rapidly devalued human life and has in many ways become a culture of death. Abortion, infanticide, physician assisted suicide, and the list goes on. But we at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® join you in recognizing God’s gift of life as well as the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Do not be discouraged my friends. We will fight beside you to help transform our culture into one that honors God, protects religious freedom, ensures families thrive, and cherishes life from conception to natural death. Thank you for joining us in praying for our country and state, responding when we ask for your active participation, and financially supporting our fight for life and other values you hold dear. You are a point of light in what can often seem like a very dark society, but you are not alone.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
President and Executive Director
Our Christian Civic League of Maine allies report that the battle over assisted suicide has now moved to the Governor’s office as the House of Representatives approved it by one vote (73 to 72) on Monday.
We let you know late last week that this critical vote was going to happen and many of you took action over the weekend. Now, Physician-Assisted Suicide (LD1313) is headed to the Governor’s desk and we need you to act once more asking her to veto the bill.
Here is that you need to know about this legislation
- LD 1313 lacks necessary safeguards and endangers the weak and marginalized in society.
- LD 1313 will change the culture in which medicine is practiced. It changes the medical profession by permitting the tools of healing to be used as techniques for killing. In essence, it distorts the Physician-Patient Relationship.
- LD 1313 undermines social solidarity and true compassion. It changes how we view disabled and elderly family members and how we will look at them in the future…how they will look at themselves.
Physician-Assisted Suicide’s most profound injustice is that it violates human dignity and denies equality before the law. Our culture must believe all people have immeasurable worth and dignity.
Because LD1313 has been sent to Governor Mills for her signature, we need your quick help!
Please call Governor Mills at 207-287-3531 today to encourage her to veto this legislation and send the message that in Maine every life is worth fighting for.
Thanks for making your voice heard!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
I’ll be honest. This is one of the most difficult articles I’ve ever had to write for Family Policy Alliance®. But it’s also one of the most important.
Three years ago, we introduced you to Elizabeth, a wife and mother of two from Minnesota. I first learned about Elizabeth’s story when she bravely testified against an assisted suicide bill in her state. As I got to know Elizabeth and meet her beautiful family, she agreed to share her story with us so that people around the country could learn what it’s like to advocate for your own life.
Elizabeth shared with me that she was an adventurer at heart, and her marriage began with traveling, exploring, skiing, and more. But what she certainly never expected out of life was a brain cancer diagnosis—shortly after her first child, a daughter, was born.
The doctors gave her three to five years to live, and so Elizabeth prayed and asked for the doctors’ help to see her daughter off to her first day of kindergarten.
When I met Elizabeth, her daughter was seven years old. Elizabeth had already outlived her prognosis and even given birth to another child, a son.
Her children, though young, were already full of their parents’ adventurous and fiery spirits. And perhaps what was most remarkable about meeting Elizabeth was her deep understanding about life, suffering, and helping others.
She shared with me the most beautiful words describing every person created in God’s image—worth fighting for and worth advocating for. She said we are all “unique and unrepeatable people.”
And Elizabeth certainly was.
This past weekend, Elizabeth went home to her Savior, with this verse as a final reminder to all of her faithfulness, joy, and the One in whom she placed her hope and trust:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Watch Elizabeth tell us her story 3 years ago:
As the Family Policy Alliance team considered how to best honor Elizabeth—and her husband and two young children—we rededicated ourselves to the fight against assisted suicide that led us to Elizabeth and her family in the first place.
Proponents of legalized assisted suicide paint a picture of an easy, painless and dignified way to honor a suffering loved one’s last wishes and say goodbye.
But Elizabeth taught us that every life is worth fighting for—and that our loved ones suffering from serious illnesses deserve far more than abandonment to hopelessness, depression and suicide.
She taught us that people who say they want to end their own lives should receive proper care and intervention—no matter who they are. We should absolutely intervene when the healthy want to end their lives. Those suffering from illness should be treated no differently—not abandoned to suicidal thoughts.
And our medical professionals should continue to be trusted as healers—not complicit in acts of suicide.
If all we can offer those who suffer is a bottle of pills and a stamp of approval on their suicide, we have lost all compassion and dedication to the sanctity of human life.
Elizabeth’s life was worth fighting for till her Savior took her home. And Family Policy Alliance will continue to honor her—and every person who suffers from a serious illness—by fighting for policies that affirm the life and worth of each person. And we will unashamedly oppose efforts to legalize assisted suicide.
Seven states, including New Jersey this year, and D.C. have legalized assisted suicide, and 21 others considered doing so this year.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for helping every person who knew you—and many who didn’t—understand that every life is worth fighting for.
And to your beautiful family, we pray you know your wife and mother was—and continues to be—an inspiration to all. We will never abandon the fight for life, from conception to natural death.
Thank you, Elizabeth.
Vice President of Strategy
P.S. Will you help us honor Elizabeth and her family today? Will you share her video story on your social media using the hashtag #WorthFightingFor or by simply forwarding this email to your friends? We pray Elizabeth continues to inspire countless lives, even from Heaven, and that her impact will be a source of comfort to her husband and children.
As you know, efforts to legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico have been growing in recent years. Following the November election, advocates now believe 2019 will be the year that assisted suicide is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan-Grisham.
People on both sides of this issue agree on one thing—assisted suicide is a serious matter and it should not be addressed lightly. Consequently, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico has been working with other local allied organizations to help educate the public on the unintended and dangerous consequences of assisted suicide, and the slippery slope we have seen in other states and countries.
Take Canada for instance. Recently, it was reported that just two years after legalizing assisted suicide nationally, physicians from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children are already pursuing policies that would extend assisted suicide options to minor children, without parental notification or consent.
You read that right—assisted suicide for children, without parental input!
The unintended consequences of assisted suicide—including death after misdiagnosis and/or inaccurate prognosis; intimidation from family members; and/or abuse from profit-driven insurance companies—should be enough for us to reject this legislation come January. However, if more reason is needed, look to Canada’s slippery slope.
Friends—when a society determines that some lives are not worth living and that assisted suicide is a “dignified” and “compassionate” option, it is only a matter of time before that “option” is extended to more and more individuals.
There is a reason that our State Legislature has rejected this legislation every time it has been presented. There is a reason that the overwhelming majority of other states have consistently rejected this legislation. Because when it comes to caring for those facing serious illness and end of life, we can and should do much better than abandoning them to hopelessness and death.
Instead, let us work together to find solutions that offer genuine compassion and comfortable care to those when they need it most.
Every life is worth fighting for.
President and Executive Director
By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance
The American Medical Association (AMA) has had a longstanding position against legalizing assisted suicide because it is “fundamentally incompatibly with the physician’s role as healer.” Instead, the AMA rightly guides its physicians nationwide to “aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life.”
In other words, the AMA supports what we all believe—every life is worth fighting for. And, no one should be abandoned to the hopelessness and lack of true compassion found in assisted suicide. Suicide always comes with a type of “giving up,” and American families don’t want the professionals they trust with their very lives to be in the business of “giving up” on them.
Last year, political activists pushing to legalize assisted suicide pressured the AMA into considering changing their position opposing assisted suicide. The AMA referred the matter to their Ethics committee to compile data, research, and feedback from people like you across the country to help them make their decision.
Family Policy Alliance, our state-based allies, and Focus on the Family joined together to send the AMA two letters asking the AMA to maintain their position opposing assisted suicide and to refuse to allow a form of suicide to be considered “care” for a patient. The letter shared with the AMA many of the points made by Dr. Bolthouse in this video about what assisted suicide means for the medical community. Thousands of you also signed onto the letter to the AMA!
And good news—the AMA’s Ethics Committee listened!
Last week, the AMA’s Ethics Committee produced a report after all their fact-finding on assisted suicide. They ultimately recommend that the AMA continue to oppose assisted suicide—and that doctors continue to work with patients to understand their goals and what brings them meaning at the end of life, and to explore legally available options for care. When the AMA meets in June, the Ethics Committee will present their report and conclusion.
Thank you to all of you who joined in asking America’s doctors to choose caring over killing! This is especially important as we see what is happening in other countries with legal assisted suicide. Switzerland has become the “final tour destination” where assisted suicide is legal for anyone who requests it in writing—not just those diagnosed with “terminal illnesses.” This raises serious questions about pressures that the elderly or frail may face to prematurely end their lives.
Even in the U.S. states that have legalized assisted suicide, men and women have reported insurance companies already declining to cover treatment for serious illnesses like cancer but instead offering to cover the far cheaper assisted suicide drugs—leaving patients with no real choice or hope.
Thank you again for partnering with us to send the letters to the AMA. We thank God that the AMA agreed that every life is worth fighting for! We ask that you continue to join with us in praying that our doctors will continue to stand strong against political pressure. And, we hope you will also join us in working to advance policies in every state that value life and reject suicide.
By Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy
In 2016, we shared with you the story of JJ Hanson, the “man of steel,” who served as President of one of Family Policy Alliance’s national allied organizations, Patients Rights Action Fund, fighting against assisted suicide.
JJ was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014. Rather than choosing the path of assisted suicide that was highly sensationalized by 29-year-old Brittany Maynard who had the same kind of cancer, JJ chose to move past his depression and live every moment with his family.
Through his position with Patients Rights Action Fund, he also devoted his days, not ever knowing how many there would be, to helping lawmakers in states across the country understand the implications of legalizing assisted suicide for patients, for the medical field, for persons with disabilities, and especially for families. He gave his time to providing official testimony, sharing his personal story, and meeting with lawmakers one-on-one to encourage them to oppose any bill that would legalize assisted suicide.
JJ was only supposed to live about four months from his diagnosis in May 2014. He just passed away on December 30th.
Paul Weber, President and CEO for Family Policy Alliance believes JJ’s life greatly influenced our nation and, most importantly, his family: “JJ devoted his last days to his family and to making sure that lawmakers around the country got the message that every life is worth fighting for—what an incredibly legacy for his wife and children. My team and I at Family Policy Alliance send our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Hanson family, and to our friends at Patients Rights Action Fund.”
We pray JJ’s family takes comfort in knowing that despite efforts in nearly 30 states by Compassion & Choices, the leading activist organization attempting to legalize assisted suicide, no state legalized the practice in 2017 (with the exception of D.C.). Family Policy Alliance is committed to making sure that as lawmakers head back to state Capitols in 2018, no bills to legalize assisted suicide advance. We hope you’ll join us in honoring JJ by declaring that every life is worth fighting for.
For more stories about why assisted suicide is bad policy, check out these short videos:
If you’d like to offer condolences to JJ’s family, his wife Kris requested individuals send donations to the Can’t Hurt Steel Community Foundation, PO Box 333, Eldred, NY 12732.
Elizabeth and her family know what it’s like to live with cancer.
The bag full of prescription drugs, the good days and bad days, the priceless value of just being there when her son and daughter hit a new milestone. All of that gives her a unique perspective on the issue of assisted suicide.
It’s a hot topic in state capitols around the country. But her pro-life perspective is often lost in the political posturing.
Before you decide what you think about this important issue, please listen to what she has to say.
Learn more about our Worth Fighting For project.
Learn exactly how God loves you. And discover the value of every life.
Jean Swenson was in a tragic car accident in 1980 that left her paralyzed.
She shares how she found hope in a most unexpected way. And she explains why it’s important to focus on “eliminating the problem, not the patient.”
Learn more about our Worth Fighting For project.
People come to him seeking help for their medical problems. But what if instead of a prescription for health, he directs you to take a prescription for death?
Dr. William Bolthouse shares what you need to know before deciding what you think about assisted suicide.