By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy

As Christ-followers, by now we know what love looks like at the very beginning of life. We’ve learned how to fight for preborn babies for the last 45 years of Roe v. Wade’s existence.

But what does love look like at the end of life—when you or a loved one receives the medical diagnosis no one expected, when there’s pain and suffering?

We believe that love looks very much the same at the end as it does at the beginning. We believe that every life is worth fighting for—regardless of medical diagnosis, health condition, age, disability, socioeconomic status, or any other factor.

Sadly, proponents of legalizing assisted suicide do not believe this—they believe that the solution for loved ones who have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition and (in theory) six months left to live is for a doctor to provide a prescription for their patient to take a lethal dose of pills at home.

Rather than working with family members, counselors, medical professionals, and others to provide the best care when a loved one needs it most, it seems easier to give him or her access to a lot of pills to end it all. But that’s not caring—that’s abandonment.

We believe that we can do better than assisted suicide when it comes to caring for those approaching the end of life.

Our friend Jean has an amazing story of how God proved His love to her after a terrible accident—and she says better than anyone that we need to find policy solutions that “eliminate the problem, not the patient.”

Thankfully, 30 States have rejected over 200 attempts to legalize assisted suicide since 1994. Now, Representative Brad Wenstrup, who represents Ohio’s 2nd District in D.C., has introduced a resolution in Congress (H. Con. Res. 80) declaring the position of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate as opposed to assisted suicide.  The last words of Rep. Wenstrup’s resolution are:

Representative Brad Wenstrup (OH, District 2)

“[I]t is the sense of the Congress that the Federal Government should ensure that every person facing the end of their life has access to the best quality and comprehensive medical care, including palliative, in-home, or hospice care, tailored to their needs and that the Federal Government should not adopt or endorse policies or practices that support, encourage, or facilitate suicide or assisted suicide, whether by physicians or others.”

But, Congress won’t prioritize passing Rep. Wenstrup’s resolution without our help and encouragement.

Family Policy Alliance is sending a letter to Congress this week, asking them to swiftly pass Rep. Wenstrup’s resolution. Will you help by asking your own U.S. House Representative to pass Rep. Wenstrup’s resolution?

We’ve made it easy through our Action Center.

Simply fill in your contact information for the letter, click send, and your letter will be automatically sent to your Representative.

Thank you for your help, and thank you for helping our leaders understand what love looks like at the end of life!

Every life is worth fighting for.

 

TAKE ACTION: Send a message your member of Congress telling them that you think all life is worth fighting for.

 

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.


Produced by Patients Rights Action Fund

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:

A woman with quadriplegia shares why assisted suicide is bad policy for people with disabilities

This doctor explains why assisted suicide harms doctors’ duty to care for their patients

Elizabeth has brain cancer—she explains why assisted suicide is bad for patients and their families

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.

Facebook:  Charlie Gard #CharliesFight

Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Eric Teetsel & Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, one of our 40 state-based allies.

Dear friends,

Last night, my wife and I fought a battle. It was an hours-long struggle of sweat and tears that left us bruised and exhausted, but we endured and won, eventually.

Our two-year-old went to sleep.

You know what? When she awoke a few (short) hours later, bright-eyed and asking for eggs, we still loved her.

This is a familiar story experienced by millions of parents for thousands of years. There exists a bond between parents and their children that defies logic and rationale. Children are expensive, exhausting, and emotionally draining. Why do this to ourselves?

Because it’s a Holy calling.

When God created the world, He made man and woman and gave them two jobs: cultivate the Earth and fill it with children. In God’s plan, man and woman come together as husband and wife to fulfill their calling to create new life, their children.

In His perfect plan, God takes this mandate and turns it into a blessing:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

The precious relationship between children and their parents is also enshrined in the fifth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you,” (Exodus 20:12).

In our time, as societies choose to move further and further from God’s plan, respect for the relationship between parents and children is diminishing. The latest example comes from the United Kingdom, where baby Charlie Gard has been condemned to die by the government.

Charlie’s parents know that he is worth fighting for – and so does Family Policy Alliance. Stories like this are a reason we fought to pass Simon’s Law in Kansas, legislation which gives parents alone the right to make decisions about their children’s medical care in emergency situations.

The fight to preserve parental rights is not limited to health care. Family Policy Alliance is advocating across a range of public policy issues, including the right to determine a child’s education, preserving family structure in child welfare cases, and more.

Thank you for standing with us.

Will you take time to do two things this week?

First, pray for Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie.

Second, Kansas—and every state in our nation—needs families like yours willing to be salt and light, boldly standing up for God’s design for parents and families. Will you tell your friends about the Family Policy Alliance policy ally in your state, perhaps by sharing our Facebook page with them or forwarding this email and having them subscribe to receive it?

Social media and our email updates are the best ways we can communicate with you quickly when policies that impact parental rights in your state come up.

Sincerely,

Eric Teetsel
Executive Director

P.S. In Kansas, we were able to pass Simon’s Law, protecting parent’s rights over children’s medical care in emergency situations, because families partnered with us and insisted that this was right. Please make sure we’re connected with you in your state—and with your loved ones who care about God’s design for families.

 

 

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.

#WorthFightingFor

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.

#WorthFightingFor

 

Harlan’s life is Worth Fighting For.

His father, Neil Helgeson, shares the emotional story of Harlan’s difficult early months and the precious value of a human life.

Neil is president of The Arc – Minnesota, an organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Learn more about our Worth Fighting For project.

#WorthFightingFor

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.

Learn more about our Worth Fighting For project.

TAKE ACTION:
Urge the AMA to maintain its stand against assisted suicide. 

#WorthFightingFor

Elizabeth Bakewicz has brain cancer. The same kind of cancer as Brittany Maynard, the California woman who ended her life by assisted suicide.

Instead of taking her own life, Elizabeth is fighting for every single moment with her husband and two small children. Why? Because she believes that life is precious – from its very beginning to its natural end. Watch our video sharing Elizabeth’s story.

Right now, the legislature is considering HB 2120 that would make it legal in our state for a doctor to prescribe a lethal dosage of drugs to assist someone in taking their life. It’s dangerous because it neglects one very important fact about assisted suicide.

Doctors get it wrong.

While Elizabeth’s diagnosis is spot on, her prognosis was not. Doctors gave her only 3-5 years to live. She is now in year 7. Those same doctors who were doing everything they could to get her to her daughter’s first day of kindergarten are now working hard to get her to her daughter’s wedding day.

Would you take a few minutes today and contact your legislator? Tell them you oppose HB 2120. Respectfully ask them to vote no and thank them for their service to our state. We’ve made it easy through our Action Center.

Kansas can do better than abandoning those with the most serious illnesses to hopelessness and death by assisted suicide. Wouldn’t it be far better to be known as a Kansas that provides the best patient-centered and family-centered care possible when its citizens need it most, than a Kansas that abandons its most vulnerable?

Family Policy Alliance of Kansas believes every life is worth fighting for. Thank you for standing with us on this important issue.


Eric Teetsel
President

Elizabeth knows what it’s like to live with cancer. And it gives her a unique perspective on the issue of assisted suicide.

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.

#WorthFightingFor

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.

#WorthFightingFor