Jack Koency, an 86-year-old California man, was one of nearly 1.5 million surviving World War II veterans. He was neither terminally ill, nor bedridden, nor immobile. His neighbors remember him as quiet and good natured.
Koency died at the hands of Elizabeth Barrett, an acquaintance of his. She served the decorated war vet a cup of yogurt in which she ground up a lethal dose of Oxycontin with two other medications.
Barrett, a social worker, pled guilty a fortnight ago to so-called “assisted suicide.” She could have received up to three years in state prison for her role in Koency’s premature death. But, instead, she got off with a mere three years probation.
What has occurred in California – Babylon on the Pacific – is the de facto decriminalization of mercy killing; of hastening the deaths of those who feel their lives no longer worth living.
What particularly troubles in the case of California, from whence many unholy trends have originated over the years, is that the state actually has rejected euthanasia on three separate occasions.
In 1992, voters in the Golden State rejected a ballot proposition that would have allowed the suicidal – who were confirmed both terminally ill and mentally competent – to have a physician administer them drugs that would send them to their graves.
In 1999, and again in 2007, lawmakers in California’s state capital considered legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide, but failed in both cases to advance the unGodly legislation beyond the committee level.
Now, in 2013 California, one needn’t be a trained physician, needn’t ascertain that a candidate for assisted suicide is both terminally ill and mentally competent, to take a life.
Any old social worker can do it. And her (or his) victim, as the case may be, can have many years remaining before they meet their Maker; can be suffering from depression or some other mental issue.
Pro-life Californians who oppose assisted suicide – be it at the hands of an M.D. or a death-dealing social worker – will find no recourse in the courts out West.
Indeed, back in 1996, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which has judicial authority over the nine Western states (including California), ruled that terminally ill patients have the constitutional right to ask a doctor to euthanize them.
The majority decision was authored by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who dared to offer a Biblical defense of suicide.
“The stories of four suicides are noted in the Old Testament – Samson, Saul, Abimilech and Achitopel – and none is treated as an act worthy of censure,” wrote Reinhardt.”In the New Testament, the suicide of Judas Iscariot is not treated as a further sin, but as an act of repentance.”
Those of us who believe in the sanctity of life – from pre-birth to natural death – are not misled by Reinhardt’s misuse of the Bible. We know suicide is wrong. And we know assisted suicide is murder.