Letter To The Editor
Proposal B contains many serious flaws

by Al Lemmo, October 23, 1998

To the Editor:

Proposal B was written entirely by advocates of physician-assisted suicide. It contains many serious flaws that the give and take of the legislative process normally weeds out. For example, only two doctors (Kevorkian and Redding perhaps?) could rubber stamp requests for the entire state. But its greatest flaw, created by its focus on emotional wedge issues, is the dangers it will create for those not wanting to end their lives.

Proposal B's wedge issues are pain and personal autonomy. Because all of us can relate to these, we can easily neglect protecting the large population of eventual targets who will be too weak to resist the pressures for their destruction.

Three decades ago we were sold abortion of the basis of so-called "hard cases" such as rape. These served as wedge issues to distract from and mentally abandon the much larger number of intended targets by emphasizing rare but emotionally loaded situations that could affect anyone through no fault of their own. The result was abortion on demand and now the savagery of partial-birth abortion. What have we become that we tolerate this? Can we trust this death-desensitized society with assisted suicide?

Our pagan ancestors did not give us the Hippocratic Oath (which says "I will give no deadly medicine") to make life more difficult. They did it because cruel experience proved it was necessary. Proposal B will again empower those who see human lives as little more than meat to be managed. How many needless deaths will it cost this time?

Abortion was forced on us by an act of judicial tyranny. But we need not commit "medicide" - literally the killing of medicine - by our own votes. Proposal B is abandonment and subtle coercion masquerading as compassion. We are being tempted to put the sick out of our misery - not theirs - both financial and emotional. Let's not reduce the depressed, the dying and the disabled to the disposable.

Alfred Lemmo