Marriage and Euthanasia: Your Most Important Vote May Be Further Down the Ballot

“The vote in Massachusetts on doctor-prescribed death will be one of the

most consequential votes in America this November.” National Right to Life

 

The most important vote you cast next Tuesday may not be when you chose between President Obama and Governor Romney. Your most important vote might very well be quite a bit further down the ballot.

Voters in several states are faced with culture-destroying, life-ending votes on a couple of important issues.

FIRST, four states have votes on the November ballot which would change the legal status of same-sex marriage within their borders.

Read these carefully. In some states, you must vote “no” to support traditional marriage. In others, you need to vote “yes.” They are:
Maine: An initiative on the ballot seeks to legalize same-sex marriage. This is the first time a state’s voters have been directly asked to legalize same-sex marriage, rather than prohibit it. Vote “no” to support traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

Maryland: Voters will consider a popular referendum seeking to overturn a new law legalizing same-sex marriage. Vote “yes” to support traditional marriage.

Minnesota: A Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment, Amendment 1, is a constitutional amendment. The measure would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Unlike previous, unsuccessful attempts to place a marriage amendment on the ballot, the 2012 measure may leave open the possibility of same-sex civil unions. Vote “yes” to support traditional marriage.

The question, along with the measure’s ballot title, would be presented to voters as follows:
Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.
“Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.”
YES
NO
Washington: Like Maryland, Washington has a popular referendum on the ballot that seeks to overturn a new law legalizing same-sex marriage. Vote “yes” to support traditional marriage.

North Carolina voters approved a same-sex marriage ban in May 2012. The “yes” vote was 61.1%. Done and done!

SECOND, Massachusetts is facing a critical vote on assisted suicide. The voters of Washington and Oregon have passed similar laws legalizing euthanasia in their states in years past. Euthanasia was legalized in Montana by a court ruling. From what I’ve read, the Catholic state of Massachusetts is teetering on the same brink.

The Catholic Church, Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Hospice and Palliative Care Federation, and the American Medical Directors Association all oppose the practice of Physician-Assisted Suicide. The Massachusett Medical Society’s statement in opposition to Question 2 said in part”

The Society’s stand against Question 2, Dr. Aghababian said, is based on the idea that physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer. He also said that predicting a person’s end of life within six months, as the ballot question states as a requirement, is difficult, as such predictions can be inaccurate. Many times patients who are expected to die within months have outlived their prognosis, sometimes for years.

I think the line that says that killing their patients is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer” is especially important. Killing your patients certainly is inconsistent with the role of healer. If physicians’ professional societies want patients to continue to trust their doctors, they would do well to remember that. (emphasis mine)

Here are excerpts from a National Right to Life article about this proposed law:

Massachusetts November Referendum

With the effort stymied in Vermont, all eyes turned to the upcoming Massachusetts ballot initiative.

The stakes could not be higher. The pro-euthanasia lobby deliberately targeted Massachusetts for several strategic reasons. They are hopeful that Massachusetts legalization would have a far-reaching influence. Massachusetts is home to the Harvard Medical School, which is currently ranked first among American research medical schools by U.S. News and World Report.

The New England Journal of Medicine, published by the Massachusetts Medical Society, is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. If doctor-prescribed death were to become standard medical practice in its home state, it might not be long before the notion that suicide is an appropriate response to illness would percolate through medical thought across the nation.

Nearly every proposal to legalize assisting suicide has been modeled on the law in effect in Oregon since 1997. The Oregon experience has exposed major weaknesses in supposed “safeguards.”

The pro-euthanasia lobby often makes the case for doctor-prescribed death as a response to the problem of pain. Even overlooking the troubling notion that it is a satisfactory “solution” to kill the person to whom the problem happens, the experience with Oregon’s law shows how inaccurate the pain argument is.

In Oregon, there have been several almost decade-long studies conducted to determine the motivation of those committing suicide with lethal drugs prescribed in accordance with the law. Shockingly, not one person has requested suicide because he or she was in pain. Instead, the studies show the predominant motive has been fear of becoming a burden. In fact, modern medicine has the ability to control pain—and the real solution is to have physicians and other health care personnel better trained in keeping up with cutting-edge techniques for alleviating pain.

With so much on the line in Massachusetts, can the state afford to legalize this dangerous practice of turning doctors from healers into those who prescribe death to their most vulnerable patients? The vote in Massachusetts on doctor-prescribed death will be one of the most consequential votes in America this November.

If you are a traditional Christian, and you live in one of these states, please don’t just check off the big vote at the top of the ballot and go home. Instead of voting for someone else to fight the culture wars for you, you have an opportunity to directly state your opinion with a vote of your own.

The real action is further down the ballot: Be there, or be square.

  • bb

    Thank you for this excellent summary that took work on your part. I will check matters here.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you bb!

  • http://biltrix.wordpress.com Biltrix

    Everyone sees the onslaught of legalized same-sex-marriage looming. We are about to get blindsided by the euthanasia agenda. They still don’t see it coming in Massachusetts, because most voters are oblivious to it and many of those who are not are apathetic, for now. I predict it will pass. It won’t get tons of media coverage, until later one, when it looks like it is imminent for the rest of the country. At that point, Massachusetts and Oregon will serve as past points of reference, along with Holland. Not to be a prophet of doom, but I am predicting that Question 2 will pass voter approval with little problem and assisted suicide will become legal in Massachusetts, before the citizens of that state even know what’s going on. No offense, Bay-Staters. I used to be one of you, so that’s why I’m not all that optimistic about this point.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I so hope you are wrong. But what I’ve read agrees with your analysis.

  • Bearing

    You could be a little bit clearer about the ballot initiatives related to same-sex marriage. Minnesota’s ballot initiative does not “legalize” same-sex marriage. It is a proposed state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. If the amendment fails, that will not make same-sex marriage legal; legislation would still have to be passed. But if the amendment passes, then same-sex marriage cannot become legal without another amendment (or, I suppose, federal action that trumps the state constitution).

    Minnesota voters need to know that a blank vote counts as a vote against the amendment. Also, that this amendment says nothing about civil unions (which may help it pass among moderate voters and liberals who recognize the special status of marriage between man and woman).

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I thought I answered this yesterday, but I guess I just THOUGHT I did! Apologies for the delay. Thank you for this information. You’re right it is important. If you don’t mind, look at the changes I made and see if you think they will be more helpful to Minnesotans who read this.

  • http://catholibertarian.com/ Teresa Rice

    I will be praying for the defeat of legalized same-sex marriage and euthanasia. Euthanasia is against the oath a doctor takes. Of course the same is true for abortion and that was legalized.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You’re right Teresa. We have so much to pray about with this election, and these votes are actually among the most important.

  • http://wordsthathavemeaning.wordpress.com/ Russell Holder

    You cover a lot of ground here Representative Hamilton, and for the ongoing duration I’ll use Rebecca if I may take this liberty (as I feel I’ve known you for awhile now). For the topic of ‘death,’ sustainable is the newer catch phrase we will hear tossed around. An impact to cost, condition or environment and how sustainable it is to keep one alive… which flies in the face with the value we (normal people) give to life and life itself. The ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) seems to have an upper hand on issues you and I might consider from a religious perspective. If the value of a persons life is found in living… then the measures one takes to shorten a life is then to be considered against life (for death more appropriately stated). If one sides with death as a viable option, to be justifiable based on an economic cost effectiveness plan (one that might say someone older does not have the life expectancy ahead of them to justify the cost of the health care needed)… death is the one factor we need to focus on as the reason to think this way. See this article here, listed below is the link, and I’d like to know (if it is OK with you) what you feel about the ICLEI?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_agenda_21_coming_to_a_neigh.html

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Russell, I answered the other post before I saw this one. Apologies.

      This whole idea of life that has no right to life goes all the way back to the hobgoblins of the early 20th century. I believe the Nazis called it “life not worthy of life.” I realize that it’s considered cliche to bring the Nazis into an argument, but in this instance it fits so well considering that the language is even almost the same that I think it’s valid. Not too long ago, the Governor of Colorado raised the idea that some people had a “duty to die” because of the cost of their lives in economic terms.

      I am not familiar with the ICLEI or the sustainability movement. I think I’ve gotten some emails at my office about it, but I don’t know more than what they told me at the time. I’ll try to find time to learn more about it.

      Thanks for this information.

  • http://wordsthathavemeaning.wordpress.com/ Russell Holder

    This is also the current member list in the U.S. of A., and quite unbelievable in its pervasive scope.

    http://www.icleiusa.org/about-iclei/members/member-list

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Russell, I don’t know what this is.

  • http://wordsthathavemeaning.wordpress.com/ Russell Holder

    As it comes to the use of the term “sustainable,” concerning healthcare or life opposed to death as an option- I share these sites to further extrapolate on the use of the word sustainable and its many sources.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/sustainable-health
    http://www.sustainablehealthcare.com/
    (notice the “Global emphasis”)
    http://www.medicaltourismcongress.com/
    http://institute.optum.com/
    http://www.biodesign.asu.edu/research/research-centers/sustainable-health
    (lastly, this poignant site… to clear the cobwebs of our minds)
    http://www.freedomadvocates.org/articles/sustainable_development/sustainable_medicine_%2b_sustainable_development_%3d_duty_to_die_%28parts_i_%26_ii%29_20070314187/

  • http://wordsthathavemeaning.wordpress.com/ Russell Holder

    I would like to thank you Rebecca (Representative Hamilton) for answering my comments here, as they are issues of dire import to all of us that consider ourselves christians- and it currently matters little what church or affiliation we hold. What matters most, in my humble opinion, is that we have accepted Jesus as our LORD and Savior, have confessed our sins and have repented. Further, to be aware of things beyond the fringe… things coming at us all from a “Global Perspective.” I do hope this will grow the awareness to this from a political, national and personal (and I feel one cannot or should not separate our beliefs or values we have of Jesus from our personal choices) view… one that should include our being knowledgeable to what is going on around us as we live our lives. Thanks again Rebecca.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for posting these Russell. I’ll try to read them either later to day or Monday.

  • Bill S

    It’s all about freedom. If a person chooses a same sex partner or a way to die that has no impact on you, what’s it to you? Restricting someone’s freedom because they don’t see things the way you do is un-American.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, I assume that you are talking about same-sex marriage and not euthanasia. If that is the case, I disagree with you. It is not just about freedom. It is about abruptly redefining the basic legal contract of Western civilization with no regard or knowledge of the consequences. It’s a bit like pulling brick out of the foundation of a wall and then being surprised when it comes tumbling down.
      I believe there are many considerations as to the harm this altering of the fabric of our society by redefining marriage would do. I do not know of any societal advantages to be gained from this proposed alteration.

    • Ted Seeber

      The freedom to do evil is slavery. You are espousing a definition of freedom that NONE of the founding fathers would have recognized.

  • Bill S

    “I do not know of any societal advantages to be gained from this proposed alteration.”?

    You would deny a gay couple the freedom to marry based on that statement? Seems a bit cold, don’t you think? I’m actually not that worried about gays, they’re going to be just fine.

    My concern is Massachusetts question number two which you summarily dismissed under the all encompassing term of euthanasia. Question two is far more restrictive than euthanasia. And, as a person who plans to die someday, I do not want the right to choose how, when and where taken away from me. When the day comes, which I hope will not be for a long time, I wish that death to be peaceful and in a setting of my choosing. The best way to assure this is to take an overdose of drugs when it appears that I only have a short time to live or when I am in so much pain that life is no longer worth living. Opponents of question two would take that right away from me.

    As I said before, it’s all about freedom. The Catholic Church has never cared about personal freedom and I suspect that your Catholic background may be influencing your stand on these issues.

    • Ted Seeber

      I would deny a gay couple the right to marry on the grounds that they are biologically incapable of the act by any objective definition. Subjective feelings and emotions are just that- subjective.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, euthanasia is a license to kill. If you give people the power to decide to kill other people, they will abuse it. Do you really want a world where your doctor is your executioner? How exactly are you going to trust the advice of a physician who is ready, willing and able to kill his or her patients?
      As for this being a question of freedom; I don’t think so. You have the ability to kill yourself now. What you are wanting to do is change the law so that someone can murder you without facing any legal penalties. As for your very odd blather about how you want your death to be when, where and how you want; you have that power now. We all have that power. What you want is to change the entire body of law that is set like a fence around human life in order to protect it from those who would kill. Your reasons for wanting to do this don’t seem to me to be very well thought out.

  • Bill S

    Wow,

    I’ve been reading your website and also some articles about the Oklahoma pro-life movement. There’s no reasoning with the far right. It would just take too long and it wouldn’t be time well spent. Thank you for your response. I’m good.

  • Ted Seeber

    A horror story from Oregon: Most people don’t know this, but not only does the so called “Death with Dignity” act require the person committing suicide to choke down 9 grams of barbiturates to die, but the state version of Obamacare actually pushes terminally ill patients into this “solution”- because they’d rather pay for the 9 grams of poison than for a potentially lifesaving operation with low chance of success.

    For the past 16 years, I’ve carried a “Catholic Death With Dignity” card in my wallet- urging emergency personnel to call a priest. I’ve recently (well, the last 4 years) replaced it with my Knights of Columbus membership card, which says the same thing.

  • Bill S

    Ted,

    I don’t understand your responses. When you say that the freedom to do evil is slavery, what evil are you referring to? Tolerating gay marriage? Is that evil to you? Death with dignity (not the kind with the priest) is that evil. Those were the only two issues I raised and I don’t see any evil in either. And who are you to judge anyone else?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’ll answer for Ted. You’ve spoken out for creating a legal edifice which makes murder by physician a part of our culture. You can call it Death with Dignity, but that’s not at all what it is. It is, and would be, the “freedom” for doctors to murder their patients and face no legal penalties. That is legalized serial murder by physician.
      Sounds evil to me.

  • Bill S

    I think you should read Question 2 before you expound any opinions about it. It provides exactly what is needed, a prescription, which is unavailable without the passage of this very important law. This is not your call. I just hope it passes.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      When doctors knowingly and for that purpose prescribe drugs that they know will kill their patients and they do this for the purpose of killing their patients, that’s murder. When they do this repeatedly, they are serial murderers.

  • Ted Seeber

    Tolerating a lie that harms both participants like homosexuality or the victimization of the terminally ill for money is evil, and nobody who supports evil can be called good, at all.

    This is scientifically objective- has nothing to do with what the priest says, has to do with understannding the difference between good and evil. Knowledge that I am now convinced people like you lack.

  • Bill S

    I came upon this website when I googled for opposing views to my own in regard to Question 2. I have gotten a lot of information and feedback for which I am grateful.

    Gays are accepted here. It’s pretty much a non-issue for me. Live and let live would be the outlook around here.

    Question 2 is getting hammered by ads against it and I fear that it will be defeated. That would be a shame. There are a lot of Catholics in this state and they are being pressured to vote No. Time will tell whether there will be enough votes to pass it.

    Hard core Catholics are a force to be reckoned with. They are as wrong as wrong can be, but they are the Church Militant devoted to their bishops and pope. There’s no reasoning with them.

    I can only hold out hope for a more secular society. I’ve strayed into enemy territory. I’m glad I live in Massachusetts where narrow minded antigay bigots and moralists are for the most part ignored.

    If Question 2 is defeated, the credit will go to Cardinal Sean O’Malley and the Catholic vote. Maybe he is right. I don’t see it that way though.

    Sorry, I’m rambling.

    • Ted Seeber

      “Gays are accepted here. It’s pretty much a non-issue for me. Live and let live would be the outlook around here.”

      Being popular is not the same as being objectively truthful. A lot of people can believe a lie and cause a lot of damage.

      “Hard core Catholics are a force to be reckoned with. They are as wrong as wrong can be, but they are the Church Militant devoted to their bishops and pope. There’s no reasoning with them.”

      Maybe the problem is your own lack of reasonableness that accepts killing the unfit in an attempt at eugenics.

      “I can only hold out hope for a more secular society.”

      Every secular society ever attempted by mankind has ended by killing off minorities.

  • Bill S

    I only checked back on this website to see if anyone left any remarks that warranted a response.

    So I get it. You’re against homosexuality; you’re against death with dignity and you’re against secular government. You basically represent a group that would be referred to as the Catholic Taliban.

    Nice chatting with you. I’ve got to get back to the real world.

  • Bill S

    I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have resorted to name calling. But everything isn’t good or evil, truth or lie. Some things just are. You have me pegged as some sort of evil person because I accept these things. You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to mine. Let’s just agree to disagree and call it even.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Apology accepted. Thanks for making it.

      I don’t have you pegged as any sort of person, and certainly not an evil one. If I had to guess, I would say you are a compassionate person who is motivated to form your opinions about various political issues from an instinct of kindness.

      As for me being “against” things, you are leaping over yourself with your assumptions. Everything you say I think is based on the slender thread of my opinion about three political issues. You do realize what an incredible leap of illogic that is, don’t you?

      I’m certainly not against secular government. I am against the HHS Mandate, which in my opinion, is as much a violation of true American secularism as it is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Why I say that is because it leaps past a healthy separation of church and government interests (which I support) and puts the government squarely into the business of abrogating long-held Church teachings with legal force. That is not true secularism. If you want to support true secularism, you should be against the HHS Mandate, not for it.

      As for my being “against” death with dignity; that’s a misinterpretation of what euthanasia is. Euthanasia is legal murder. Death with dignity is an advertising label. It is not a cruel thing to insist that we do not create laws which legalize killing. You are talking about handing anyone with a medical license a fiat to kill. Do you honestly think that this is a good thing? Honestly?

      I am certainly not “against” homosexuals. I oppose altering the legal definition of marriage. I think it should stay that marriage is between one man and one woman. That has nothing to do with how I feel about gay people as human beings or what I am willing to do to help them avoid unjust discrimination against them. (Which I sincerely oppose, btw.)

      Again, thank you for your apology.

    • Ted Seeber

      Huh? I can’t see that. I can’t see how something can be neither truth nor lie. There is no such thing as “just is”.

      To me the truth is objective- hard and cold as a rock. Anything not-truth is a lie.

  • Bill S

    Sorry. I was responding to Ted not you.

    BTW. I think this was a great article to discuss.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Bill.

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  • http://mywordwall.wordpress.com Imelda

    Thank you for this reminder. We are in MA. I have to bear this in mind when I read the ballot.

    I am not good at putting my thoughts in order – so I will just help spread the word. :-)

    ~Imelda

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s great Imelda! Thank you.

  • http://jobowerwrites.wordpress.com Jo Randall Bower

    Important information for us all. thank you for putting yourself out there.

    And thanks for visiting and commenting jobowerwrites. The encouragement we give each other as followers of God is to be cherished, Thanks again for your courage.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Jo. You’re right; Christians need to help and stand up for one another in this darkening world.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Rebecca, we need to make you a Republican…lol. I guess a Democrat in Oklahoma can be more conservative than many Republicans where I live. Check out my blog for my closing comment on the Presidential election.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Very interesting commentary Manny. I guess the “revenge” comment sailed past me. I hadn’t heard about it, although I’ve seen comments and wondered what they were about. I’ve already voted — absentee ballot because of Gimpy the Foot. Now all I can do is wait and see.

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