Much has been said or written about the Terri Schiavo case, but the bottom line is that there was no moral justification for killing her because she had an inherent right to life and there was no clear evidence that she wanted food and water withdrawn. The morally correct course of action would have been to let her family take care of her. Nobody would have been harmed by that. Indeed, as radio host Julian Tepper points out, even if she had wanted to exercise a right to die, the autopsy results showed that she was not in a position to really know what was happening to her. So, therefore, what harm would have been done by letting her family take care of her until she died a natural death?
The clear facts of the case show there was something else at work here. And it is an issue that Bill O’Reilly on the FOX News Channel sometimes raised. As O’Reilly put it, “The medical evidence is just too overwhelming to justify keeping her on life support at taxpayer expense.”
So that is what it comes down to. If the ultimate rationale for the Schiavo killing is that it would have cost too much to keep her alive, then we are all at risk.
Every year since 1994 the General Accounting Office has been required to submit financial statements on the fiscal health of the U.S. government. The report from last December states that the GAO was unable to provide an opinion “as to whether the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. Government are fairly stated in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.” That’s another way of saying that the books of the U.S. Government are not in order. And yet federal prosecutors just convicted Tyco executives of looting millions of dollars from that company.
GAO confirms that the Social Security and Medicare programs are “unsustainable in their present form.” It said the federal government’s gross debt stands at about $7.4 trillion or about $25,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. But that figure, GAO says, “excludes such items as the gap between promised and funded Social Security and Medicare benefits, veterans’ health care, and a range of other unfunded commitments and contingencies that the federal government has pledged to support. If these items are factored in, the current dollar burden for every American rises to about $145,000 per person, or about $350,000 per full-time worker.”
The GAO says the financial problems and pressures, “if not effectively addressed, could cripple the economy, threaten our national security, and adversely affect the quality of life of Americans in the future.” Remember that phrase, “quality of life.”
That GAO report was issued last December. Stephen Moore, writing in Human Events in early May, noted that the official national debt now stands at $8 trillion. Today, he adds, we spend about 20 percent of our total economic output on the federal government. That percentage will rise to 34 percent by the year 2040. But that figure doesn’t include state and local government spending. That consumes another 12 percent.
Moore says that if we assume unrealistically that the 12 percent figure for state and local governments remains constant, America is still on a path toward government at all levels taking 46 percent of all output. This is a path, he says, toward socialism, albeit in slow motion.
This specter is compounded by the failure by AARP, the special interest lobby that claims to speak for senior citizens, to embrace President Bush’s proposal to alleviate the financial problem facing Social Security by letting workers establish private accounts with their own tax dollars.
What is the future facing senior citizens if AARP has its way? AARP The Magazine has promoted the Netherlands as “a society in which people have the luxury of growing old well,” while ignoring the growing practice of euthanasia, including the outright murder of older people there.
Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, describes the Dutch experience:
“First, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to the competent, terminally ill who ask for it. Then, when doctors began euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable illnesses or disabilities. Then, when doctors began killing patients who were depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is ‘rational’ will have their deaths facilitated. Then, when doctors began killing incompetent people, such as those with Alzheimer’s, it’s all under control, they crooned: non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if they were competent. And now they want to euthanize children.”
AARP also gave an award to Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, a European Socialist and former director of the U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO). Brundtland participated in AARP’s “Global Aging Program” to help develop its policies in this area.
Nobody in their right mind wants to suffer from a terminal illness. Medical treatments that only prolong the dying process and continue suffering don’t make any sense. But in the name of “sustainable development,” popularized by Brundtland, the U.N. and much of Europe are moving toward population control measures, including those that target the elderly for elimination. Brundtland, once labeled “The Mother of Sustainable Development,” believes there are too many people in the world.
While many people might accept the idea of planning their own death, in the sense that a “living will” avoids prolonged suffering, the embrace of the Netherlands model by AARP seems to suggest it wants us to move toward embracing government intervention into our lives for the purpose of facilitating of causing our deaths.
The WHO is reformulating a “new ethics” which emphasizes the importance of “economic” resources and the likelihood of success in treating people. Analyst Marguerite Peeters says, “The system of priorities in the new WHO paradigm will necessarily lead to the marginalization of certain people. There will be no available resources for certain ‘categories’ of patients, those deemed less important to public health: the elderly, the handicapped, and perhaps even the members of minority groups.”
It is noteworthy that, 50 years ago, the Nazis were prosecuted for war crimes for their government-sponsored euthanasia program. Now, the Nazi program is being accepted under the cover of “sustainable development.” How can they “sustain” the earth when there are so many people on the planet? The obvious answer is to get rid of some of them, especially those who are sick and elderly or handicapped.
The WHO, under the leadership of AARP favorite Brundtland, the former leader of Norway, implicitly supports this practice.
It is significant that AARP also supported Hillary Clinton’s socialized medicine scheme. Once the health care system has been completely nationalized, it can be easily linked to a global network under the supervision of the U.N.’s WHO, in which the “new ethics” can be used to guide the Social Security and health care systems, including Medicare. In this context, it must be recalled that the WHO played a role in developing Hillary’s original plan.
On the Social Security front, the most likely political outcome is stalemate, with the liberals using the ongoing crisis as a pretext to seize even more government control over the health care system, ration treatments to the elderly, and then eventually implement a government-sponsored euthanasia program to target and eliminate some of the most “nonproductive” and “useless” people. This will “solve” the Social Security “problem” and the government will remain in charge of the system. Taxes will continue to rise and we will live in a full-fledged socialist state. That is, if we live.