Bloggers from True Dignity attended the East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide on Saturday in Hartford, CT. Thank you to Peter and Leslie Wolfgang from Connecticut Family Foundation for organizing a successful event. We will be blogging periodically about some new interesting perspectives on assisted suicide gained from the convention.
A few of the speakers have been directly engaged with the pro-assisted suicide / euthanasia lobby over the years, which led to a very interesting chain of comments and discussion about what was encountered within the assisted suicide lobby. Learning the demographics of this group was incredibly interesting.
Alex Schadenberg from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition spoke about attending the annual conference for the pro-assisted suicide / pro-euthanasia lobby. He expected to meet a room full of people that looked much like our lobby in opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia, with the opposite opinion on the issue. We know our lobby looks like America, consisting of different ethnic groups, people from all walks of life, both elderly and young, representatives from disability groups and the medical community.
Instead Alex encountered a group of middle-aged white people who were involved in helping others complete the act of suicide. There were not masses of people begging for the option to kill themselves, but instead a small group of people who had broken the law in various states by aiding in the killing of another human being. These people wanted assisted suicide legalized to protect them from being prosecuted for their illegal actions.
How do you exactly assist someone in completing the act of suicide in places where it is illegal? Exit bags have been commonly used. These are bags affixed over the head of the person committing suicide, often accompanied by helium or nitrogen to help lessen the panic encountered during suffocation. Those very compassionate people who are helping someone using an exit bag sit at that person’s sides and and hold her arms down when she begins to struggle, of course in a compassionate way. These were the majority of people that filled the seats at the conference Alex attended.
Award winning author Wesley Smith also discussed the demographics of the pro-assisted suicide lobby with attendees at the conference. He discussed his encounter with them during the suicide of his friend who used their propaganda and aid to kill herself. He referred to them as a very small group of ideologues with large amounts of propaganda. “We look like America, they don’t,” Wesley explained. He detailed reading through their propaganda that was studied by his friend before committing suicide. He hauntingly described it as proselytizing for suicide. The information was presented with the zeal of religion. They even used the word “delivering” for the act of suicide among the depressed.
Also speaking at the conference via Skype was Tom Mortier, PhD, from the University of Leuven in Belgium who lost his mother to euthanasia in Belgium. He was notified of her death by a letter he received in the mail. She battled depression throughout her life but was 100% physically healthy. She was euthanized at her own request for psychiatric suffering.
Shocked and horrified, Tom went to visit the man who euthanized his mom looking for answers. Tom received no answers. He was denied the ability to see her medical file so he could know what had happened that led to her death. He recounted his meeting with the man who killed his depressed mother by explaining that the man was completely devoid of any empathy for him. He described the man as a detached, stone cold killer unaffected by human emotion and sorrow.
Thank you to Alex, Wesley and Tom for sharing their personal experiences with the pro-suicide lobby. It sheds light on the cruel and heartless demographic of abandonment that they are.