By: J. D. Heyes
If the master planners of the universe are anything, it is predictable in their behavior. No matter what rules they seek to impose, you can always count on a healthy dose of hypocrisy.
Take the issues of assisted suicide and mandatory vaccination. While on the surface the two may not seem related at all, they both have to do with life, ironically enough.
As reported by the New York Observer, some lawmakers in the state of New York want to give terminally ill residents the choice of ending their own lives, under the care of a doctor — a bill modeled after an Oregon law that garnered national attention last fall when Brittany Maynard moved there to end her own life.
“The option to end one’s suffering when facing the final stages of a terminal illness should be a basic human right, and not dependent upon one’s zip code,” State Senator Diane Savino said in a statement. “With solid support for aid in dying across every demographic, I believe there will be strong bipartisan backing for this bill.”
Savino is a co-sponsor of the New York End-of-Life Options Act, which was introduced in mid-February. Like its Oregon model, the New York legislation would permits adults to get a physician-issued prescription for a lethal dose of a medication that a patient would then take on their own to end their own lives.
“She really did touch a lot of people”
Bill sponsors told the Observer in January that they were inspired by Maynard’s story and wanted to give the same options to their constituents that were made available to her in Oregon.
The paper reported further:
Aid in dying laws are on the books in just five states, including Oregon, where Maynard, 29, moved from California so she could end her life while suffering from the effects of a terminal brain tumor. With Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that supports death with dignity legislation and is backing the push for the bill in New York, Ms. Maynard took her story public, releasing a video stating her intentions to end her life under the law.
“She really did touch a lot of people in a way that really got them thinking,” Maynard’s husband, Dan Diaz, told the Observer in January. “We don’t like to think about death, but because she put a face to it, because of her age, because of being so young and being well-spoken and speaking up, it did have an impact.”
Since his wife’s death, Diaz has been stumping for more liberal death with dignity laws (they used to be called “right to die” laws, but its advocates have since changed the language to make it sound more palatable). He has also spoken to New York lawmakers about their legislation, the Observer reported.
“It just boils down to, if you applied this to yourself, if you were unfortunately found to be in this position, would you want the option?” he told the paper.
Choosing death okay; trying to prevent death is not
Meanwhile, New Yorkers who are opposed to mandatory vaccination of their children — because they fear that many vaccines are dangerous to their kids and could harm or kill them — are forced by state law to get them a number of required shots before sending them to NYC public schools.
As reported by The New York Times, in June a federal judge upheld the requirement, citing a 109-year-old law giving states broad authority to regulate public health matters:
Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled against three families who claimed that their right to free exercise of religion was violated when their children were kept from school, sometimes for a month at a time, because of the city’s immunization policies.
So in New York, a state controlled for years by Democrats, it may soon be okay to end your own life “with dignity,” but don’t you dare think about keeping your kids safe from dangerous mercury-filled vaccines.