The Life Legal Defense Foundation, which is involved in challenging California’s End of Life Option Act, attorneys have learned that most of the prescriptions for lethal drugs have been administered by just a handful of doctors.
“One of those doctors is Lonny Shavelson, a former contract ER doctor who came out of retirement as soon as the law was passed to dispense lethal prescriptions. Shavelson is not board-certified in any medical specialty, including diagnosing or treating mental illness, which is often at the root of a request for suicide. His sole ‘practice’ consists of getting people to die,” the Foundation writes.
Shavelson has attended at the bedside of 89 people who committed suicide - and not all of them were peaceful. For example, in his book, Chosen Death, Shavelson writes about one suicide which was carried out on a lonely widower named Gene who contacted the Hemlock Society (now known as “Compassion and Choices”) for assistance to die. The head of the local office, a woman named Sarah, brought the drugs to Gene’s home on the day chosen for his death and held his head on her lap as she gave him the suicide drugs. As he started to fall asleep, Sarah put a plastic bag over his head and told Gene to “Go to the light.”
Unfortunately, the drugs failed and Gene woke up screaming.
Shavelson describes what happened next:
“His good hand flew up to tear off the plastic bag. Sarah’s hand caught Gene’s wrist and held it. His body thrust upwards. She pulled his arm away and lay across Gene’s shoulders. Sarah rocked back and forth, pinning him down, her fingers twisting the bag to seal it tight at his neck as she repeated, ‘the light, Gene, go toward the light.’ Gene’s body pushed against Sarah’s. Then he stopped moving.”
As Wesley Smith writes, “There is a word that describes what happened to Gene, and that word is murder.”
Even more shocking is that there is no evidence that Shavelson ever reported the circumstances of Gene’s death to authorities.
But why would he, the Foundation asks. “Once a person requests assisted suicide, the law presumes that everyone—the doctor, the suicide facilitator, family members, hospital workers—is acting with the purest of intentions.”
The Foundation goes on to list the many ways that the law fails to protect the public from bad actors, such as how law enforcement does not investigate the cause of death to determine if the person was coerced or murdered.
The cause of death is never listed as suicide but attributed to the underlying cause. This means that if a doctor, who is not required to have a prior relationship with the patient, was negligent in making the initial diagnosis or prognosis, no one will know because the records will state that the person died of the alleged disease.
“Interested” witness – which is described as someone who will benefit from the person’s death - is permitted to sign off on the suicide drug request.
Even more shocking, family members are permitted to request the assisted suicide. In fact, Shavelson admits that most of the calls to his suicide clinic come from family members, not the person seeking suicide.
“In short, assisted suicide laws are designed to facilitate the perfect crime,” the Foundation writes.
This is even more frightening when we consider that proponents of assisted suicide want to normalize suicide as THE end-of-life option – not natural death – suicide.
“It is not an accident that California’s law is called the End of Life Option—not options—Act,” the Foundation states. “Shavelson’s goal is for hospice to ‘take over’ assisted suicide. Compassion and Choices—the former Hemlock Society now heavily funded by George Soros—wants to ‘change the health care system’ so that suicide is legalized nationwide.”
Most alarming of all is that this hard-hitting report is written by a legal organization that regularly handles cases involving the denial or withdrawal of life-sustaining medical care without the patient’s consent. People are already being starved and dehydrated to death against their will because it has become “normalized within the practice of medicine” to deprive people of basic care.
“I shudder to imagine what full-scale normalization of assisted suicide would look like," the Foundation writes.
This report is a real eye-opener that unmasks the evil that lurks behind the so-called “dignified” mask of assisted suicide.
As St. John Paul wrote in Evangelium Vitae, “The height of arbitrariness and injustice is reached when certain people, such as physicians or legislators, arrogate to themselves the power to decide who ought to live and who ought to die. Once again we find ourselves before the temptation of Eden: to become like God who ‘knows good and evil’ (cf. Gn 3, 5). God alone has the power over life and death: ‘It is I who bring both death and life’ (Dt 32, 39; cf. 2 Kgs 5, 7; 1 Sm 2, 6). But he only exercises this power in accordance with a plan of wisdom and love. When man usurps this power, being enslaved by a foolish and selfish way of thinking, he inevitably uses it for injustice and death. Thus the life of the person who is weak is put into the hands of the one who is strong; in society the sense of justice is lost, and mutual trust, the basis of every authentic interpersonal relationship, is undermined at its root" (No. 61).
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