Rochester Area Right To Life
Gov. Jesse Ventura is the only Reform Party member presently holding a high level, elected office. He is governor of Minnesota. Although claiming no interest, he has been discussed as a possible Reform Party candidate for office of US President.
The former wrestler has been a major media attraction. Recently it was an interview in Playboy in which he left no doubt of being pro-abortion. He promoted more of his anti-life views on "This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts." In his Playboy interview he had said that he would want the option of assisted suicide if he were terminally ill but then said he has "no respect for anyone who would kill himself."
On the TV interview, he also said he approved of assisted suicide for someone so mentally ill they "couldn't judge what they were doing." Thus, except for himself if terminally ill or someone with mental illness, Ventura does not believe suicide "makes sense."
Ventura got time on the air because of his "celebrity." He has no expertise to be discussing topics like assisted suicide. Sadly, he would not have been scheduled unless ABC was sure he would attract an audience.
Those who feel that this type of interview is neither educational nor entertaining do have the option of expressing that view to ABCNEWS.com.
Rochester Area Right to Life Committee, Inc.
Comment on Kevorkian Sentencing
ROCHESTER AREA RIGHT TO LIFE
CHEERS KEVORKIAN SENTENCE
After hearing his sentence of 10 - 25 years, Dr. Kevorkian was then taken to jail; bail had been denied. Kevorkian had 4 times previously escaped conviction for assisted suicides in Michigan, a state where they are illegal. Then on 3/25/99, a Michigan jury found him guilty of second degree murder in the death of Thomas Youk. Kevorkian had videotaped himself giving a lethal injection to 52 year old Youk who had Lou Gehrig disease.
The Youk death was different from the previous assisted suicides. Kevorkian provided the lethal drugs and administered them to Youk. His actions were videotaped and then televised on national television. He also acted as his own attorney in his trial, despite Judge Cooper's strong advice to have legal counsel. Kevorkian was given a 10 - 25 year sentence for the Youk murder and a concurrent 3 to 7 year sentence for delivery of a controlled substance. Kevorkian's case will be appealed. Should the appeal fail, the minimum amount of jail time for Kevorkian will be 7 years. Given his nearly 70 year age, it would be possible, but unlikely that he would then continue to be "Doctor Death" as he has already been to 130 people.
Rochester Area Right to Life Committee applauds the Michigan jurors for their verdict. It also applauds Judge Jessica Cooper for the sentences she gave to Dr. Kevorkian and her stern words to him about challenging the legal system to make him stop. We are also grateful that this slows down pro-euthanasia groups that have been increasingly pushing "a duty to die" - especially for "persons with chronic conditions [who] account for a disproportionately large share of health care use, both services and supplies." Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, America's leading pro-euthanasia group, has written: "economics, not the quest for broadened individual liberties or increased autonomy, will drive assisted suicide to the plateau of acceptable practice."
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AMA RESPONSE TO KEVORKIAN PRISON SENTENCE
4-14-99: Today, D. Ted Lowers, MD, Vice-Chairman of AMA Board of Trustees said that the 10 - 25 year prison term is a strong deterrent to those who would take the lives of patients prematurely. He said: "The American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs opinion is that physician-assisted suicide is unethical and in direct opposition to the role of physician as healer." He continued: "The AMA remains committed to assuring patients dignity and adequate relief of pain at the end of their lives."
Dr. Lowers concluded: "The AMA has long supported compassionate, quality care of dying patients. We will continue our efforts to teach physicians everything they should know about providing proper end-of-life care."
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Comment on Kevorkian conviction
March 26, 1999: Today a jury in Michigan voted to convict Jack Kevorkian of 2nd degree murder in the death of Thomas Youk. Mr. Youk, a 52 year old man had Lou Gehrigs disease when he died. His death was caused by a lethal injection administered by Kevorkian.
We echo comments of Burke Balch, J.D., Director: Department of Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee. He said: "Todays conviction of Jack Kevorkian should come as a relief to people with disabilities. The danger is great that any so-called 'right to die' would quickly become a 'duty to die.'"
Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, Americas leading pro-euthanasia group, has suggested, in a book published late in 1998, that there may be a "duty to die a responsibility within the family unit that should remain voluntary but expected nonetheless Persons with chronic conditions account for a disproportionately large share of health care use, both services and supplies." Humphrey wrote that "economics, not the quest for broadened individual liberties or increased autonomy, will drive assisted suicide to the plateau of acceptable practice."
Kevorkian will be sentenced on April 14th. Given his participation in a reputed 150 deaths to date, it is hoped that his sentence will not allow him sufficient freedom to continue his "practices."
Rochester Area Right to Life Committee expresses condolences to the family of Justice Blackmun. No doubt history will remember Harry Blackmun as the architect and author of the US Supreme Courts majority opinion in Roe v Wade in 1973, declaring abortion a "constitutional right." That decision, along with Doe v Bolton, has resulted in the deaths of 38 million unborn children since 1973. Roe and Doe established the current radical US abortion policy that allows abortion on demand as a method of birth control. It is a tragedy that Justice Blackmun went to his grave best remembered for denying unborn children the most basic civil liberty the right to life from which all other rights and liberties spring. (RARTL press release March 5, 1999)
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