DENVER, Colorado (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Denver-based group Compassion and Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society, has released a report, marking the one-year anniversary of the passage of the so-called End of Life Option Act in California. The group states in its release that hundred of adults have been prescribed lethal drugs since the passage of California's euthanasia law. The group also said that the majority of private insurance companies cover the cost of life ending drugs, including Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Kaiser.
As Church Militant reported on May 31, not only are major insurers covering suicide drugs, but they are pressuring healthcare providers to recommend life ending drugs while denying coverage for more expensive life-saving therapy. As the cost of health insurance continues to rise under Obamacare since it was passed in 2010, insurers are incentivised to cover suicide and not life-sustaining treatment, simply because the former is cheaper, making the insurers into de facto death panels.
The End of Life Option Act in California was pushed by the family of Brittany Maynard in cooperation with Compassion and Choices. Maynard was a 29-year-old from the San Francisco Bay Area who moved to Oregon, where assisted suicide had been legal since the 1990s, after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Church Militant reported on the resulting suicide spike following the nationwide coverage of Maynard ending her life.
A 2015 study from the Southern Medical Journal concluded that legalization of physician-assisted suicide not only leads a "copy-cat" effect of suicidal inclinations, but that euthanasia legalization has no effect on the frequency of non-physician-assisted suicide.
In 1980, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Declaration on Euthanasia. In that document, the CDF explained the special place of redemptive suffering in the Catholic faith, "According to Christian teaching, however, suffering, especially suffering during the last moments of life, has a special place in God's saving plan; it is in fact a sharing in Christ's passion and a union with the redeeming sacrifice, which He offered in obedience to the Father's will."
Pope St. John Paul II, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, solemnly defined that euthanasia was a grave evil:
Taking into account these distinctions, in harmony with the Magisterium of my predecessors and in communion with the bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church's Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.
The retired Episcopal (Episcopal Church of the United States of America) bishop of Newark, New Jersey, John Shelby Spong, who doesn't believe in a personal God, is currently on Compassion and Choices' Board of Advisors. Observers can note the presence and influence of Protestantism, giving oxygen to the culture of death throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, beginning with the 1930 Lambeth Conference, which asserted the moral liceity of contraception.