As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to rage worldwide, some groups are working to help people survive by attempting to provide resources and material support to those in need. Unfortunately, others are using the crisis as an opportunity to spread death. Planned Parenthood has been exploiting the situation to expand abortion — but the assisted suicide lobby is now taking advantage of the panic, too.
Alex Schadenberg, president of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, spotlighted a recent fundraising e-mail sent in the wake of the pandemic. While Schadenberg did not name the organization, he identified the author as Kim Callinan — the president of Compassion & Choices, the country’s largest assisted suicide group. The e-mail didn’t just ask for money; it also called for potential telehealth suicide options, and described a worldwide pandemic as a “unique opportunity” to promote assisted suicide.
“As always, we are responding quickly to the needs and opportunities of the times,” the e-mail read on Schadenberg’s website. “As the workforce grapples with the pandemic, telehealth is gaining prominence as a critical mode of delivering medical care. This provides a unique opportunity to make sure health systems and doctors are using telehealth, where appropriate, for patients trying to access end-of-life care options. These efforts should improve access to medical aid in dying in the short and long-term.”
This idea is horrifying: someone struggling with health issues who is feeling depressed or scared could receive fatal drugs to facilitate their suicide, without ever actually seeing a doctor. This is not “telehealth.” This is making it as easy as possible for suicidal people to end their lives.
Compassion & Choices likewise took to Facebook to push for people to consider telling their doctors they want assisted suicide — just in case they get the coronavirus. “End-of-life planning is in the forefront of news as we see people across generations consider their end-of-life decisions,” the caption on their page read, as they linked to an NBC News article about coronavirus and end-of-life directives.
Another pro-assisted suicide group, Death With Dignity, also assured people they are still working to promote euthanasia during the pandemic. “Our work of bringing end-of-life options to all Americans will continue, but like you, we are focused on the crisis gripping our nation,” the statement read, later adding, “As we remain sequestered in our homes to keep the social distance needed to slow the spread of the virus, we can come together to advocate for death with dignity online. You can keep informed about end-of-life options and what’s happening in our movement here at our website or on Facebook and Twitter.”
This kind of shameless exploitation from those who promote death — the abortion industry, and suicide/euthanasia groups — is not particularly surprising, though it shocks our sensibilities, especially during a pandemic. Such organizations thrive when people feel desperate, vulnerable, and afraid.
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