Silence is dishonesty. Or something like that.
Washington State adopted an assisted suicide law that included an opt-out clause for institutions. Now, though, it turns out that at least one pro-suicide blogger isn't happy that opt-out really means opt-out.
As Wesley J. Smith reports, an assisted suicide advocate at a blog called Slog [warning: weird ads in the sidebar of this blog which my ad-blocker did not catch] is all hot under the collar because a Catholic hospice in Whatcomb County, WA, is not giving people in the hospice "information" about assisted suicide. They even have the chutzpah (I know this will shock you) to refrain from linking visitors to their web site to the Hemlock Society so that the suicidally inclined can pursue their "options" more efficiently. The nerve!
The hospice organization has told its staff that they may not advise hospice patients and their families about how to obtain assisted suicide even if they are asked. They must remain silent. The hospice now includes a paragraph on its web site and in information given to patients acknowledging the existence of legal assisted suicide in Washington State and suggesting that those who are interested refer to the County Medical Association, the WA State Dept. of Health, or the Washington State Hospital Association, providing contact information for each of these. But they don't (as already mentioned) include "Compassion and Choice," aka Hemlock.
One woman whose husband recently died at the hospice is upset because no one suggested assisted suicide to him as an option. Shocking! Evidently it was under pressure from her that the new paragraph was inserted into the hospice's information, but they will go no farther. The widow literally says it was "criminal" of them not to talk to her and her husband about assisted suicide.
The dumb blogger literally says this about the hospice's policy:
Answering a patient's question truthfully would be equivalent to participating in the act, and thus a violation of Catholic moral theology. Huh. Perhaps there's some subtlety in the New Testament I just don't get, but I was always led to believe that honesty is supposed to be a Christian virtue.
Yep. Refusing to hand out information about assisted suicide is "dishonest." Well. So much for remaining silent. Guess that's not an option anymore.
This would all just be sounding off from one blogger, but that's not really all it is. After all, the widow's own complaints had some effect on the hospice. (In my opinion they should not even have gone as far as they did. The widow calls the new paragraph "baby steps.") Assisted suicide advocates are very unhappy about the opt-out provision and want it rolled back, perhaps to a requirement to advise and refer for assisted suicide--an option expressly suggested by Compassion and Choices regarding the Washington State situation.
Complaints about difficulty finding doctors to cooperate with assisted suicide in Washington State are not new. And Hemlock says that you are a member of the "medical right" (isn't that a neat phrase) if you oppose advise-and-refer for their services. They are hardly hiding where they are going.
Meanwhile, kudos to all hospice organizations that don't participate--at all--in assisted suicide. Keep up the silence.