The Inherent Value of Human Life

The Inherent Value of Human Life

A few weeks ago, the National Council on Disability pointed out that President Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children echoes many themes in the NCD’s recent bioethics and disability report series.
The NCD pointed out that part of the executive order states, “It is the policy of the United States to recognize the human dignity and inherent worth of every newborn or other infant child, regardless of prematurity or disability, and to ensure for each child due protection under the law.”
We would like to believe this is true. But the NCD’s research, which delved into how people (including children) with disabilities are impacted by biases and assumptions in some of the most critical healthcare issues, uncovered some shocking facts… particularly in regard to assisted suicide.
The report found “that the most prevalent reasons offered by someone requesting assisted suicide are directly related to unmet service and support needs.” The agency called on lawmakers to remedy these unmet needs through changes in legislation and funding.
It added that in states where assisted suicide is legal, “safeguards are ineffective and oversight of abuses and mistakes is absent.”
The report found that state regulations intended to prevent abuses in the practice of assisted suicide sometimes fall short. It pointed to instances of insurance companies denying costly, life-sustaining medical treatment while covering deadly drugs.
In addition, doctors rarely refer for a psychological evaluation before prescribing lethal drugs, the report found, despite the fact that depression is a leading factor in requesting assisted suicide.
Pro-life advocates have been pointing out these risks, as the push for assisted suicide continues to grow stronger.
When will people heed these warnings?
Assisted suicide is a horrifying euphemism that puts at risk the most vulnerable among us: the disabled, the sick, the impoverished.
Let us pray for a growing understanding of the inherent dignity of human life–and the right of every individual to life.