For those who would like to see death offered as an option in health care the discussion is now centered on who will be the executioners. Some believe “the burden of responsibility for administering euthanasia would still rest solely on the doctor” (Richard Trubo, An Act of Mercy). Others believe that board made up of diverse kinds of people should have the responsibility.

The World Medical Association spoke of euthanasia as contrary to medical ethics, the public interest and natural and civil rights. We have come to recognize the truth of this statement. Abortion and its twin euthanasia are indeed civil rights issues. Today most cases of euthanasia are practiced without the consent of the victim: defective babies left without food or treatment; unwanted babies aborted from the womb. These practices involve someone choosing death for others in the name of compassion, eugenics, or economics. In every case, the victim loses his freedom.

The words of Scripture, the Church, and of people who recognize the peril we face in this crisis seem to go largely unnoticed and unheard. We would do well to ponder the words of Cicero: “The God that rules within us forbids us to depart hence unbidden.”

There is little doubt that euthanasia will be a women’s issue in the future as women traditionally live longer than men. Will this be the “justice” whom they will inherit because it was women who began the present wave of violence with abortion? Will nurses, most of whom are women, be pressured to carry out the doctor’s orders by giving the fatal needle?

Once we embrace violence as a way of solving problems, we really have a tiger by the tail Adolph Eichmann, chief architect of the Nazi death machine, wrote an autobiography while in prison awaiting execution. Gideon Hausner in his book Justice in Jerusalem quotes from Eichmann’s book “The gods I worshipped demanded the dance of death.” He continued: “I had no choice, and whoever claims otherwise is a liar. Once you mount a tiger, there is no getting off.”

What a difficult solution! But no choice? No getting off? Only if you have lost your moral convictions along the way.