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April 1, 2005

JacqueFromTexas: "WILL TO LIVE" vs. "LIVING WILLS"

Topics: Press misrepresentations

This blogger has some serious issues with the "Living Wills" being touted by the media, and so do I. I am in favor of the "Will To Live" as should ever advocate of life. Let's take a look at what she has to say - and I know this is going to bring the trolls out:

- via email from "JacqueFromTexas"
Now even pro-life organizations and lobbying bodies are encouraging 'living wills' as a viable alternative to squabbles over the fate of persons like Terri. If Terri had signed a living will, she'd of been murdered this way nearly 10 years ago.

What is a living will? It takes your fate out of the hands of people who love you and places it into the hands of members of a very euthanasia-happy society. It's a document biased towards death. In fact, the living will was created to kill people to lower medical costs and make the push toward involuntary euthanasia. Let me explain:

"The idea was launched in the U.S.A. in 1969 by a law journal article entitled "Due Process of Euthanasia: the Living Will, a Proposal." (In Britain the Voluntary Euthanasia Society is the main distributor of Wills/Directives). The proposal soon found favour with U.S. government officials as an economy measure. The leaked "Derzon memorandum" advised President Carter to "Change social values regarding cost-inducing activities" and stated "The cost-saving from a nation-wide push toward 'Living Wills' is likely to be enormous. Over one-fifth of Medicare expenditures are for persons in their last year of life." But it was not until 1991 that it was made compulsory for all patients admitted to hospital in the U.S., for whatever reason, to be presented with "Living Will" forms."

Living wills do NOT allow for circumstances where reasonable judgment and alternative therapies may be present. Living wills allow for you to be killed despite your cognition. It also doesn't offer lee-way for cases of minimal consciousness or brain-damage like Terri, where you're not able to do things for yourself but you're still here. When are living wills going to be acceptable for quadraplegics that just don't want to live anymore? What about that heartbroken teenagers that just got dumped by his girlfriend? In certain parts of Europe, you can kill yourself for this or any reason. That's where we're going with advanced directives.

If someone's desire is to let their medical care wishes be known, sign over a durable power of attorney to someone you trust- do NOT sign a living will giving doctors and hospitals a way to circumvent your family and kill you the second you become incapacitated. People recover from comas, from PVS and traumatic brain injuries. Signing a living will ensures that you never get that chance.

We have got to get the word out that this is not the official position of the prolife movement. This is certainly not the movement that I work for. The pro-life movement I defend is the one that states that God is the given and taker of life, not that humans can take their own life if they've written down in advance for that to happen. I'm not allowed to tell doctors not to treat me if I'm depressed and suicidal, likewise why do we encourage people to sign a document for no other reason than causing hastened death?

I'm quite disturbed with some members of the pro-life movement's head-first dive into pre-written assisted suicide, and embracing a tactic created by pro-euthanites to kill people instantly upon incapacitation. They are using compromise language in their legislation, writing that it's acceptable to starve someone to death if they've made out an advanced directive.

Members of the pro-life movement that encourage living wills need to stop giving out deadly advice and stop compromising to fit societal trends that do not fall in line with our moral convictions.

A "Will to Live" is available through National Right to Life's website It might not necessarily save your life, but it certainly makes you harder to kill. It's the least you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Posted by richard at April 1, 2005 6:31 PM


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Comments

Ya know.... I posted the following in the comments yesterday, and I'm glad to see that someone is actually pointing out this bizarre issue properly on here.

Okay - can I ask a question here?

I am getting so sick of hearing the "Living Will" rhetoric out of every single commentator. Their pushing of the concept that "the good thing (as if there really IS one) in all of this (Terri's dehydration & starvation death) is that now people all across America are thinking and talking about living wills".

Okay, I've known about Living Wills & Advanced Directives for many years now - but I don't have one because (I thought) I didn't need one.

You see, people who know that they don't want to be on life support - they think about and get living wills. People who think doctors are going to do their best to keep you alive, don't need a "directive".

But now I finally REALIZE, that if I WANT TO LIVE... I MUST have it specifically detailed in some type of legal document to make sure some naive statement that I probably made at any time since turning 18 doesn't get me tortured and killed.

But wait a minute... EVEN IF I specifically direct each and every doctor in charge of my care at any point in the future to take all extraordinary means available & possible to KEEP ME ALIVE - that doesn't protect me one whit either. Because "thaaaat Wish" won't hold up in court, even in writing, under oath and notarized.

So, basically - if you WANT TO LIVE no matter what, too bad, it won't be up to you.

You want to die? Noooo Problem!! We got a form for that!!
(as long as you don't ask for it to be 'quick & painless')

Posted by: Raquel at April 1, 2005 8:23 PM

"Will to Live" is probably better than
"Living Will".On a broader scene,for
younger or perhaps even more naive of
us,wouldn't it seem better if the LAW
of each State simply was directed to
presume you want to LIVE ? To go on
that assumption without even checking
for a patients insurance or banking
account balance? *Grin* No,probably not.
Population is growing to large for the
earth as it is now.Seriously though,
how hard can it be to make certain every
state has the opportunity to put it to
a vote of the people.Worded SIMPLY
enough for all to see,unless they have
written a document to the contrary,
the Presumption is for LIFE ?
That will be the bear to tackle for our
children & the future.I think,and even
if I don't *think* as well as you, I
choose Life.

Posted by: lynaqua at April 1, 2005 9:44 PM

Any possibility that the powers that be want everyone to get a living will and that is why they played this out internationally to start a lemming rush to the edge?

It's a thought.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 1, 2005 10:21 PM

There is a similar document called The Five Wishes. After reading this post, I was concerned that it might actually be just another "living will" so I looked up the author, Jim Towney. Here's an interview he gave, which leads me to believe he is on the side of life.

http://www.crisismagazine.com/june2002/feature6.htm

The Five Wishes isn't as unabashedly "pro-life" as the Will to Live, but it serves the same purpose, so it seems to me that it would be useful to folks who don't necessarily identify with pro-life activism.

Here's the website for The Five Wishes... http://www.agingwithdignity.org/5wishes.html

Posted by: Teri J at April 1, 2005 10:24 PM

There is the possibility then that if Terri had thought about this living will kind of thing, she might have soon after marriage decided to make the one that brought death on her the power of attorney to decide. However, at that time she may not have been aware that said PA holder might eventually break their marriage vows and steal the million dollar therapy money. See, it is a catch 22 situation most married people might find themselves in. So IMHO if the doctors cannot keep their hypocratic oath, then there truly is no hope.

Did anyone read about the other story of the mother-in-law (mother of ex-husband) who wanted to pull the tube against the wishes of the mother. She eventually changed her mind last monday. How does this whole guardianship thing work? Sounds like if you are not mentally competent, then you are anyone's property and the courts could care less.

Terri, my heart grieves for you.

Posted by: sujata at April 1, 2005 10:32 PM

I am just beginning to learn about these end-of-life documents, but I remember receiving warnings about living wills. Now I know why.

Another plan seems to be an advanced directive. My understanding is that this grants the power of attorney to carry out end-of-life decisions based on your advanced directive instructions. For instance, as a Catholic, I would want decisions to be made which are consistent with Catholic teaching. My wife would have the power of attorney to help with unforseen circumstances. The sad fact about Terri is that her husband was absolutely untrustworthy.

The key is that the designated person can be trused to carry out your wishes. This is where people become concerned about the government meddling in people's lives. However, Michael Schiavo should have been removed as Terri's decision-maker because he was abusive toward her. The government has a role in this because it should have stepped in and stopped the abuse, Instead, through Judge Greer, the government joined in the abuse of Terri.

Posted by: djw at April 1, 2005 11:29 PM

This conversation is absolutely critical as it involves protecting your life and the lives of your loved ones.

In the confines of the comment box, I can only note that CURE designed its advance mandatory treatment directive the Life Support Directive in 1981 with the assistance of pro-life attorneys like Charlie Rice and pro-life physicians like Dr. Paul Byrne. It is the opposite of the anti-life Living Will, of which Five Wishes is merely a variant.I'd be pleased to mail a Life Support Directive to anyone who e-mails me (cureltd@verizon.net) their postal address.

I'll blog on this in greater detail soon.

Posted by: Earl Appleby at April 2, 2005 1:23 AM

Anyone watch NBC tonight? About the adultrous FLORIDA doctor who was accused of injecting his wife with succinylcholine? He was let off since they found studies that dead cadavers had supposedly formed succinylcholine on their own.
Looks like NBC is already paving the way to freedom for Michael Schiavo and Felos.
Brainwashing America into doubting Michael would do such a thing.

Posted by: LauraB at April 2, 2005 1:42 AM

Just something I was thinking about...

A feeding tube was not considered a life sustaining ‘extraordinary’ measure under Florida law until it was included under the definition of ‘extraordinary measures’ AFTER Terri’s ‘stroke’ 15 years ago.

The removal of the feeding tube and denial of any natural oral intake was done, according to Judge Greer, because Terri allegedly said she wanted to die if she was on some sort of extraordinary measure of life support.

By Florida Law, a feeding tube was not considered an extraordinary measure at the time of Terri’s stroke or at the time Terri allegedly said she would want to die rather than live under extraordinary measures, therefore if Terri said she wanted to die if she was being kept alive by extraordinary measures, a feeding tube would not have been included in that definition at the time of her saying it. That is fact.

Have the lawyers ever bought this point up? It seems like a pretty damn important one to me.

Posted by: demonsurfer at April 2, 2005 3:02 AM

I've also posted on this very issue and put up my actual WILL TO LIVE document to show what it really reads like, if anyone's not found their state's yet on the nrlc.org website:

http://anniebanno.blogspot.com/2005/03/living-wills-and-wills-to-live-are.html

http://anniebanno.blogspot.com/2005/04/caveat-emptor-for-those-worried-that.html

Posted by: Annie B. at April 2, 2005 12:57 PM

I am so peeved at all this mention of Living Wills. How can that really protect people anyway? Terri didn't have one and she was still starved to death. I'm sure most people who have living wills don't even think to mention "oh, but if I have a feeding tube, don't remove it, and don't let me dehydrate and starve to death for 1 week-3 weeks".

This is just spin. We shouldn't be removing feeding tubes from people, period. And it shouldn't be considered artificial life support.

Posted by: Sirena at April 2, 2005 2:35 PM

You are dead right, Serena, every innocent person should be protected from murder whether it is by removing their means to eat and drink or to breathe.

If the Living Will is spin, it is a slide to an early grave for it comes right out of the euthanasia movement.

See Living Will—No! Will to Live—Yes!

Posted by: Earl Appleby at April 3, 2005 1:31 AM

Sorry, the url for the cited Life Matters brochure is
http://mysite.verizon.net/cureltd/id12.html

Posted by: Earl Appleby at April 3, 2005 1:33 AM