Unplugged: Reclaiming Our Right to Die in America

By William H. Colby | Go to book overview

CHAPPTER 14
Oregon v. Ashcroft/Gonzales and
Physician-Assisted Suicide

“But we must be wary of those who are too willing to end the lives
of the elderly and the ill. If we ever decide that a poor quality of
life justifies ending that life, we have taken a step down a slippery
slope that places all of us in danger. There is a difference between
allowing nature to take its course and actively assisting death. The
call for euthanasia surfaces in our society periodically, as it is doing
now under the guise of ‘death with dignity’ or assisted suicide …
I believe euthanasia lies outside the commonly held life-centered
values of the West and cannot be allowed without incurring great
social and personal tragedy. This is not merely an intellectual
conundrum. This issue involves actual human beings at risk.”

—Former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop (writing
in 1991)1

-185-

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