September 1, 2009

It is an issue that is both troubling and one that requires attention. The Department of Veterans Affairs has revived an old pamphlet for veterans that is viewed by many as devaluing human life and promoting euthanasia.

It's called "Your Life, Your Choices" — but has become more aptly known as the "Death Book." This publication presents disturbing encouragement to our veterans to cut their lives short when facing even the mildest of difficulties, such as what the pamphlet calls an inability to 'shake the blues.' This disturbing government-sanctioned, end-of-life advice has no place being promoted by the Obama Administration. It represents another assault on the sanctity of human life and must be rescinded.

The ACLJ has taken a closer look at this publication and has prepared a legal memorandum on this topic. You can read that memo here.

The V.A. pamphlet has triggered an outcry from members of Congress and a call for Congressional hearings. It also has been soundly criticized by Jim Towey, President Bush's former director of faith-based initiatives, who argues that the publication "presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political 'push poll.'"

As we conclude in our memo: "While the idea of congressional hearings is certainly welcome, the use of this pamphlet should not continue. The V.A., under the direction of the Obama Administration, should immediately cease the use of this pamphlet."