Television dramas are taking on controversial subjects with greater frequency these days, and the new Lifetime program Mary Kills People is no exception. The trouble is that this one mirrors a growing attitude in today's culture that those who are in need of relief from suffering should be put down in a way similar to the family pet.
Mary Kills People is about "a single mother Mary Harris, an ER doctor by day, but by night, she and her partner, a former plastic surgeon, moonlight as underground angels of death and help terminally ill patients slip away on their own terms."
Proponents call such acts euthanasia, assisted suicide, mercy killing, and similar things, but the truth is that like so many other deliberate acts of violence, this fictional account is all about taking actions to directly end lives deemed unworthy of living.
The star of this series, Caroline Dhavernas , is a Canadian actress who has had starring roles for the past 10 years or so. Her perspectives on this new effort are enlightening. She says, "Dying is not a crime," and "Personally, it's someone's right. . . . If you have nothing but suffering ahead of you, we make choices for ourselves through our lives, and that's the final one."
Dhavernas adds, "Since the beginning of television, we've seen life and death situations. . . . That's what people are drawn to. And these moments, where people die with dignity, are filled with emotion and intensity, and beauty and meaning. They're everything but depressing."
If this sounds like a flowery defense of a brutal act of killing by using lethal injections to help people out of their misery, so to speak, then you get the idea. This show is pure propaganda wrapped in television hype with an underlying message that killing others can be defined as an act of mercy.
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch addressed this matter in a book entitled The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia . Gorsuch is a harsh critic of such acts. Atlantic magazine covered the book quoting the judge:
"All human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong." The act of summoning death - whether by administering lethal drugs or pulling the plug on a life-support machine - is murky, but the intention matters, he says. "Once we open the door to excusing or justifying the intentional taking of life as 'necessary,'" he writes, "we introduce the real possibility that the lives of some persons (very possibly the weakest and most vulnerable among us) may be deemed less 'valuable,' and receive less protection from the law, than others."
This analysis is quite similar to our own. But again, we live in a culture steeped in euphemisms used to justify such brazen acts with phrases like "right to choose." Thus it is our task not to tell a story about a program like Mary Kills People, but rather to do all we can to right the thinking of our citizens, starting with the very young.
That is why American Life League's Culture of Life Studies Program developed Euthanasia: An Introduction . This high school supplement can be used by teachers to help students in the quest to understand what is wrong with the ideas promoted by proponents of these deadly actions. The study guide "examines the complex topic of euthanasia by peeling back the layers of rhetoric to let students see what is really at the heart of end-of-life issues." The supplement challenges students to understand why cultural sentiments in favor of euthanasia are wrong, and it prepares students to defend life using the facts.
Mary Kills People is a blip on the radar screen of the ongoing propaganda war designed to desensitize human beings and to convince us that individual human beings are not precious, do not have an inalienable right to life, and do not deserve our selfless efforts to love and nurture them at all times from the moment God creates each of them until death.
We are obliged to fight back because, as is always the case, the truth really will set you free. And it will save lives.