Category: Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide

Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization
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Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization

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“Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, the Christian influence on the whole of culture has been lost. In Europe, including England, it took many years ? in the United States only a few decades. In the United States, in the short span from the twenties to the sixties, we have seen a […]

Decreasing the Surplus Population
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Decreasing the Surplus Population

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The Dutch are killing themselves more than ever, but they feel OK about it. In the latest Newsweek cover story, Winston Ross pens a fairly balanced report on the current facts and rhetoric on euthanasia, both in the Netherlands and the rest of the world.  The facts reported in the piece are startling: In 2013, […]

On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’
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On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’

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As news of the untimely death of Brother Paul O’Donnell spreads, there will be many remembrances by those who knew him well. Perhaps none more than Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo. Brother Paul distinguished himself, and the Church, by being the constant companion and supporter of the Schindler family as their severely brain damaged daughter, Terri, […]

A Cold, Cold Heart
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A Cold, Cold Heart

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There ring in my childhood memory the songs of Hank Williams—songs my dad loved to listen to as he strummed his guitar. One in particular was a classic called “Cold, Cold Heart.” As I sit and think about it, I realize that those three words truly define the cultural attitudes of our day toward those […]

Still Alice: Life in the Wake of a Devastating Diagnosis
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Still Alice: Life in the Wake of a Devastating Diagnosis

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“I am not suffering; I am struggling.” These words are part of a beautiful speech delivered by Julianne Moore in her Oscar-nominated performance as Dr. Alice Howland in the film Still Alice. The film is a powerful testimony of how a woman who has made her career out of words loses her words because of […]

Doctors Must Refuse to Cooperate With Court's Assisted Suicide Decision
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Doctors Must Refuse to Cooperate With Court’s Assisted Suicide Decision

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In his book The Nazi Doctors, author Jay Lifton wrote about the Nazi euthanasia program. He pointed out that it was important to blur and ultimately destroy the boundary between healing and killing to convince German doctors to participate. The imagery of killing in the name of healing was an effective tool in achieving this […]

Okay to Euthanize the Disabled Says Canadian Supreme Court
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Okay to Euthanize the Disabled Says Canadian Supreme Court

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People with disabilities must be killed when they consent under a February 6, 2015, decision by Canada’s highest court striking the Canadian law protecting against assisting suicide. Unlike doctor-prescribed suicide laws in Oregon, Washington and Vermont that theoretically are limited to those with terminal illness, the sweeping ruling allows killing any Canadian who “has a […]

'Volunteering' to Die
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‘Volunteering’ to Die

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I recently read the story of a daughter’s anguished eyewitness account of her mother’s death. It was a death chosen for the mother by her son and oldest daughter, who decided that starvation was the best thing for a beloved mother who had suffered a stroke. It was painful to read this account, and as the writer […]

Erring on the Side of Life
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Erring on the Side of Life

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The history of human knowledge as it relates to the human body is a fascinating and terrible thing. In every age, the ability for physicians and other medical practitioners to effectively treat wounds or combat disease has been constrained by the technology – or lack thereof – available at the time. In the past, people […]

Derogatory Labels for People
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Derogatory Labels for People

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Words can be so cruel and degrading. There was a time in the 19th Century when North American natives were commonly called “savages”. The term was used to dehumanize first nations people in order to take their land. I remember a time when people with a mix of Aboriginal-European descent were called “half-breeds”. Somebody at […]

Finding Peace
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Finding Peace

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Commentators, politicians, and world leaders often bandy about the word “peace.” But I wonder if there are many in our midst who actually comprehend the true meaning of the word, not to mention how to find it. Webster defines peace as “a state in which there is no war or fighting.” That sounds simple enough, […]

A New Year's Resolution for You
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A New Year’s Resolution for You

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New Year’s Resolutions tend towards the personal: lose weight, take up a hobby, spend more time with the family, get up earlier, read great books, etc. But this new year I beg people to take some time to learn more about bioethics. The stakes are high. Our definitions of life, death, and human dignity are […]

Caring for the Dying Means Not Intentionally Killing Them
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Caring for the Dying Means Not Intentionally Killing Them

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A week ago I received a message from a distressed family writing about a loved one in the final stages of living. The members of this family were informed by hospice care that their dying relative, a 95-year-old father/grandfather with dementia who still recognizes the family and talks with them at times, had come down […]

A Pivotal Opportunity to Rally in Defense of Life
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A Pivotal Opportunity to Rally in Defense of Life

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While it’s great news that substantial political pro-life victories were won in the mid-term elections, we must now ask ourselves, “What do these victories mean for the protection of human life and family?” Pope Saint John Paul II inspires and instructs us in this opportune and pivotal moment to rally in defense of life: “What […]

An Open Letter to Brittany Maynard
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An Open Letter to Brittany Maynard

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Dear Brittany Maynard, You don’t know me, and sadly, I don’t know you. I have something to tell you. Why should you care what another voice among millions is saying? Because I have good news. Like so many, your story has crashed into my world, just as cancer crashed into yours. As expected by your […]

Death with Dignity? According to Whom?
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Death with Dignity? According to Whom?

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Over time, terms often seem to enter our conversation without explanation. When this happens we tend to think we understand what the term means and when and how we might use it when talking with others. Case in point: Death with dignity. What does that mean when used by those who are politically motivated to […]

The Rise of Assisted Suicide Rhetoric
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The Rise of Assisted Suicide Rhetoric

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Physician-assisted suicide, much like abortion and same-sex marriage, has become something of a cultural bellwether. Support for the right to end your own life indicates that you are a progressive-minded, compassionate person sensitive to the unique feelings and experiences of individuals facing terminal illness or chronic pain. It means you value the right of self-determination, […]

Authentic Compassion Does Not Include Assisted Suicide
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Authentic Compassion Does Not Include Assisted Suicide

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The British Parliament is currently considering the legalization of assisted suicide. The act under consideration was introduced by Lord Falconer and eschews the term “suicide,” preferring instead the euphemism “assisted dying.” Under current British law outlined in the 1961 Suicide Act, it is a crime to encourage or assist another in the act of suicide. […]

In Defense of the Elders
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In Defense of the Elders

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Action, fantasy, westerns, or any movie including a hero and a villain will usually peek my interest. The Marvel films captured my imagination’s child-like side. The side which wants to believe in the ultimate triumph of good through the feats of a few broken yet resilient individuals who refuse to admit defeat for no other […]

Humanity of the Comatose Denied by Inhumanity of Euthanasia
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Humanity of the Comatose Denied by Inhumanity of Euthanasia

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On March 20, 2004, Pope John Paul II delivered an address to an international congress on “Life-sustaining treatments and vegetative state: Scientific advances and Ethical Dilemmas.” The pope dealt directly with the issue of doctors withholding medical treatments and nutrition and hydration (food and water) from comatose patients. I was happy to see the pontiff […]

When Untruth and Violence are Confronted by Truth and Peace
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When Untruth and Violence are Confronted by Truth and Peace

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It never ceases to amaze me that in the 21st Century there are still people who pose the ridiculous question: “When do you think life begins?” Quite frankly, it does not matter when you or I think life begins: Biology established long ago – before abortion on demand became legal in Canada – that human […]

Washington State Suicides Highlight Death Advocates’ “Bait and Switch”
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Washington State Suicides Highlight Death Advocates’ “Bait and Switch”

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A 43 percent rise in doctor-prescribed suicides in Washington State in 2013 was motivated not by pain, but by feared loss of autonomy and “dignity,” according to the official state government report. Washington State’s annual report covering 2013 states that 91 percent reported to their health care provider concerns about loss of autonomy, 79 percent reported to […]

Be Not Afraid! St. John Paul II’s Key to Building a Culture of Life
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Be Not Afraid! St. John Paul II’s Key to Building a Culture of Life

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The recent canonization of Saint John Paul II offers an impetus to reflect on both his life and his papacy. The Pope’s leadership of the Catholic Church was exemplified by his signature phrase “Be not afraid!” Yet, what exactly was he exhorting the faithful to face without fear? Pope John Paul II first uttered this […]

Our Risen Lord Gives us Strength to Build a Culture of Life
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Our Risen Lord Gives us Strength to Build a Culture of Life

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If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? (Romans 8:31) This exhortation by Saint Paul vividly expresses the full extent of the love of God the Father and […]

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