Friday, April 15, 2016

Note to Catholic Bishops: The Relevance of Abortion In Euthanasia Debate

I have noticed that the Catholic Bishops of Canada seem quite worked up about the euthanasia mandate. Yet I can't recall one recent statement from them on euthanasia lamenting also the regime of the insufferable killing of preborn children. (Or even asserting the eternal consequences for a soul that kills a fellow human being). Perhaps they choose purposely not to state the obvious because euthanasia is the matter at hand. Why complicate the issue, eh? But what has been their excuse for silence for the past four decades?
In the euthanasia debate one can hardly overlook the relevance of abortion, and not only as regards the question of referral. (Which isn’t really a question: it is obviously illogical to refer for abortion and not for euthanasia.)  Insofar as our society thinks it morally acceptable to kill babies in the womb, it is certain to think that it is acceptable to kill the terminally ill, for it has already decided (i) that human life is disposable and (ii) that eliminating suffering or even inconvenience is a legitimate reason for its disposal. Such a society, note well, is equally certain to go beyond the notion that any suffering person may be killed if they wish to be killed, a form of violence that does not even rise to the level of abortion. It will come eventually to think that it is fine to kill those whom it determines are lacking any real justification for living, perhaps even those whose lives it deems inconvenient, whether or not they are willing. For that is the logic of abortion, a logic already well entrenched in high places. – Dr. Douglas Farrow [Source]
Why then are the Bishops huffing and puffing about euthanasia? We've all seen it coming for years and years. The best way to have stemmed euthanasia would have been to fight abortion tooth and nail, maybe even for a Bishop and Priest here and there to spend a night in the slammer along with little ladies and grandmothers.

Dr. Farrow has offered some advice to the Bishops recently:
Farrow also urged the bishops to clearly state that “formal cooperation with suicide or euthanasia, by analogy with abortion, entails excommunication latae sententiae” and to “inform Catholic officials that anyone who votes to create a euthanasia regime or to liberalize one” should “not present himself for communion and is subject to a just penalty,” even, “if need be” excommunication.
Of course the Bishops haven't done this on even one occasion in the last fifty years for pro-choice Catholic Prime Ministers, let alone rank and file Catholic politicians, who blatantly call for the destruction of unborn children in the name of a "woman's right to choose." Why would they do it now in the case of euthanasia, "a form of violence that does not even rise to the level of abortion"?

Much too little, much too late. God help your weak and cowering souls!


Janet said...

I don't remember what I was searching for, to come upon this fine article by the internet spirit known as Contra/Diction. I too write often on abortion, but regarding euthanasia, I not only write about it, but I also stand in the queue. I had a heart attack three years ago, and entered a hospital as a literate elderly white woman in good physical shape except for that damaged, broken heart. One gets a real sense of the decision-making process working under everything, the disjuncture that profits puts on the matter of what must be done next to save the life of this person lying unconscious and helpless in our care. I lay on a gurney in a cubicle defined by a curtain next to a black, HIV infected heart patient about my same age, a man, crying. We had both had the same test, the angiogram that looks into the arteries of the heart to see how serviceable they are. Both of us had failed. Ours were shot, caked with the cholesterol that lay itself down as a barrier against the stress of our lives. They had whispered to me, on the gurney lying outside the testing station where I was waiting for a person to take me and the burney back to the room known as our room, that I would be okay, that there was a Plan B, that I would be cared for and healed. But to the man weeping on the other side of the white cotton curtain, they had not said that. They had not said they would fix his heart. They had said there was nothing they could do. His HIV condition, and perhaps his race, don't neglect to think about our rich history of hatred, perhaps his race figured in: there was nothing that could be done for his arteries, but something for mine. Who was not black and did not have HIV. Once Euthanasia is added to the toolbox, they will add that, put poetically: there is nothing we can do, but we can make you comfortable. That is how they put it: we can make you comfortable. If pressed, they will mention 'the drip.' He could be offered the drip, I was offered the surgery of all five damaged arteries. All the practical implications of lifetimes are bound up in that single moment for persons, Americans, citizens, human beings lying on gurneys. Presently, now, in a profit-driven medical profession, they offer help, or not. If Euthanasia passes, they will offer help, or death.

Well, in that moment, I did what I could for the man weeping on the other side of the curtain. I asked his permission and I spoke to him of Christ. I spoke to him of suffering, of the golden wealth of suffering. I recommended him to a traditional church and pastor for instruction and baptism. We spoke through the curtain. He stopped crying. I put my hand up to his, through the curtain. Then then came to take me back to "my room."

With or without euthanasia, we are living in a world driven only by one sorter: profit. Killing the unprofitable unit, the unit being the person, is an outcome of that algorithm. The algorithm must be changed, not only euthanasia but the concept of profits and life. In our economic system, that equation cannot be achieved. We need an entirely different economic system to fulfill the ideal of equal care for all, loving care for all. We need to go back to the Catholic economy of the middle ages, where profits did not rule. We must not only fight euthanasia, we must fight the protestant rebellion and the economic system of capitalism it birthed.

Thank you. Contra/Diction.

Lou Iacobelli said...

The sad reality is that we have over the decades pretty much accepted the evil of abortion and now the culture of death in Canada is expanding with the legalization of euthanasia. When you can kill an innocent child in the womb, all paid for by the state health care system, does anybody then believe that we can protect the old, the diabled, the depressed and the "unwanted " from being killed? Statements and press releases against killing other Canadians and giving legal immunity are good, but statements alone will not stop these deaths. The faith communities never had a plan to fight this evil. In my parish, these issues are never mentioned and so abortion, the radical sex curriculum and now euthanasia will be the new normal. When faith no longer protects life it too will soon die with each unborn child killed in the womb and every person euthanasized in the false name of "mercy."

ELA said...

Thanks for sharing your very personal story touching the subject of euthanasia and justice in general. The solution you offered may seem to some like a retreat into the past but I think we need to look further in those directions. Do you have a blog or website to which you'd like to link?

ELA said...

You've made a huge admission, which I think is very telling, when you said "The sad reality is that we have over the decades pretty much accepted the evil of abortion." How have we been able for decades to continue living as Catholics and yet acquiesce to the evil of abortion? The answer is two-fold. Priests and Bishops have horribly failed Christ and their flocks but also the average Catholic has not had the spiritual backbone to demand fidelity (and a fight!) from their leaders. On a more basic level, this says much about the very lukewarm and ugly state of Catholicism in our nation.

Barona said...

Very unfortunate that Douglas farrow, writing in the neo-con First Things saw fit to criticize Mary Wagner for rightly raising the issue of the physicians compromising with the euthanasia death march. Mary, of course, was and remains correct. What we are waiting for is a true Catholic physician to refuse to go-along-to-get-along. Euthanasia is fought with resistance, not cowardly compromise and rushing for "conscience protection". How will "conscience protection" end the expansion of death? It has done absolutely nothing for abortion or contraception.