Thursday, August 5, 2010

Euthanasia - the way of the future

I have a new found respect for those who keep up with their blogs. I just can’t seem to muster up the time to stay active in it. This is my first post in 2010.

I was listening to a radio host interview a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He presented him as a courageous and honorable man whose intentions are to allow a doctor to end his life; or better known as euthanasia. There was an eerie and cold feeling about the whole thing for me. To think people will someday willfully put an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say euthanasia can potentially be our next over the counter permanent pill. Depressed? In pain? Do you have Down Syndrome? Are you just not contributing anything to the world?.........just come to your local hospital and we will put an end to all your misery. Can’t decide on your own? No worries, we’ll decide if you are competent enough to decide and if you’re not we’ll choose for you. 10 out of 10 times we’ll probably put you to down to help alleviate our finance books.

Sounds Twilightish and like a sci-fi thriller eh? I am absolutely repulsed by our culture's cavalier disregard for life, particularly when clothed in thoughtless libertarian nonsense. As if people have no value to them unless they contribute something. Stephen Hawking a great example of someone with the disease who contributes quite a bit; but what if he didn’t?

Granted, I realize there are situations that warrant it (although it’s no longer called euthanasia); like removing a respirator from a person without intending to cause the death.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it far better then I ever could:

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

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