Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

About Me

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

When the right to die becomes a duty

by Colleen Carroll Campbell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Linda Fleming, a 66-year-old, legally bankrupt cancer patient living alone in Sequim, Wash., recently became the first person to kill herself under her state's new assisted-suicide law. As in neighboring Oregon, where a similar law has facilitated more than 400 suicides since 1997, the measure that paved the way for Fleming's death allows suicidal adults to obtain lethal prescriptions as long as they are competent and have been diagnosed with a terminal condition by two physicians.

Assisted-suicide advocates hail such laws as progressive and liberating. Yet even in Washington, where 58 percent of voters approved the assisted-suicide measure last fall, many critics remain unconvinced.

They worry that such laws will change a doctor's role from healer to executioner. They fret that the assisted-suicide push will siphon resources from palliative care and confirm severely ill patients' suspicions that their lives are burdensome and worthless. And they fear that, as our society struggles to care for an aging population in a worsening economy, the right to die could morph into a duty to die.

Their fears are well-founded. Consider the case of Barbara Wagner, an Oregon woman who was diagnosed with a recurrence of lung cancer last year at age 64. Her survival prospects were grim, but her oncologist offered her one final hope: a $4,000-a-month drug that could slow the cancer's growth and give her another four to six months to live. Wagner, a great-grandmother and retired bus driver living in a low-income apartment, could not afford the drug herself. So she asked her state-run health insurance plan for help.

The response she received shocked her. Oregon state officials sent a letter saying that they would not pay for medication to extend her life, but they would foot the drug bill for an assisted suicide — an expenditure of roughly $50.

Assisted-suicide laws like the one in Wagner's state are a potential boon to tight-fisted insurers and bureaucrats looking to cut health care costs. And the growing acceptance of assisted suicide and euthanasia, even in states that do not explicitly permit them, makes it easier for frustrated physicians and caregivers to convince themselves and others that severely ill and disabled patients would be better off dead.

Just this month in Wisconsin, a disability-rights group filed a lawsuit against the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics after doctors there withheld treatment for pneumonia from two developmentally disabled patients, apparently because the patients had low "quality of life." Neither was in a persistent vegetative state and, in the case of one patient, family members who initially agreed with the doctor's recommendation to withhold food and medication reconsidered when their relative awoke and asked to eat. According to the lawsuit, the doctor balked at the family's request to restart treatment, and they felt pressured to hasten their loved one's death.

Another unnerving Wisconsin case made headlines last year when a state appeals court ruled that the wife and the adult daughter of a terminally ill man who shot himself could inherit his estate even if they helped him end his life. According to the Associated Press, the man's other children had contested his will, alleging that the wife and daughter, knowing he was suicidal, had taken him to a cabin, given him a loaded shotgun and left him alone. The court said that even if the allegations were true, the women could keep his money.

Such rulings defy common sense. Sadly, they are only the beginning of the abuses and ill-considered decisions we will see as the push for assisted suicide spreads from state to state. The ghastly rationale behind that push — that suicide is the answer to human suffering — demands a forceful response from the millions of Americans who still believe that every life counts.

What gets my attention is the mindset by otherwise well intentioned people regarding this. No longer is life automatically considered sacred but now the pluses and minuses are tallied up against one another. If the minuses are larger in number then no one loses sleep over counseling the patient to kill themselves. "Culture of death" indeed.

That last phrase keeps popping into my mind as I read not only the story pasted here but the one preceding it which dealt with school sanctioned abortions in California. Our culture, not just our nation, has definitely come to the point where life is treated as just another commodity. This leads to a devaluing of intangibles such as honor, patriotism, sacrifice for others, in short all the traditional virtues. They're now on the dust heap of modern society.

I know that in other times of history there have been spiritual awakenings and revivals. That doesn't automatically mean we'll see it happen again. We may be witnessing the last decline of true humanity in the human race, to be replaced by the values of the jungle.

A long night may be falling from which there will be no new dawning.

Sorry for the morbid thoughts, lately it seems any decency at all is under siege.


Most Rev. Gregori said...

As they say; "Be careful of what you ask for, because you just might get it."

Adrienne said...

We considered moving to Sequim (pronounced Skwim) a few years ago. It's gorgeous. We decided against it 'cause there seemed to be too many old people (that - coming from someone 63). Now there's one less.

Pretty soon it will be like the Netherlands where people are afraid to go to the hospital for fear they'll be offed without their consent. It's coming....

Just another mad Catholic said...

I'm off to Malta, a bastion of sanity in these dark times :)

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