Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Revisiting euthanasia

The first news of the morning highlights the current Supreme Court case that revisits euthanasia. An APstory on Yahoo! News (please note this story is continually updated; it longer reads as follows) features a disgusting pro-euthanasia bent to it. The first sentence (at the time- this is a constantly updated story) reads as follows:
“The Bush administration pressed the Supreme Court on Wednesday to block doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives...”

Photos of protestors outside the courthouse hold signs with slogans such as "Give me liberty at my death," and "My life, my death, my decision." It is hard to believe that these pro-euthanasia supporters are most often the same ones who support legalized abortion, but oppose the death penalty. Life only holds value to them to the extent that each feels like he or she has this ambiguous "quality of life."

A Cybercast News story has a less biased view, obviously not promoting the euthanasia agenda. From their story, we can see that people no longer believe in biology. At their self-determination, it has become an enemy to life rather than the very ingredients of physical life.

Speaking of war veterans who have suffered injuries while in service and use this as a background for desiring their own euthanasia, Barbara Coombs Lee, a representative of Compassion & Choices (euthanasia movement), vies for legal and socially accepted euthanasia.

"These people all fought valiantly to live. But facing their imminent deaths, they did not want to die in a way that caused them to suffer needlessly, that violated their own deeply held values and beliefs."

In reality, however, it is precisely these people who have experienced death, pain and profoundly spiritual and though-provoking emotions who will be best suited to understand natural death. It is these people who will remember their fallen brothers and how they did not have the beauty of a peaceful natural death, who may not have been able to make their last confession or peace with God. It is these people who will recognize the redemption present in suffering.

On the other hand, Archbishop Celestino Migliore Vatican representative to the UN calls for the development of a society that will integrate the elderly into family life and their community. Catholic News Agency reports on the statements he made to a UN committee yesterday. Here, he said that society should create “a wide range of opportunities to make use of the potential, experiences and expertise of older persons… This approach and attitude will enable [the elderly] both to remain connected to society and to continue to make a mark in the world, whether for volunteerism or work.”

This morning, I was talking with a friend and coworker about the profound experience of watching a loved one die. The reason I was able to watch my grandma (G-ma) die was that she and my grandpa (G-pa) lived with my family. G&G, as they were affectionately known around the house, were as much a part of my family as the siblings and the parents. They contributed in different ways, as appropriate to their age and experience. They never let us forget the beauty and gift of life. They had a deep faith that we all shared. God truly blessed my family by bringing them to live with us in 1997 until their deaths in 2001.

As Rev. Rusty Thomas, widower and father of 10 children, said in a recent Gospel of Life TV program, "Our children are our social security."

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