Posts Tagged ‘Euthanasia’

Venerable Traditions and Radical Ideologies

Once upon a time, civilized society gave special consideration to the young and to the elderly and showed special concern for widows and orphans. Under the topic “Duties to Children and Posterity,” C. S. Lewis includes at the end of The Abolition of Man the precepts of the natural law found in all cultures throughout the world and in all ages that honor children and the aged. He quotes the Roman Juvenal: “Great reverence...

The Right Not To Be Killed

The expression “right to life” is best understood in the negative. It is the right of a living human being not to have his life discontinued by being killed. It does not mean the right to continue one’s life indefinitely. Death comes to all of us. The right to life, therefore, is not absolute. The arrival of death does not cancel the right to life. That right is the right not to be killed, not...

Stewards of the Body: End of Life Care

St. John Paul II writes in Evangelium Vitae about man’s responsibility over life: “With regard to things, but even more with regard to life, man is not the absolute master and final judge, but rather-and this is where his incomparable greatness lies-he is the “minister of God’s plan” (no. 52). But how is one to minister when the...

The Fight for End-Of-Life Care: Vitalism vs. Catholicism

In many respects, when St. John Paul II wrote Evangelium Vitae it helped the pro-life movement move forward on matters of public policy. It has served as a guide on many incremental approaches dealing with the subject of abortion. However, what does it have to say on matters of public policy that deal with end-of-life issues? Again, this ground-breaking document has laid a path for the pro-life movement.

Yet, what if the movement is...

Brittany Maynard and Suffering: A Study in Contrast

At the beginning of the movie Shadowlands, CS Lewis is heard saying, “Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” It is an obvious reference to CS Lewis’ theology of suffering. The point, however, is to make note that each person suffers and, at times, suffering is part of the Divine plan. Recently, it has come to light that Brittany Maynard, 29-year old Oregon resident who suffers from a rare form of brain...

“Being Released” and other Euphemisms about Death

Being “released” sounds so ordinary, perhaps even positive. To the citizens portrayed in Lois Lowry’s The Giver (a recently released movie and young adult fiction favorite), being released is an accepted part of community life.

According to the narrator, 12-year old Jonas: “There were only two occasions of release which were not punishment. Release of the elderly, which was a time of celebration for a life well and fully lived; and release of a newchild,...

Physician Assisted Suicide: From Dominion over Human Procreation to the “Right to Die”

Forty-six years ago this July, Pope Paul VI issued his most controversial and, as it turned out, his last, yet most enduring encyclical.  I believe that Humanae vitae is a priceless gift to the (post) modern world. In it, Venerable Paul VI, as we know, reaffirmed the 2,000-years-old Catholic teaching on the immorality of contraception. The Pope taught that conjugal love, and indeed “each and every marital act” must remain open...

What IVF and Euthanasia Have in Common

In vitro fertilization (IVF) and Euthanasia seem strange bedfellows. “Polar opposites” is what comes to mind at first. After all, the one is about generating new life, it would seem, while the other is about ending it prematurely. Yet after hearing about two cases of IVF among my acquaintances recently, I was struck by the fact that they have more in common than we think, and that the mentality behind the one leads to...