Thursday 17th January 2019

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

June 9, 2016 Featured Today No Comments

By BRIAN CLOWES

Part 2

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

+ + +

We have covered the definitions of the varieties of euthanasia (active and passive, voluntary, non-voluntary, and involuntary), the types of suicide, and the scientific definition of death. It is important to know terms relating to the natural end of a human life, and we should also be familiar with the soothing and deceptive terms often used by pro-euthanasia groups.
Natural death means allowing a person to die in comfort and peace by withholding excessive or heroic treatment that would only cause pain and lengthen the person’s lifespan by a modest or insignificant amount. Note that if medical professionals withheld the same treatment from a person in the same circumstances whose lifespan would be significantly lengthened by it, they would be instead committing passive euthanasia. Food, water, and oxygen must be provided during the person’s progression to natural death, because they are the right of every human being.
Letting a person die a natural death is not passive euthanasia. As Bishop René Gracida has defined it: “If the removal of a life-sustaining procedure is intended to avoid an unreasonable burden of the procedure, so that a quicker death is only an unintended side-effect of the decision, it is not a case of euthanasia.”
An associated term is palliative care, which is treatment provided in order to alleviate pain and other discomfort that accompany a terminal illness without treating the illness itself, because such treatment is considered to be futile and not in the best interests of the patient.

“Rights Talk” And Euthanasia

The Culture of Death has found that it can make great progress by emphasizing the “hard cases” and by framing all of its initiatives in terms of “human rights.” It is irrelevant whether or not such “rights” are moral or immoral, beneficial or terribly destructive, legal or illegal, or even if they exist; liberals believe that saying something makes it so, and they see all individuals as bundles of rights that must possess the maximum possible degree of freedom in order to be happy and fulfilled.
Of course, this is a very effective way to advance their own agendas, whether or not they are in the best interests of the people.
The right to die does not actually exist, according to either the laws of God or the laws of man. Pro-euthanasia activists cleverly fabricated a “right to die” in order to appeal to people who have become conditioned into unthinkingly accepting new and dangerous “rights.”
The “rights” formulated under the umbrella “right to privacy” include contraception, abortion, direct and indirect infanticide, various homosexual activities, pornography, and euthanasia. Courts have used the so-called “right to privacy” repeatedly to legitimize behavior that many people find abhorrent or immoral — quite simply because there is no possible legitimate justification for them.
Fundamentally, the “right to die” is not a right — it is the forfeiture of all possible rights, and, as in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the People’s Republic of China, will inevitably become for many people the duty to die.
As former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm asserted: “. . . We have a duty to die. It’s like leaves falling off a tree forming the humus for the other plants to grow up. We’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life.”
Other pro-euthanasiasts have gone so far as to allege that living a long and healthy life is actually an immoral act! John Hardwig, retired professor of medical ethics and social philosophy at East Tennessee State University, has claimed:
“There may be a fairly common responsibility to end one’s life in the absence of any terminal illness….There can be a duty to die even when one would prefer to live. To have reached the age of, say, 75 or 80 years without being ready to die is itself a moral failing, the sign of a life out of touch with life’s basic realities.”
Death with dignity is a difficult term to address, because it is so slippery and hard to define. This failing, of course, makes it a perfect tool for the euthanasia pushers.
All people, whether they support or oppose euthanasia, desire a dignified death for themselves and for their loved ones. But the primary conflict arises over the definition of “dignity.”
Pro-euthanasia activists perceive a loss of physical or intellectual dignity when a person becomes incontinent, incoherent, and confused, suffers intractable pain, or feels that he has lost control of his destiny.
Anti-euthanasia activists perceive a loss of spiritual dignity when a person loses his focus on God and instead desires only a release from an existence that he or others may find pointless and wasteful.
The terminally ill person’s state of mind highlights the difference in viewpoints.
When a person’s fear of death is exceeded only by his fear of pain or loss of control, he is in a state of mortal terror and may see death as only a blessed release from his current situation. He may indeed fear what happens after death, but primarily focuses only on his present circumstances. Such a person necessarily defines his degree of dignity by purely physical or emotional criteria.
However, when a person overcomes his fear of both death and pain, and accepts and transcends them with a deep peace at the end of his life, he realizes that purely physical measures of “dignity” are inappropriate because they are incomplete.
True compassion demands that all of us love and support one another regardless of our functional capacity or appearance, and prepare the dying for their ultimate meeting with God. This is the true definition of living with dignity, even when in the last stages of dying.
Mercy killing is an act of direct euthanasia usually committed for the alleged purpose of ending the suffering of an unproductive or terminally ill person. In reality, healthy people usually commit “mercy killings” in order to relieve themselves of the inconvenience and expense of caring for those who have (or will) become an emotional or financial burden on them. “Mercy killing” usually takes place without the express request of the victim, and is carried out in the belief that it is the most compassionate course of action.
Over the past few decades, society has defined two classes of born human beings who are not suffering, but who are nonetheless candidates for “mercy killings” — handicapped newborns who could otherwise live long lives, and people in an extended comatose state. Pro-euthanasia groups are now attempting to extend this lethal “privilege” to terminal patients and nursing home residents, regardless of their emotional state or level of pain.
It is inevitable that the number of people eligible for “mercy killings” will expand rapidly and uncontrollably, just as it did in Nazi Germany, and just as it is doing in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium today.
“Mercy killing” of both infants and adults is a logical extension of the practice of elective abortion committed to eliminate handicapped preborn babies. If healthy preborn babies can be killed up until the moment of birth because the mother perceives her health or well-being is threatened, then why can they not be killed shortly after birth, especially if they have a serious chromosomal defect such as Down syndrome?
Down syndrome children are among the happiest and most contented human beings in existence, often living well into adulthood and giving great joy to others. In fact, surveys have shown that people with Down syndrome are by far the happiest group of people on Earth, with an incredible 99 percent saying that they are satisfied and happy with their lives. Yet 90 percent of them are killed in utero, not because they will suffer, but because their parents perceive that they will suffer.
If a person accepts death on God’s terms, it is a mercy. However, if others force it on us, or if we strive for it due to the dictates of our misguided consciences, it is a dreadful burden, seemingly acceptable only because it appears to be less terrible than the pain.

It All Comes Down To Intent

Despite the forest of confusing terms, there is one certain way to determine whether an action is licit or illicit — intent. If the intent of the action or omission is to hasten the death of a person, this is euthanasia and is never morally permissible. However, if the intention of the action or omission is simply to let nature take its course and not unnecessarily prolong the process of dying, then it is permissible to withhold or withdraw a treatment or procedure.
In summary, it is intent, not the consequences of the situation, no matter how dire, that determines the morality of a particular act.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

"I do not think it is accurate to say that the sexual abuse of minors is owed to clericalism. That would be to give the impression that there is something about the clerical state that involves the sexual abuse of minors." Part 2 .. Interview
https://t.co/7Ja8po3UlN

Honest to God, I am really getting sick and tired of these caravans. What in the world is this? Just come and push your way into the country? And all of this just happening by itself? Thank you, @realDonaldTrump for standing firm against the un-American #Democrat party. #MAGA

@BethellDonna @Church_Militant @george_neumayr @JZmirak
@TaylorRMarshall @DanielCMattson @Patrick_Coffin @DictatorPope @ProtecttheFaith @TheWandererNews @LorlebergPetra Please help share and sign! This is a good way of putting pressure on Rome to do the right thing in February!

LifeSiteNews.com on Twitter

“Swiss group launches global petition asking Catholic bishops to stop homosexual networks https://t.co/EyvvxXzIeM”

twitter.com

Load More...

China’s crackdown on Christians continues

Beijing, China, Jan 15, 2019 / 02:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A campaign by the Chinese government to ‘Sinicize’ religion is ongoing, with detention and indoctrination of Muslims in the far west of the country, and the closing of underground churches…Continue Reading

Cdl. Wuerl will not celebrate youth Mass prior to March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl will not celebrate the Archdiocese of Washington’s January 18 Mass for Life, which is scheduled to occur before the annual March for Life. Instead, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to…Continue Reading

Support Archbishop Viganò on his 78th birthday!

January 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, turns 78 years old today. Born in northern Italy, Archbishop Viganò was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. He spent the next several…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke: Pope Francis’ response to abuse crisis is ‘more confusing than anything’

January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke told German TV in a January 8 interview that Pope Francis’ response to the abuse crisis is “confusing.” Cardinal Burke stated that Pope Benedict was “very clear on this [matter of abuse],”…Continue Reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Trashes Pro-Life People: You’re “Not in Line With Society”

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s radically pro-abortion prime minister, blasted pro-life advocates Wednesday amid a nation-wide outrage about barring pro-life groups from a federal grant program. “An organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion,…Continue Reading

Cardinal’s trial puts French Church in glare of Catholic abuse scandal

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon goes on trial on Monday charged with failing to act on historical allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts by a priest in his diocese. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is the highest-profile cleric to be…Continue Reading

Trudeau to issue new coin commemorating decriminalizaton of gay sex

OTTAWA, January 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has granted the Royal Mint permission to release a new one-dollar coin designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his father’s decriminalization of homosexuality. Trudeau’s government approved the coin…Continue Reading

CARDINAL CUPICH KEYNOTE SPEAKER FOR DISSIDENT PRIESTS’ CONFERENCE

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Blase Cupich is slated to be the keynote speaker at the annual conference for a notorious dissident priests’ organization. The annual assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) will take place in June 2019, and…Continue Reading

Vatican spokesman, deputy, resign over strategy differences

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican spokesman and his deputy resigned on Monday over disagreements on strategy, ending a year of upheaval in the Holy See’s communications structure. A brief Vatican statement gave no reason for the resignations. Spokesman Greg…Continue Reading

Chinese city bans public displays of Christmas, cites ‘clean city’ as reason

LANGFANG, China, December 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A city in China has issued a sweeping ban on Christmas-related decorations, public celebrations, and advertisements, claiming it’s necessary to keep the city clean for an upcoming awards contest. Christmas is not an…Continue Reading

Priest: Pro-LGBT rainbow rosary promoted by Fr. Martin ‘comes from the pit of hell’

December 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – During a radio interview about the pro-homosexual “social justice” rosary that Fr. James Martin has been promoting, Fr. Donald Calloway prayed for Martin’s “radical conversion” and that the Jesuit might “repent of the things he has…Continue Reading

President Trump’s Decision to Defund Planned Parenthood of $50-60 Million Likely to Win in Court

President Donald Trump appears likely to win a court battle against the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. At issue are new guidelines for Title X grants, which fund family planning programs across the country. In February, the U.S. Department of Health and…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Vatican: Abuse summit to help bishops know ‘what they need to do’

Vatican City, Jan 16, 2019 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just over a month ahead of the much-anticipated February meeting on sex abuse, the Vatican said the summit’s goal is for bishops to leave the meeting knowing clearly what it is they need to do to stop the abuse of minors. According to a statement by papal spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti Jan. 16, the February meeting “has a concrete purpose: the goal is that all of…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò urges McCarrick to publicly repent in new open letter

ROME, January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — With a tone of fraternal and priestly charity, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has written an open letter to former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, encouraging him to publicly repent of his sins and thus to save his soul. In the brief letter, dated January 13, 2019 and published in English and Italian (see full text below), Archbishop Viganò has also sought to persuade McCarrick that he has a unique opportunity to greatly benefit the Churc

U.S. Catholics losing trust in clergy, survey finds

Washington D.C., Jan 11, 2019 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- Trust in the clergy has declined sharply over the last year, a new Gallup poll shows. Only 31 percent of American Catholics now rate the honesty or ethical standards of the clergy as “high” or “very high.” The figures, released Friday, show a drop of 18 points since 2017. Among American Protestants, the same question produced a relatively stable number of 48 percent, a drop of…Continue Reading

Vatican News pays tribute to Cuba’s brutal communist revolution, then deletes post

ROME, January 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An article at Vatican News, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, disappeared from the Holy See’s website just one day after it appeared on January 1. No explanation was offered for the self-censorship of the article, which marked the rise to power of Fidel Castro and his anti-clerical Marxist government, which has long been marked by grievous human rights violations. The Vatican News article, in…Continue Reading

Wuerl knew McCarrick abuse allegations in 2004

Washington D.C., Jan 10, 2019 / 05:13 pm (CNA).- An allegation of misconduct against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick was reported to Cardinal Donald Wuerl in 2004, despite Wuerl’s insistence he knew nothing about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct until 2018. Wuerl forwarded the report to the apostolic nuncio in Washington, DC, the Diocese of Pittsburgh said Thursday. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington confirmed to CNA that an allegation against McCarrick was presented to Wuerl while…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

An Answer To A Sedevacantist Wannabe

By FR. JOHN T. ZUHLSDORF (Editor’s Note: Someone who is “seriously considering adopting some form of sedevacantism” wrote recently to Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf, and Fr. Z posted his reply on his January 7 blog. The question and answer are reprinted here with permission.) + + + Quaeritur: Father, I’ll get straight to the point:…Continue Reading

Critics Warn… New Mexico Bill Could Allow “Suicide Tourism”

SANTA FE, N.M. (CNA/EWTN News) — Proposed legislation in New Mexico could legalize assisted suicide in the state, and may even allow for the prescription of deadly drugs outside the state via telemedicine, and by health-care professionals other than physicians. Deacon Steve Rangel, associate director for the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the…Continue Reading

The Case Against The Sign Of Peace At Mass

By REY FLORES O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Your Apostles: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you,” regarda not my sins but the faith of your Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Your will: Who live and reign God, world without end. Amen. — At…Continue Reading

Candor Is Not The Enemy Of Love

By DONALD DeMARCO Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, in his book Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World, makes two most important points when he reminds all those who love life that “candor is not the enemy of love” and that “real hope begins in honesty.” Candor may disturb one’s…Continue Reading

No, This Is Not JFK’s Democratic Party

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House has more women, persons of color, and LGBT members than any House in history — and fewer white males. And Thursday, January 3, the day Rashida Tlaib was sworn in, her hand on a Koran, our first Palestinian-American congresswoman showed us what we may expect. As a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

His Bride Is The Church

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5 1 Cor. 12:4-11 John 2:1-11 In the readings for the past three weeks, the Church has given us the three traditional events which manifested our Lord’s divinity. The word Epiphany means manifestation. These manifestations took place thirty years apart, but were celebrated together because they point…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Wall And Abortion: No Moral Equivalency

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The March for Life event each January draws thousands of pro-life Americans to Washington, D.C., to witness for the weakest and most defenseless among us, preborn boys and girls who cannot speak on behalf of the sacredness of their lives in the face of legalized abortion which, in some cases, threatens their existence at every…Continue Reading

The Authority Of Bishops . . . The Hierarchy Of Orders In The Catholic Church

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 It is a well-known fact that the Church today is going through a crisis, especially in faith, as can be seen as early as 1985 when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger allowed the publication of The Ratzinger Report. I believe that Benedict XVI was the only Pope in Church history whose mind was already well-known…Continue Reading

The Crisis Of Hope In The Modern World

By DON FIER Two opposing vices were identified last week as contrary to the theological virtue of hope: despair and presumption. Despair, on the one hand, goes against Divine Mercy; presumption, on the other hand, goes against Divine Justice. To explain, the renowned Thomist philosopher Dr. Josef Pieper describes hope as “preeminently the virtue of the status viatoris [condition or…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In a recent reply about the appropriateness of giving blessings to those coming to Holy Communion, we said that the practice was an unauthorized innovation that should be discouraged. We have since learned that Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., has instructed his priests and deacons not to give such blessings. Here is his rationale: “I do not…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Calabria

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Teresa of Calcutta answered a call within a call by founding the Missionaries of Charity to help the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Soon her apostolic endeavors to serve the most destitute of persons spread throughout the world, while she said that the greatest poverty is in the West where people do not know…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds are finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading