Tuesday 27th September 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Bioethics Expert . . . Notes Social Results Of Making Good Or Bad Choices

July 6, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of conscience for religiously sincere business owners as June and the court’s session concluded, a national legal expert in bioethics told some leading graduate students in Arizona that when he was in law school, he couldn’t have foreseen the sorts of issues being grappled with today.
Speaking to the students here earlier in June, Nikolas Nikas, president, CEO and general counsel of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Bioethics Defense Fund (BDF), said a key question is whether the law is tied to morality or to the assertion of will.
Listeners could discern that a moral standard for the law provides some reference point outside one’s own desires and preferences, while an assertion of the will needn’t have any such safeguard.
“Ethics is the science of making good or bad choices,” Nikas said.
He received his law degree magna cum laude in 1986 from the Arizona State University College of Law.
“The idea I would be dealing with issues like we’re talking about” on the ethical front these days would have been unthinkable then, Nikas told the students.
When the Supreme Court issued its opinion favoring the religious business owners on June 30, addressing what often is called the “HHS Mandate,” BDF issued a news release that included this point:
“Our unique amicus brief, filed with co-counsel Patrick T. Gillen of Ave Maria Law School, informed the Supreme Court that the HHS Mandate failed to further the government’s purported interest in promoting ‘women’s preventive health care’ because the mandated contraceptive drugs and devices are associated with significantly increased risks of cancer and other life-threatening diseases such as stroke and heart attack.”
BDF’s motto is, “Law in the Service of Life.”
Although Barack Obama freely handed out waivers and exemptions from his forcibly imposed national medical plan to those who suited his lawless political fancy, Obama insisted that religious believers must fund abortifacients and risky contraceptives that endanger women’s lives.
In his Phoenix talk, Nikas said that what separates man from animals “is making moral judgments.” He added that when Nazi doctors and lawyers on trial at Nuremberg after World War II were asked why they acted as they did, they said they were only following the law.
But it was a law that was put in place to accommodate the National Socialist dictatorship.
In this light, Nikas recalled a lesson from an ancient Greek war: “The weak submit to what they must. The strong do what they will.”
Later in the talk Nikas said one current attitude is, “whatever I want, I get.”
Among his other accomplishments, the BDF website says: “Nikas is a dynamic speaker, having lectured on the full range of bioethics topics at leading medical schools and law schools, including Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, and dozens of others. He has lectured internationally at legal and medical conferences, including the Rome conference of Matercare, and a legal symposium at the University of Warsaw.”
Also, “Nikas received his BA (1979) and MA (1981) in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame, with his master’s focusing on political theory.”
Nikas told the graduate students in Phoenix that “we’re not Luddites,” simply opposing scientific development. “We’re probably all alive because of antibiotics,” but there are limits to the acceptable, as revealed by the natural law.
There also are plain facts denied by those with an agenda. “Anyone who tells you in 2014, ‘We don’t know when human life begins’,” Nikas said, is being an obscurantist, rejecting established knowledge.
On the topic of harvesting human ova, Nikas said, “It’s not going to be the rich and powerful women” who give up their ova for cloning; it’s the poor. “Do human beings have inherent worth, or we don’t?”
The United Kingdom authorized using a human somatic cell and an animal nucleus cell in experimentation, he said, speculating about additional research and asking, “At what point in this process would a human embryo become animal-like?” An 80 percent human, 20 percent animal mix?
Nikas said he’s not saying this development necessarily will happen, but wondered “how you prepare yourself intellectually” to deal with such questions.
Noting what in fact has developed in surrogate parenting, Nikas said it’s possible to have four “parents” involved — an anonymous donor, a surrogate mother to carry the unborn infant, and the mother and father who want to raise the child as theirs.
Nikas showed the students some graphics from a surrogacy website in which women who already have borne at least one child — proving they can successfully bring to term — offer to bear babies for others.
“When you put women on a website like this,” he asked, “is it any different than selling shoes on a website?. . .
“We critique the method,” Nikas added, “not the human beings that are born.”

The Seduction Of A Society

He recalled the 1927 U.S. Supreme Court opinion Buck v. Bell, written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., approving the involuntary sterilization of those considered unfit, for the health of the state.
“We’re horrified about this. . . . Justice Holmes got it wrong,” Nikas said.
The Nazis adopted the rationale of Buck v. Bell in their work forcibly sterilizing those considered defective, Nikas said.
Warning of how societies are seduced, he said, “Germany, which had the greatest culture, the culture of Bach and Beethoven and science,” took little children and the elderly off trains and sent them straight to Nazi gas chambers.
On the topic of what influences people toward euthanasia now, Nikas cited four reasons: 1) Their fear of dying with pain, 2) fear of dying alone, 3) fear of dying broke, and 4) fear of losing control, losing “autonomy.”
“Hospice care is a mixed bag,” he said, because sometimes “they push you a little fast” toward death. And, “Shame on us,” he added, if any Christians allow people to die alone.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Donald Trump Names Rick Santorum and Other Top Pro-Life Catholics as Key Advisers

Fresh from announcing a list of pro-life leaders who are advising him on issues that matter to pro-life voters, Donald Trump has named a group of pro-life Catholic leaders as additional key advisers, including pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.…Continue Reading

Argentine bishop threatened with prosecution for condemning ‘culture of fornication’

September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic archbishop of the Argentinean city of La Plata is under investigation by the country’s “discrimination” police for condemning the modern acceptance of sexual promiscuity and “unnatural” unions, according to local media sources. Archbishop…Continue Reading

First minor killed by euthanasia in Belgium after child euthanasia legalized

BELGIUM, September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission confirmed Saturday the country’s first instance of child euthanasia, which became legal in 2014. Belgian media suggested the minor killed via lethal injection was 17. Some media also suggested the…Continue Reading

Donald Trump commits to defunding abortion, Planned Parenthood if elected

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States and to defund the nation’s leading abortion provider. In a new, personally signed letter, Mr. Trump attacked “Hillary Clinton’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another…Continue Reading

Another “Catholic” Politician trying to redefine the Catholic Faith . . . Devout Catholic™ Kaine breaks with his church on gay marriage, with media blessing

Tim Kaine has officially joined the ranks of Devout Catholic™. How do we know? Because he says he’s Catholic, yet criticizes the church. The Democratic vice presidential nominee played weekend prophet and theologian when he told activists in the Human…Continue Reading

Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison

This past weekend the Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin made an announcement of great liturgical importance. Going forward His Excellency will be offering all of his Masses at the Cathedral ad orientem. Make no…Continue Reading

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

phillis

Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded. Schlafly had been an…Continue Reading

Soros’ Catholic useful idiots

By Robert A. Sirico – – Tuesday, August 30, 2016 A most remarkable set of documents was coughed up recently by WikiLeaks. George Soros‘ Open Society Policy Center, it turns out, made donations to two faith-based organizations to the tune…Continue Reading

Pope Francis “gratified” by UN goals that demand “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

Pope Francis has said that he is “gratified” by UN goals that call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and,…Continue Reading

Psychiatrist: The Vatican’s sex ed is the most dangerous threat to youth I’ve seen in 40 years

September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent years, the Catholic Church has been going through one of her most severe crises as a result of the priestly abuse of youth. The primary victims have been adolescent males.1  This worldwide scandal was…Continue Reading

Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will

RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish. “Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  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 145 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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

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

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…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Benedict XVI Admits Qualms of Conscience about Vatican II

After the German publisher Droemer Verlag first released it on 9 September 2016, much has already been deeply discussed and variously reported about Benedict XVI’s new interview-book, Benedikt XVI. Letzte Gespräche (Benedict XVI – Last Conversations) which so far has only been published in the German language. It has been shown, for example, how the former pope supports whole-heartedly Pope Francis’ papacy and how he still defends his decision to leave his Petrine office, not…Continue Reading

">We May Not Have A Church To Go To . . .

Paul Likoudis (RIP)

Calling hours will at Vedder And Scott Funeral home on Tuesday September 27th from 4pm to 7pm. 122 N Genesee Street Montour Falls NY 14865 A Mass of Christian Burial Will Be held at 11am on Wednesday September 28 with a reception to be held immediately following at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church. 905 N. Decatur Street Watkins Glen NY 14891 Dear Friends, Paul Augustine Likoudis, age 61 of Caywood, NY, passed away due…Continue Reading

500 Catholic scholars lash back at Humanae Vitae critics

Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2016 / 03:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 50 years after the “prophetic” papal document Humanae Vitae, the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching against contraception continues to promote the human good, said a group of Catholic thinkers on Tuesday. “We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document. “Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Tim Kaine: “I Believe Women Should Be Able to” Have an Abortion

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Democratic Vice Presidential pick Tim Kaine, attempted to make his pitch to Millennials by saying that they agree with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform on the big issues. One of the big issues is obviously abortion. Part of what he said was: “Do you believe women should be able to make their own health care decisions, or don’t you? Millennials do, Hillary Clinton and I do, Donald Trump doesn’t.”…Continue Reading

Never Trump? . . . The Case Against “Sitting Out” The Presidential Election

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: To receive an electronic copy of this four-part article with footnotes, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “When you have a binary choice, you must make a decision. It’s frankly irresponsible to stay on the sidelines right now, given where the republic is heading” — Marjorie Dannenfelser,…Continue Reading

Bibi Backs Trump — On Putin

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Since Donald Trump said that if Vladimir Putin praises him, he would return the compliment, Republican outrage has not abated. Arriving on Capitol Hill to repair ties between Trump and party elites, Gov. Mike Pence was taken straight to the woodshed. John McCain told Pence that Putin was a “thug and…Continue Reading

Sex On The Brain

By DONALD DeMARCO The late Malcolm Muggeridge, who, in his later years, had some sensible things to say about human sexuality, lamented that people “have sex on the brain, and that’s an unhealthy place for it to be.” What he meant by this remark was based on his observation that sex, which is a natural…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Bridge Between Abortion And Euthanasia

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 (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, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Speaking at a conference of the Hemlock Society — an organization whose primary…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… At The Hour Of Our Death

By JAMES MONTI The onset of autumn has deeper lessons to offer than merely the return of students to their classrooms for another semester of studies. Our Lord Himself told us to derive spiritual instruction from even the change of seasons when He compared the budding of leaves on the fig tree that presage summer…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . How Catholics End Up As Practical Protestants

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church is in the business of making Catholics, of proclaiming and calling all to the fullness of saving truth in Jesus Christ our Lord. Our mission to those who doubt or refuse some of our teachings is to call them to that fullness, whether Catholics already in our pews or Protestant brothers and sisters…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Is Faith Necessary For Salvation?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM For most of us who are cradle Catholics, it is not difficult to believe, since we received the theological virtue of faith in Baptism and grew up with it. Our parents and/or teachers taught us all about the Bible stories, the catechism, the sacraments. We learned to pray the Creed from an early age, and…Continue Reading

The Necessity Of Baptism

By DON FIER The Church’s immemorial tradition of baptizing infants demonstrates in a particular way one of the great truths of our Catholic faith — that every human person is in need of salvation. Born into this world afflicted with original sin, “a sin which is the death of the soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 403), even…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent question about how much money the U.S. bishops get from the federal government, an article in LifeSiteNews reported that the Obama Administration is pouring hundreds of million of dollars into Catholic institutions and charities. “We’ve got the most virulently anti-life administration in the history of the United States,” said international child rights advocate…Continue Reading

If It Delays, Wait For It

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-4 2 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14 Luke 17:5-10 I have commented many times before on the last lines of the Gospel reading today where our Lord tells us to say: “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” Tragically, I wish that…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Texas there is an old building that is part of the Missions National Historical Park of the National Park Service near San Antonio, Texas. This restored mission was founded in 1731 on the San Antonio River by the Franciscans and named after the soldier saint, St. John of Capistrano. In San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Franciscans…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order…Continue Reading