Saturday 30th April 2016

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Assisted Suicide In England… Life And Death Under Debate

July 26, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC

(Editor’s Note: Fr. Flynn is a columnist for ZENIT News Agency, which provided this commentary. All rights reserved.)

+    +    +

A bill to legalize assisted suicide has been introduced into Britain’s House of Lords by Lord Falconer, previously lord chancellor under Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair, and it is causing widespread debate.
The House of Lords has already debated this matter in 2006 and 2009 and both times has strongly rejected the attempts to allow assisted suicide.
The opinion pages and letters columns of the English media have been filled with contrasting views. In the Telegraph on July 4, Charles Moore deplored the manipulative use of the phrase of “dying with dignity.”
“Wielding ‘dignity’ so skillfully, Lord Falconer and his allies then hold before us the distressing individual examples who say they long to die, but cannot,” he commented.
The Vatican has intervened in the debate, with the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, saying that allowing assisted suicide would open a “Pandora’s box,” with “horrible consequences,” for the frail, elderly, and sick, the Telegraph reported May 8.
Religious leaders in England have generally condemned the proposal, but there have been divisions in the Anglican Church.
The former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, came out in support of the bill saying: “The old philosophical certainties have collapsed in the face of the reality of needless suffering,” the Telegraph reported July 11.
Another Anglican prelate, Desmond Tutu, former archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, also supported the proposal, saying that:
“Yes, I think a lot of people would be upset if I said I wanted assisted dying. I would say I wouldn’t mind actually,” the Observer reported July 13.
Nevertheless, the current archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has come out decisively against the bill put forward by Lord Falconer.
Elderly people and others would be put under pressure to end their lives if the bill is passed, he warned in an opinion column published by The London Times, July 12.
Far from being a compassionate option assisted suicide is “both mistaken and dangerous,” he said.
“True compassion can be shown through care, through expending time and resources on those suffering and through offering hope even in the darkest of circumstances,” he added.
Following this, 23 religious leaders wrote a letter to Parliament expressing their opposition to the bill. The signatories included Archbishop Welby, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, and the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, the Telegraph reported July 15. Other signatories included representatives from the Methodists, Baptists, and Pentecostals.
The letter, according to the Telegraph, criticized the bill as providing inadequate safeguards and instead of bringing comfort to the dying, assisted suicide would only bring further distress and pressure at a time when they are already vulnerable.
Proponents of the bill have continued their pressure. Twenty-seven senior medical figures, including 11 present or former presidents of royal medical colleges, have written to all the members of the House of Lords in support of the bill, the Guardian reported July 15.
Nevertheless, overall medical opinion is opposed to assisted suicide. A poll carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners found that a majority were against any changes in the law, the Telegraph reported February 21.
“The Falconer bill would turn doctors into executioners, brutalizing society in the process,” wrote Melanie Philips in a column for the Times on July 7.
She warned of the dangers of a slippery slope, citing examples in Belgium and the Netherlands where voluntary euthanasia gradually changed into killing the vulnerable, including children.
Her position was backed up by Dutch ethicist professor Theo Boer. In a July 10 article published by the Daily Mail he explained that while initially in favor of euthanasia, he had changed his mind on seeing what has happened in recent years.
“I used to be a supporter of the Dutch law. But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a very different view,” he said.
Doctors are sometimes pressured by relatives to end lives and the practice of euthanasia has been extended to patients with dementia or psychiatric illnesses.
Kevin Yuill, a university lecturer and author of Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization, likened assisted suicide to the death penalty in an opinion piece published July 14 on the website Spiked.
If liberals, he said, “believe that the premeditated killing of a human being by the state, even for the best possible reasons, is wrong, then, by definition, assisted suicide, which, after all, amounts to state-approved suicide, must also be judged wrong.”
The Catholic Church has published a number of statements opposing the bill. Assisted suicide is a “counsel of despair” and instead we need to ensure everyone receives good palliative care, the bishops of England and Wales declared in a statement published earlier this year.
“There’s a world of difference, in medical ethics and in law, between accepting that death can’t be prevented and seeking assistance to end your own life,” they said.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Pro-Life Group Lists Every Company Backing Planned Parenthood

A pro-life organization that has spent decades working to try to get corporations to stop giving financial donations to the Planned Parenthood abortion business has released a revised listing of companies backing the abortion giant. Life Decisions International has released…Continue Reading

Trump completes 5-state sweep; Clinton beats Sanders in most Super Tuesday III contests

Donald Trump completed a five-state sweep in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primaries, strengthening his shot at avoiding a contested convention – while Hillary Clinton scored convincing victories but was denied the same bragging rights of a primary sweep by a surprise…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Caught Again

Kentucky is suing a new Planned Parenthood clinic after Governor Matt Bevin found out that they have illegally killed 23 unborn children. The clinic knowingly operated without a license for nearly two months. The request for a license was later…Continue Reading

Top Vatican cardinals aren’t commenting on pope’s exhortation

April 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two of the Vatican’s most senior prelates, both known for taking a strong stand for the Church’s tradition at the Synod on the Family, are declining interviews on Pope Francis’ controversial apostolic exhortation. Vatican reporter…Continue Reading

Indiana diocese: Catholic teachers must uphold Church’s moral teachings

FORT WAYNE, Indiana, April 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Another Catholic bishop has taken steps to reinforce Catholic identity in the schools of his diocese. Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades promulgated “The Mission of Our Catholic Schools and the Importance…Continue Reading

Abby Johnson to Georgetown: Pray for Cecile Richards because no one is beyond conversion

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – No one is beyond conversion, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson said at Georgetown University Wednesday, just hours after Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards delivered a lecture to a packed room at…Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Pro-life NFL star Matt Birk reveals real reason he skipped meeting with Obama

April 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — When football star Matt Birk decided to quietly decline an invitation to meet President Obama after winning the 2013 Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, he said at the time that he was acting on…Continue Reading

Head of US Bishops’ news agency resigns, blames ‘far right blogosphere’

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—The editor-in-chief and director of the U.S. bishops’ official news service resigned Wednesday at the request of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference general secretary. Tony Spence, who had worked for Catholic News Service since 2004, had…Continue Reading

Scandal: More ‘Drag Shows’ at Catholic Colleges

Annual drag shows — where individuals dress up and perform as the opposite sex — have become a consistent presence on several Catholic college campuses, punctuating the spring semester with scandal and disregard for Church teaching on human sexuality. Despite…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood: Ted Cruz is ‘the biggest threat we face’

April 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Ted Cruz’s pro-life views make him the “biggest threat” Planned Parenthood faces, the abortion giant said in a fundraising email last week. Citing the Texas senator and presidential candidate’s opposition to abortion in cases of…Continue Reading

Details Released for Planned Parenthood Event at Georgetown

March 7, 2016, at 8:12 PM  |  By Adam Cassandra In a statement sent to The Cardinal Newman Society Monday night, the Archdiocese of Washington responded to the controversy surrounding the invite of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President…Continue Reading

Ted Cruz takes stand against abortion after rape: Go after the rapist, don’t kill the baby

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Texas senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has run as the most prolife candidate, and this week, Cruz once again boldly backed up his prolife credentials. Fox News’ Megyn Kelly conducted an extended…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

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .  

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Top Catholic Philosopher: Amoris Laetitia Will “Split the Church”

Today, 28 April, an important exclusive interview with a well-known Catholic philosopher has been published in Germany. The important statements of Professor Robert Spaemann might well indicate that the wind is turning now against the “Francis Revolution”. Spaemann – who is a personal friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – says about Amoris Laetitia that there are some ways of interpreting the document against the continuous teaching of the Church. He then continues: However, the article…Continue Reading

Christians in Crisis: Report Details Dire Situation in Iraq and Syria

ZENIT.ORG People of all religions will miss Christians’ contribution to education, healthcare •April 28, 2016•Fr. John Flynn• With no end in sight to the fighting in Iraq and Syria the remaining Christian population continues to experience very difficult conditions. A recent report, “Salt of the Earth: Impact and Significance of the Christian Presence in Syria and Iraq during the Current Crisis,” details the significant contributions Christians have made to the region and what it stands…Continue Reading

Pope: Do We Know the Other Lesson From the Parable of the Good Samaritan?

Zenit.org At General Audience, Says There’s More to Learn Than ‘Who Is My Neighbor?’ •April 27, 2016•Kathleen Naab• We know the parable of the Good Samaritan is a lesson to teach us that we must love our neighbor, and that there’s no one in the category of non-neighbor, but beyond that, Pope Francis asked today, have we also learned the parable’s lesson that God treats us with the compassion of the Samaritan? “In the gestures…Continue Reading

Over 750,000 pledge to boycott Target for giving men access to women’s bathrooms

target

April 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—Over 750,000 people have pledged to boycott Target over the company’s new policy allowing men to use women’s bathrooms. The American Family Association, which launched the petition, says the fact that it’s generated such a large response in only five days shows how outraged Americans are. “American families are concerned about their wives and daughters being harmed by predators or voyeurs who will now have more freedom to enter women’s bathrooms,” AFA…Continue Reading

Pope to Young People: Get Back Up on Your Feet

ZENIT During Jubilee Mass for Young People, Francis Reminds Youth to Not Settle for Mediocrity •April 24, 2016•Deborah Castellano Lubov• Remember that God is always your friend, even when you let Him down. Therefore, don’t worry if you’ve fallen, get back up and start fresh. Pope Francis stressed this during his Jubilee Mass for young people this morning, reminding them that the Lord is faithful to His friends and believes in them. “Even if you…Continue Reading

If God Is Dead…

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In a recent column Dennis Prager made an acute observation. “The vast majority of leading conservative writers . . . have a secular outlook on life. . . . They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to.” These secular conservatives may think that “America can…Continue Reading

Being Conscientious About Conscience

By DONALD DeMARCO My earliest recollection of an explanation of conscience was when I was a young lad sitting in a movie theater and being enthralled by Walt Disney’s 1940 classic, Pinocchio. The newly carved puppet had been brought to life by the Blue Fairy. But he was still a puppet and had not been…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “How To Fight Dissent”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +…Continue Reading

Luther 1517-2017 . . . Five Hundred Years Of Heresy And Doctrinal Confusion

luther

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 (Editor’s Note: This is the sixth installment in a series by Wanderer contributor Raymond de Souza on Henry VIII’s book defending the seven sacraments against Martin Luther. De Souza edited this updated version of Henry’s work, which is presented to readers in this series. (This series will appear…Continue Reading

The President, The Court, And Immigration

By JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO In 2014, President Barack Obama signed 12 executive orders directing various agencies in the departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security to refrain from deporting some 4 million adult immigrants illegally present in the United States if they are the parents of children born here or legally present here and…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding the question of whether Jesus after the Resurrection appeared first to His Mother, which is not mentioned in the Gospels, or to Mary Magdalene, which is mentioned, F.A. of Massachusetts called our attention to the following comments by St. John Paul II in an audience on May 21, 1997: “How could the Blessed Virgin, present in the…Continue Reading

Faith And Love

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventh Sunday Of Easter (YR C) Readings: Acts 7:55-60 Rev. 22:12-14, 16-17, 20 John 17:20-26 In the Gospel reading today we hear a portion of the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus in which He prays not only for His apostles, but also for those who will believe because of their word. What a wonderful thing to…Continue Reading

Five Remedies For Sorrow From St. Thomas Aquinas

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, D.C. Monsignor kindly gave The Wanderer permission to reprint this essay from his blog. All rights reserved.) + + + Some of you who follow me on Facebook know that I just lost a beloved pet, Daniel, our rectory cat. Losing a pet…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Join Me For Pilgrimage To Italy: Mother Teresa’s Canonization

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Join our small group of pilgrims on a journey to Italy from September 1 through 9, 2016. Our adventure will of course be a spiritual one, but also cultural as we make stops to explore some of the major historic and beautiful cities of Italy as well as Rome for Mother Teresa’s canonization at St.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Inquisition

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 51 In order to properly understand the historical event called the “Inquisition,” a basic, primary distinction must be made: There were three distinct inquisition tribunals in history: the Medieval Inquisition, the Roman Inquisition, and the Spanish Inquisition. Let us consider them, one by one, as their circumstances and historical contexts were very different. The…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Maria Gabriella Of Unity

By CAROLE BRESLIN Just before Italy formally entered World War I in April 1915, a poor farmer and his wife welcomed a little girl into the peaceful land of Sardinia, an island about 150 miles west of Italy. Maria Sagheddu was born on March 17, 1914, the fifth of eight children. During the war that lasted until 1918, over 1,800,000…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading