November 11, 2003


Not a Mercy
but a Sin
: The modern push for euthanasia is a push against a two-millenniums-old Christian tradition (Chris Armstrong, 10/31/2003, Christianity Today)

[O]n cases marked not by the indirect or passive allowing of natural dying processes to take their course but the direct or active ending of life, the church has, at least officially, remained unified: Christians have usually insisted that any intentional, active termination of life rejects the truth affirmed in the Catholic document Evangelium Vitae (1995), that "God alone has sovereignty over life and death." Such acts of killing, whether "merciful" or not, unacceptably dispose of God's gift of life, over which we are not masters but only stewards.

Further, both Catholic and Protestant leaders have recognized that if we legalize such active measures to end life, we not only condone individual acts that are sinful, but we also poison the care of future patients, destroying their ability to trust their own medical and emotional support
network. Any logic condoning "mercy killing," however pure or honorable in its inception, is subject to future abuse, as medical practitioners and family members become tempted to end the lives of those whose care is taking uncomfortably high amounts of effort, time, and resources.

Even without such selfish motives, Christian critics of euthanasia point out, what happens once the door has been opened to allow criteria (say, degree of pain and suffering) by which a person may be judged justified in actively ending their own life? Those same criteria must, logically
speaking, be allowed to rule similar decisions of whether to end the life of a person incapable of deciding for him or herself‚ as in the current case of Terry Schiavo.

Nat Hentoff's column today, even if the implications are entirely false, suggests exactly why interested parties can not be empowered with life or death decisions for those under their care without questions of conflict of interest arising and distrust being sown.

Auschwitz in America (William J. Federer, October 18, 2003 , (via Tom Corcoran)

Even before the rise of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, the way for the gruesome Nazi Holocaust of human extermination and cruel butchery was being prepared in the 1930 German Weimar Republic through the medical establishment and philosophical elite's adoption of the "quality of life" concept in place of the "sanctity of life."

The Nuremberg trials, exposing the horrible Nazi war crimes, revealed that Germany's trend toward atrocity began with their progressive embrace of the Hegelian doctrine of "rational utility," where an individual's worth is in relation to their contribution to the state, rather than determined in light of traditional moral, ethical and religious values.

This gradual transformation of national public opinion, promulgated through media and education, was described in an article written by the British commentator Malcolm Muggeridge entitled The Humane Holocaust and in an article written by former United States Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, M.D., entitled The Slide to Auschwitz, both published in The Human Life Review, 1977 and 1980 respectively.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 11, 2003 3:42 PM
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