By Judie Brown
In a recent column, Mark Davis Pickup wrote about the discrimination disabled individuals encounter when seeking employment, especially in the media. A disabled person himself, Pickup said: “The culture has yet to understand that a qualified and inclusive workforce, in all its variations, enriches society. Until that really happens, we will all be poorer.”
Mark is correct, but I believe that culturally we have an even more serious problem. As Mark recently suggested to me in an e-mail, we are confronting a “tsunami of despair.” It is a virtual tidal wave of hatred for those who are not like “the rest of us.” This occurs when God and His creation, namely human beings, are held in disdain, and it happens because man has lost his sense of God. Such arrogant attitudes exist in abundance in our society. If we want to change these attitudes and create a society that respects all human beings, we must first understand these attitudes and then work to change them.
Let’s examine the case of Charlie Gard, the infant born with a disabling disease that is by all accounts terminal. Yet his parents, ever hopeful and wanting to have Charlie with them for as long as they could, left no stone unturned. Sadly, that is not the case with the hospital where he is currently staying. The Great Ormond Street Hospital stated its policy like this: "A world where only parents speak and decide for children and where children have no separate identity or rights and no court to hear and protect them is far from the world in which GOSH treats its child patients."
It continued: "Charlie’s parents fundamentally believe that they alone have the right to decide what treatment Charlie has and does not have. . . . They do not believe that Great Ormond Street should have had the right to apply to the Court for an independent, objective decision to be made.”
According to the British hospital, Charlie's parents should not have the right to decide the appropriate treatment for their son. It would seem that the hospital thinks it knows best.
In reality, neither the hospital nor the parents is among those who decide who lives and who dies or when death will occur. That is the province of God alone.
It is time that healthcare professionals, not to mention the rest of us, returned to an attitude of awe regarding God's creation. Every person must understand that nothing should be done to prohibit God from being merciful. After all, if God already wanted Charlie with Him, He would have taken him.
Having said that, we know that in Charlie's case the hospital has the ear of the court. And its distorted view of what type of persons deserve treatment is not isolated. In fact, University of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne stated in his blog: “If you are allowed to abort a fetus that has a severe genetic defect, microcephaly, spina bifida, or so on, then why aren’t you able to euthanize that same fetus just after it’s born?”
Note how Coyne cannot even bring himself to an understanding that babies who are born are no longer fetuses. They are born babies who are no different than they were as single cell embryos or at any other point in their young existence as human individuals.
These attitudes derive from that tsunami referenced in the beginning of this article. They are the same sort of attitudes that put a hero like David Daleiden in the crosshairs of a judicial system that does not want to admit that the preborn child is a person. Such judges—and lawmakers, for that matter—are more concerned with protecting Planned Parenthood than they are in confronting the ugly, ghoulish truth about why it is wrong to sell baby body parts after an abortion!
Even the University of Minnesota, which has been caught red-handed “taking part in fetal tissue research during a time the university denied any involvement in the practice,” seems to have the ear of all the wrong people.
Where will this all end? Only God knows the answer to that question, but those of us who believe in Christ must spread the truth, pray always for guidance and that the will of God be done, and educate our youth. If we do not teach them, how will they ever know?
The joyous words of St. John Paul II offer hope in these stormy times: “Do not abandon yourself to despair. We are Easter people and Alleluia is our song.”
And only that song, my friends, will crush the tsunami of despair.