By Judie Brown
Witnessing the euthanizing of his family’s dog, Barron H. Lerner, M.D. opined: “If suffering was so obvious and not reversible, and there was a way to provide immediate relief, was my reflexive refusal to assist in the dying process always the right thing to do? And if the patient, fully understanding all of his or her options, was asking for death, didn’t this make him or her more worthy than a dog, whose suffering could only be assumed? I had little doubt that family members, seeing a loved one suddenly at peace, might have said what our vet said to us: ‘She was tired.’”
Dr. Lerner then proceeds to share with readers his views on aiding a patient in dying, known as physician-assisted-suicide, weighing the option of referring a patient to a doctor who “might” prescribe the “necessary drugs.” His bottom line is embracing the practice of palliative care instead. Yet, as we know, palliative care has become just another tool used to assist in the planned or unplanned death of a suffering patient. While Dr. Lerner might be naïve on this matter, not realizing the wiles of the culture of death and its methods of ending lives, others are wiser and have sounded the alarm.
Among them is Ralph Capone, MD. Capone has written extensively on the topic of palliative care abuses, stating: “Palliative care is increasingly being used as a tool in this new bioethics. Palliative care can be misused to deny needed disease-specific treatment in order to eliminate ‘unwanted’ people and reduce healthcare costs.”
Such abuses surround us. For instance, in Oregon, where physician assisted-suicide is legal, lawmakers are now proposing a new law that would allow the starvation of mentally ill patients, causing their death. In Delaware, a law called the End of Life Options Act has been proposed. According to some, such a law would permit assisted suicide for the dying, as well as for those deemed to be intellectually disabled. While the author of the proposed legislation, Democrat Paul Baumbach, argues that his bill could not be used this way, the history of such laws tells a different story. Abuses of assisted suicide laws are plentiful and the stories continually get worse. This is why medical professionals are urged to join together and fight the abuses, including putting protections in place for the mentally ill and for others.
Yet the best answer to this growing problem is to admit that human beings are God’s unique treasures and that their humanity must be respected from their inception until the day they draw their final breath.
Christ Himself challenges each of us with these words: "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was in prison and you came to me" (Matthew 25:34-36).
St. John Paul II expands this teaching and says: “The first and second parts of Christ's words about the Final Judgment unambiguously show how essential it is, for the eternal life of every individual, to ‘stop,’ as the Good Samaritan did” because “suffering is present in the world in order to release love, in order to give birth to works of love towards neighbor, in order to transform the whole of human civilization into a ‘civilization of love.’”
It is this message that will end the madness. Boxers are dogs. Our dear family members, including Granny and Grandpa, are human beings with souls. Let us resolve to respect the dignity of the human person. Let us understand and teach others that all human beings are precious before God and deserving of our unselfish love.
Learn how to teach these truths to your children and encourage their teachers to do likewise. American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program offers the way. On the subject of euthanasia, we recommend our unit study entitled Euthanasia: An Introduction.
Make sure to have Celebrate Life Magazine in your home. It also makes a wonderful gift for your doctor and your educator, not to mention your pastor.
Start rooting out the evil in your neighborhood by learning how to stop Planned Parenthood.
Please pray for America.