Earlier this month, President Joe Biden issued a “Proclamation on World Suicide Prevention Day.” But Biden failed to include assisted suicide in the document.
Wesley J. Smith pointed this out, saying: “The obligatory official proclamations didn’t mention that suicide is now promoted widely in the media, popular culture, and by political activists seeking to legalize so-called ‘death with dignity’ or ‘aid in dying.’” Smith’s analysis includes the fact that Biden’s document barely mentions serious illness as a reason for suicide and fails to “mention that laws allowing facilitated suicide impede the effective prevention of those suicides and insidiously send a wider nihilistic message that self-killing [is] an acceptable answer to suffering.”
This should be a concern for every committed pro-life American because the facts indicate that the elderly are most vulnerable to the drumbeat of the death-with-dignity crowd, leading us to wonder about presidential documents that ignore this.
Experts such as Professor Charles Camosy have written that this situation is grave. When respect for individual human dignity disappears, what is next? Camosy tells us: “Our ‘throwaway culture,’ as Pope Francis calls it, sets aside people with dementia in warehouses of death. Sedated, alone and kept ‘docile,’ millions suffering from this disease are already without the health resources their inherent dignity as human beings calls for. What will happen over the next generation, when this population doubles? Especially when those doing the very difficult work in our nursing homes can make more money at Walmart and McDonald’s?”
He is not the only one asking crucial questions and pointing out the obvious. Dr. John Maher recently talked about his own profession and their attitude, saying that when it comes to psychiatrists, “either psychiatrists have a unique and sacrosanct duty of care (that inextricably entails the preservation of life) or they do not. Our job as psychiatrists is to help bring meaning, purpose, and hope and to be unfailing in our efforts to do so.”
While it may be clear to us that the drive toward expanding assisted suicide laws as well as passing new ones is real, not everyone seems to care. Secular media outlets publish commentaries calling for such laws and sharing opinions that make such acts sound compassionate. But lest we forget, Flannery O’Connor reminded us that “in the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.”
In the same vein, Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Komrad wrote: “When we lower the threshold for killing other human beings, disaster can follow. The celebrated psychiatrist, Robert J. Lifton, MD, author of The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, warned of ‘malignant normality,’ times when what we put forward as self-evident and normal may be deeply dangerous and destructive.”
We are indeed living in treacherous times, especially when it comes to the preborn, the elderly, and the vulnerable in general. I found it interesting that the psychiatrists quoted here have seen this dangerous lack of proper medical ethics that flow throughout the culture of death’s agenda. And it reminds me of these profound words of St. John Paul II, who suffered terribly with Parkinson’s before his own death:
Christ does not explain in the abstract the reasons for suffering, but before all else he says: “Follow me!” Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world, a salvation achieved through my suffering! Through my Cross. Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him. He does not discover this meaning at his own human level, but at the level of the suffering of Christ. At the same time, however, from this level of Christ the salvific meaning of suffering descends to man’s level and becomes, in a sense, the individual’s personal response. It is then that man finds in his suffering interior peace and even spiritual joy.
The medical ethics Granny deserves can only be found in honest reflections on the human condition, on Christ and His suffering, and on the innate dignity of the human person, which should never be diminished. Suffering and agony should never be confronted with imposed death but rather with the comforting presence of love given to the suffering individual by those who see Christ in him and embrace him, abide with him and comfort him.
The twisted ethics employed by proponents of direct killing is none of those things.