27 June, 2017

Andrew Coyne: Michelle Carter case is the next step in the increasing normalization of suicide.

I have said it before and I shall say it again. The legalization of euthanasia has coarsened public morals to the point where people are being deliberately allowed to die of a secondary and treatable condition because, in the view of his doctors, it was better to die now than have to suffer death later of an admittedly advancing cancer. I celebrated the funeral today for a man whose stated wish (until he was sedated with a drug to which we wore the hospital wristband indicating he was allergic to it. He was no longer lucid after that point in his 'care' to insist that his wishes be respected) was to be treated and cured of the secondary infection, and that request was denied him. His wife and young adult children were left alone to fight for her husband's right to live. He soon died from his lack of care in a hospital bed as they struggled to find a doctor to save his life. 

YET no one seems to care! In fact, many are angered that I would even question the morality of the manner of his death. But I ask you to answer the following: If it were your wish, even in the face of an unconquerable illness such as cancer, to be treated for something that could easily be cured with antibiotics, would you not demand be respected? Would you not expect those who love you most in life, and who most deeply know your heart, to fight for you to be granted what you needed to survive if denied you by doctors who claim to know better, regardless of your express wishes. Especially with the end result of an immediate death if your desire to be treated is refused? I believe each and every one should answer with a resounding YES! 

If you believe in the right to kill yourself (which the courts and government now say you possess, along with the right to public aid and assistance in accomplishing that end), then logically you must also demand that the right to life for those who choose to live (even under conditions you yourself would not want to face) must be respected as well. So why are we not up in arms at this dangerous affront to our right to decide how we live and die? 

The right to live is as important (and allegedly guaranteed) under the current law that enshrines the 'right to die' at the time of our choosing. We must diligently and with fervor defend and guard against the latter throwing so much shade on the former that it eventually shrivels away into dust, leaving the decision as to whether we live or die ultimately in the hands of medical doctors paid for by the government. 

Please note that while I would never countenance or counsel suicide no matter the situation, nor would I ask to be euthanized personally, my now deceased parishioner would have been within both his legal and moral rights to have refused treatment had that been his wish. And in this particular case, it wasn't. He wanted to live and was instead hastened to death. My beliefs and foibles aside, it was wrong for this man to die and that his death this week should alarm us all.  

One is not obliged to accept treatment in the face of a life-threatening illness. But one must never silently stand by when such person asks to be cured while he still can, and is refused that right. And no matter how anyone wants to frame this argument, at its core lies the same sordid truth: an innocent man was brought to his death against his will and expressly stated wishes.

Doctors would not have acted this way if we hadn't abolished prohibition against their right to kill people. It has warped their collective conscience. They are beginning to demonstrate that they are taking on to themselves the right to decide who lives or dies. Who or what gives them such a right? It seems to come from their sense of entitlement to know what's best for others. But how is what they are doing any different than what happened in the Wettlaufer case in southern Ontario? The only difference I can see is that Wettlaufer was one woman who killed a number of innocent sick and aged against their wishes, whereas in this case, it was a team of doctors who decided to kill a single person under similar circumstances. In both cases, the agent of death was a medical professional who took a life that wasn't theirs to take. The number of medical participants bringing about such a death is really an irrelevant factor, isn't it? Dead is dead from the point of view of the victim. 

That's the real danger with this particular issue. In these situations, the patient doesn't get to stick around to register his or her complaint against being denied a necessary medical procedure regularly given to anyone else who needed it but denied to them. Convenient for the doctors perhaps. Devastatingly tragic for their patient.

And if the death of one man at the hands of a few is OK in the zeitgeist of today, how many need to be killed before we think they've gone too far. Ten? A hundred? Six Million? I suspect it will be when such a violation of a patient's right to self-determination happens to someone near and dear. But by then, it will most likely be too late to save them because the killing of patients will be considered 'standard procedure' in terms of modern medical care.

I deeply regret that some of my parishioner's family and neighbors have taken offense that I am ringing this alarm bell so loudly and so quickly after the man's death. I sincerely hope and pray that they will understand the deep sense of danger I feel that's coming our way if we continue down this road. It is so great that I would even be willing to take the risk that I might be complicating their bereavement to raise the alarm to the best of my ability. I never intend to cause anyone unnecessary pain and suffering. It goes against my nature. But the fight for the protection of life AND individual rights is too important to remain silent. I would not be a true 'pastor' if I didn't cry alarm when the flock is threatened. And if these past few days have proven anything to me, it's that the threat to life is real and at the door, even if I wished it weren't so.

Click on the link below to see a column from Andrew Coyne of the National Post that makes a similar case to mine above.

Andrew Coyne: Michelle Carter case is the next step in the increasing normalization of suicide | National Post

1 comment:

  1. The 'human being' transcends the human body. How can we lead people to understand the difference - the greatest pastoral challenge of our day?


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