Skip to main content

The Slope is More Slippery than Ever

The culture of death initially proposed the abortion of disabled children as a voluntary option and presented it as a liberating act. It has now degenerated into an expectation with harsh criticism levied when the “option” is not selected. Similarly, the “freedom” to choose suicide at the end of life has turned into a duty to die if one is a burden to one’s family or society in general. Professor John Hardwig, head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Tennessee, takes this stand on BBC radio. I am afraid I cannot find the audio broadcast that features him but you can appreciate the gist of his position from this written summary:

Hardwig thinks that we may have a duty to die when the burden of caring for us seriously compromises the lives of those who love us:

* they may be physically exhausted by caring for us
* they may be emotionally exhausted by caring for us
* they may be financially destroyed by the cost of our healthcare
* they may be financially destroyed by having to give up work to care for us
* their home may become a place of grief and sickness
* other family members may be neglected as all attention is focussed on us

Hardwig says that there are no general rules - each case will be different, and he openly admits, “I can readily imagine that, through cowardice, rationalisation, or failure of resolve, I will fail in this obligation to protect my loved ones. If so, I think I would need to be excused or forgiven for what I did.”

Nor does Hardwig think that a person should make their final decision without consulting their family - although he points out the difficulties in doing this.

Since October is Respect Life month, it would be good to pray for the conversion of Professor Hardwig and all those who promote the culture of death.

Comments

Jim said…
"Where man is no longer seen as one who is under the particular protection of God, there begins the barbarism which tramples on humanity. Where the sense of the singular dignity of each person, in the light of God's design, is lost, there the project of mankind is horribly deformed, and his freedom, devoid of rule, becomes monstrous." -- Pope Benedict XVI

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …