Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Creeping Crud of "Mercy Killing"

For years we've heard of the "right of a person to die." This assault on the dignity of human life comes from the mistaken notion that our lives belong to ourselves and not to God. Further, it allows us to be the arbiters of what a "life with dignity" is and what it isn't regardless of the truth that all human life is "dignified" because all men and women live in the image and likeness of God no matter what their condition.

Now come the Europeans, those great arbiters of culture towards which our progressive brethren tell us we should aspire. The latest from Belgium is that teenagers should be allowed the "right to die" just as adults. Belgians currently allow the "right" to anyone who is 18 or older.

Let's recall the slippery slope that has brought us to where we are. First we had the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy in the first 90 days for urgent reasons. Then that right was extended to the entire pregnancy for any reason (with some restrictions in the last trimester). Then we graduated to allowing abortions in which the baby was partially delivered before ending life. In Europe, Belgium in particular, genetic testing is frequently done in utero and babies who are found to be genetically "inferior" are aborted.

On the other end of the life spectrum, we have witnessed the emergence of the mercy killing movement, spearheaded by Dr. Jack Kevorkian which helped people die who had determined that they did not wish to live for one reason or another. This right has been legislatively defined in some jurisdictions but not in others. In Europe, the "right to die" has been more clearly defined in law. This "right" is now being proposed to extend to teenagers.

My point is simple: Once human life is viewed as a biological accident and no longer seen as a gift from almighty God, who lives and who dies becomes a purely arbitrary decision.

My intuition on this tells me that this is nothing more than the logical endpoint of the separation of sexual activity from procreation and the corresponding breakdown of the family structure. I suppose that this would be the subject of another article had Pope Paul VI not covered so brilliantly in Humanae Vitae.

Interestingly, in Belgium it is very difficult to have your dog put to sleep when Fido's quality of life is diminished by age or infirmity. Things are much easier to do to humans than to animals. That kind of tells you a lot about Europe, doesn't it?

Here's the link to the article on teenage mercy killing:

Here's the link to Humanae Vitae:

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