Monday, August 13, 2012

Assisted Suicide: Just Another Way to Say "I Love You"

Mankind has lived in a fallen world since the time our first parents said yes to the serpent and no to God and as a result were thrust out of the Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve had to deal with fratricide when one of their sons, Cain, killed another, Abel.  There is no evil in the world today that has not existed since the beginning of time. 

But there is one big difference in the era in which we live.  Much of what was once deemed totally unacceptable and evil is now being accepted and even embraced as normal, e.g., homosexuality, living together without marriage, having babies outside of marriage, drug use, etc. etc.  And now the New York Times tells us that even suicide is acceptable and further, helping someone to commit this evil act is now considered an act of love.  The Bee Gees sang back in the 70's:

You know it's all right, it's ok
I'll live to see another day
We can try to understand
The New York Times' effect on man

Assisted suicide?  Why, you just might be up for a
humanitarian award from The New York Times!
Well, in 2012, the New York Times' "effect on man" may be that we will not live to see another day.  A week of so ago in the New York Times Magazine section, there was a question to The Ethicist that just made my mind go tilt, and the answer given was directly from Satan himself.  A woman wrote in very concerned because her mother has asked her to give her books on suicide.  The answer from The Ethicist says everything about how secular and anti-God and anti-life our society has become.   Read on.

I am one of five children of two aging parents. My father, 88, is in the early stages of dementia. My mother is 83 and has macular degeneration. I’ve always enjoyed a close relationship with both parents, especially my mother. She is the most practical, intelligent person I have ever known. She is my best friend. I go to her for advice on everything, but I need help with the one thing she has turned to me for: My mother asked me to get her books on how to commit suicide, so that she can read up on it before her vision deteriorates to a point where she can no longer read at all. When pressed, she told me she does not want to commit suicide now — but that when the time comes, knowing how to end her life will give her great comfort. I love her, and I understand how she feels. Do I get her books on suicide? [How low have we fallen as a culture where this question can even be asked?  This woman obviously loves her mother, but she cannot see that helping her mother kill herself is not an act of love!] I also have four siblings — do I have to clear it with them? [She wants to know if giving books on suicide to her mother is something she should clear with her siblings.  We as a society have no idea what love even means anymore.] R.C., Westchester, N.Y.
And here is the understanding, compassionate answer from "The Ethicist":
This is a heavy problem. The request, however, is straightforward and reasonable [!!!!!!!!]. Your mother is not asking you to help her commit suicide; she is asking you for books that explain how such an act could be done without pain or error. [Yes, you're reading it right. This is the answer given in America's "paper of record."  The only thing wrong with suicide is if it is painful or you make a mistake, not like suicide itself is a mistake!] You describe her as “practical and intelligent,” so it’s not as if she’s making this request from a position of confusion or naïveté. She may never act on this urge, and it’s possible that reading about the reality of suicide might make her less willing to consider it. But the fact that she’s asking you to acquire these books is meaningful. She could undoubtedly find them on her own, but she specifically asked you to do it for her. What this suggests is that she’s indirectly asking for your permission to consider this option and potentially helping you prepare for the inevitable end of her life. [I guess it didn't occur to "The Ethicist" that possibly the woman's mother is reaching out to her daughter and saying  "help me." ]  It’s doubtful that simply withholding these books will stop her from making a decision this profound [Note, suicide is a "profound" decision, not a morally wrong decision], so I would get her what she requests. But keep in mind that this is more than a favor. This is an attempt to communicate much deeper information to a child she trusts. As for your siblings, you don’t need their permission [!!!!!], but you should absolutely tell them that your mother has made this request (and that you elected to fulfill her wish) [isn't this thoughtful of The Ethicist]. If they find this upsetting or shocking [I can't imagine why they would be shocked by the news that their mother wants to kill herself and their sister is going to give her books on how to do it], explain your reasoning and tell them that they need to talk to your mother about why this is important to her.

Ah, so now we have been told by The New York Times that telling someone you want to kill yourself is just another way of saying I love you and trust you.  And if we love the person who confides so in us, we will respond in the most compassionate way possible and help him or her do it, but do it in the right way, with no errors or pain.  After all, life with any kind of discomfort or suffering just isn't worth living, and so if someone does not have a perfect life, the most loving thing we can do is help them end it if that is what they wish. 

Back in the 70's there was a very funny movie made called "The End" with Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise.  Burt Reynolds played a man who has just been told he has a fatal disease, and he decided the only way to deal with it was to kill himself.  After he attempts suicide, he meets Dom DeLuise's character in a psychiatric hospital.  When Burt tells Dom he wants to kill himself, Dom feels the best way to be his friend is to help him in his morbid goal.  Each time Burt would come close to it, he would chicken out.  Here is the trailer:

The truth is, Burt's character didn't really want to die. He just wanted to find a way out of the pain he was in. We laughed at Dom DeLuise's character because we knew that his "assistance" to Burt wasn't really the right thing.  By the end of the movie both Burt and the audience know that life is always the best choice.  But the New York Times would treat this story as a serious drama, and Dom DeLuise would be the hero of the movie. 

Where does thinking like this come from?  It may sound strange, but it all comes from the use of artificial birth control.  When we use birth control we are cutting ourselves off from life, and to cut ourselves off from life is to separate from God.  When you are separate from God, your only other choice is the devil, whose only goal is to destroy you.  So you have now made a partnership with your worst enemy.  We have now separated ourselves from the author of Life and from the One who gave his Life for us so that we may spend eternity in complete bliss and happiness with him.  Instead, we are now in league and controlled by the very one who is the author of death and who wishes to destroy us.  What else can we expect?  Of course suicide is going to be glorified in our society.  We celebrate the "right" of women to kill their babies.  We run from pain and suffering, and by doing so, we run right into the arms of the devil.  Instead of taking the Cross from Christ that will lead us to life, we take up the cross from the devil upon which he will kill us.  As Blessed John Paul II said, we are a culture of death.

And we honestly think there is still hope for a society that thinks assisted suicide is a form of love?  America, America, how I mourn for you!

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