Of blind squirrels and nuts…

Kevorkian wouldn't like this ruling.

…because the former still sometimes finds the latter.

Today’s edition comes the UK Catholic Herald, which reports that Europe, who has been breeding herself out of existence (or rather, aborting and contracepting herself out of existence) and suffering from a cultural depression since World War I, might be waking up just a little.

The Council of Europe—a body that I admittedly have no idea how it interacts with the several sovereign nations or with the European parliament—ruled that euthanasia ought to be illegal in all European countries.

The amendment said that “euthanasia, in the sense of the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit must always be prohibited”.

Among those fighting for the amendment was British member Edward Leigh, the Tory MP for Gainsborough and a Catholic.

He referred to the case of Kerrie Wooltorton, a 26-year-old from Norwich who died in 2009 by poisoning after her living will prevented doctors from resuscitating her.

He said: “Can my fellow delegates here in Strasbourg imagine how they would feel if they received a phone call informing them that one of their children had drunk poison and that ambulance and hospital staff who had everything necessary to save the child’s life stood by not helping instead as the child lay dying?

“That is a situation that advanced directives or living wills allow,” Mr Leigh said. “This is not alarmist talk – this is the historic fact, the track record.”

The opposition, of course, said that among human rights is the right to decide how one will die. Nihilism as a human right. That sounds more like the sterilized dying Europe we’ve all come to know.

Let’s hope those fatalistic ideas die faster than Europe does.

Of course, I say all of this knowing full well that the U.S. is not too far behind Europe in our cultural embrace of death, contracepting and aborting at practically the same rate. Hopefully we’ll have enough leaders who will make a stand for life before it’s too late.



18 thoughts on “Of blind squirrels and nuts…

  1. Marsha says:

    We are not asked whether or not we would like to be born. With that in mind, it is a person’s right to end their own life.

    1. bpeters1 says:

      I think John Paul II speaks quite eloquently on the matter in Evangelium vitae, reminding us that our lives are ultimately not simply “our own,” as we individualistically tend to think these days. They’re ultimately given by God and intended for God, and though we have genuine freedom to cooperate in the divine plan, they, in the end, remain God’s. Moreover, our lives are intimately tied to those around us, and the act of ending one’s own life has enormous consequences beyond oneself. “Even though a certain psychological, cultural and social conditioning may induce a person to carry out an action which so radically contradicts the innate inclination to life, thus lessening or removing subjective responsibility, suicide, when viewed objectively, is a gravely immoral act. In fact, it involves the rejection of love of self and the renunciation of the obligation of justice and charity towards one’s neighbour, towards the communities to which one belongs, and towards society as a whole. In its deepest reality, suicide represents a rejection of God’s absolute sovereignty over life and death, as proclaimed in the prayer of the ancient sage of Israel: ‘You have power over life and death; you lead men down to the gates of Hades and back again’ (Wis 16:13; cf. Tob 13:2).” (EV n. 66).

    2. Tom Crowe says:

      And yet, Marsha, every civilized society throughout history has criminalized suicide attempts. Only recently has this occurred to anyone as a good idea. I do hope you never encounter a suicidal person, lest you assist them in asserting their ‘right’ rather than try to talk them out of the rejection of all of humanity and all hope and all goodness that suicide represents.

      1. Marsha says:

        Tom, I would always attempt to talk someone out of committing suicide.

        1. Tom Crowe says:

          But oughtn’t they to be supported in asserting their “right” rather than dissuaded? Or is it like the abortion question in our previous back-and-forth: it’s another “right” that is “unfortunate, regrettable, terrible, yadda, yadda, yadda,” but ought still to be respected as someone’s RIGHT!?

          1. Marsha says:

            The right to do with one’s body what one wishes is a birthright. It can not be legislated away. It cannot be taken away by religion. Let’s leave it at that.

          2. Joe M says:

            Marsha. You’ve made an interesting pair of statements. So, I’m hoping you will clarify and not “leave it at that.” If you would “always” talk someone out of suicide, why do you think it should be an inalienable right? Are there some cases where you think that suicide is justified? — Also, in the sense that you mean it, it basically already is a “right”. A person can already kill themselves and obviously not suffer any further earthly consequences. That is different than euthanasia that legalizes others involvement in the act which raises many questions beyond simply whether or not a person “can” take their own life.

          3. Marsha says:

            Joe M, I would always attempt to talk someone out of suicide recognizing that it is their right to kill themselves. Justification isn’t an issue if suicide is recognized as a right. Justification implies judgment at some level, in my opinion. I would not judge the person because I can not try them on. Euthanasia has other considerations.

          4. Tom Crowe says:

            Marsha— Euthanasia has considerations other than that the person’s life will be taken artificially before nature will take it? How is that not also a rejection of life and all other humanity and hope and goodness just as much as suicide? The person’s life is still being taken according to their own will, even if by the actual agency of another’s actions. It’s (assisted) suicide by “living will.”

          5. Tom Crowe says:

            Marsha— It is a a “birthright,” provided, of course, the person in question makes it to “birth” without becoming the victim of her mother’s “right” to “choice,” right? At that point she can then choose to exercise her “right” to commit suicide? Am I drawing out your thinking on rights and legitimate “choices” correctly?

          6. Marsha says:

            Tom, I was discussing the right of an individual to choose suicide. If you’d like to discuss abortion rights, go right ahead.

          7. Tom Crowe says:

            Marsha— Avoiding the connection and logical consequences of your own positions, I see. I’m saying they are attached cases, linked within the logical structure you have set up in this comment thread and in the previous. In the case of abortion the person who most completely endures the abortion doesn’t even get the opportunity to “choose” suicide because he or she is killed before reaching “birth.” It was a cynical use of the word “birthright” above. So I suppose you insulate yourself by denying rights to anyone who doesn’t reach birth. Which would seem to suggest that you would also argue in defense of partial-birth abortions, since they are merely “partial-birth,” and not full-birth, so the person being violently killed hasn’t been fully vested with the right to kill himself. Either way you slice it, your view is in contention with the dignity and worth of all life, is in contention with the laws established by all civilized societies, and I do hope you never have to counsel a suicidal person.

          8. Marsha says:

            Tom, a fetus has no rights. The woman carrying the fetus has the right to do what she wants with her own body and the fetus is a part of her body. The fetus does not belong to God. The fetus does not belong to society. The fact that you have chosen to mix two separate issues together is simply a way to make something more complex than it really is. Simply put, every human being (meaning having been born) has the right to do with their body as they please. Why not join the pro-choice advocates who very much want to end abortion without limiting a woman’s innate rights by re-educating parents so that their children no longer have low self-esteem, which is the main cause of most unwanted pregnancies and therefore, most abortions?

          9. Tom Crowe says:

            So Marsha, then you are okay with partial-birth abortion where they slice into the back of a baby’s head that is about four inches away from full birth and insert a hose connected to a high-powered vacuum to suck out the “contents of the skull” to crush the skull so the now-dead “fetus” (that looks striking like a baby) can be fully removed?

          10. Tom Crowe says:

            Marsha— And considering the fetus has its own DNA and its own blood type (which never actually mixes with mom’s), in what way is the fetus merely a “part of the mother’s body”? That’s just a scientifically inaccurate statement. You’ve reduced the human person in the mother’s womb to nothing but a parasite—a child is nothing more than a tape worm or a cancerous growth that can be removed without another thought is the mom gets down on herself. Which one of us is sad? Well, I will say your position makes my heart hurt because of how callous you are toward the child in the womb, but also because of how sad and bereft of hope your position is.

          11. Tom Crowe says:

            Further, Marsha, “has no rights” was previously applied to the slaves you defend and somewhat to women. Don’t turn unborn persons into the same dehumanized beings those earlier positions suggested. ——— And if you think mere “education” will solve the problem you are woefully naive. It’s not a problem of education, but a problem of love—and you don’t fix problems of love by facilitating the murder of the child—the most obvious and singular sign of hope for the world—in the womb of the woman who is terribly confused and scared and lonely. You love her and her child. You do everything you can to help her and her child. You affirm her worth and her child’s. You help her see her own beauty and that of her child. But dear God, don’t introduce death and murder into an already painful and difficult situation.

          12. Marsha says:

            Tom, I’ll summarize by saying that a problem is never ended by working on the effects of the problem. A problem is only ended by working on the cause of the problem. Polio did not end by treating people with polio. Polio ended when a vaccine was invented that kept people from ever getting polio. Abortion will never end by making abortion illegal. Abortions will only end by working on the cause of unwanted pregnancies. You and I have the same goal. I want to end abortion by working on the cause of unwanted pregnancies and in doing so, ending unwanted pregnancies and as a result, abortions.

  2. bpeters1 says:

    John Allen and many others have pointed out that the future of the Catholic Church is most likely in the Southern Hemisphere, as Catholicism is exploding in growth throughout Africa and places like the Philippines. These parts of the world are producing some of the most exciting young (relatively speaking) bishops (e.g. Luis Antonio Tagle). Of course, the Church certainly has a duty to fight the assaults to human dignity that are leading to the declines we’re seeing in Europe and even (to a lesser extent) the U.S., but I think that it’s in the Church’s best interest to start concentrating its leadership and attention in a southerly direction. Unfortunately, the latest batch of cardinals were largely Western/Euro-centric, so it seems that Benedict might not be thinking in these terms. Still, while so many in Europe and America are lamenting the decline of Catholicism, it’s absolutely burgeoning in other parts of the world (see, for instance, Robert Barron’s segments filmed in Uganda in his new _Catholicism_ series). It’d be wonderful to see the college of cardinals, and eventually the leadership in Rome, reflect this lively and hope-filled segment of the world-wide Catholic community. They could almost certainly teach those of us in the North/West a thing or two about fostering the growth of the Church!

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