January 18, 2011

Christian Ethic of Healthcare Pt. 2

Over on my main blog, Imprimis, I am doing a series on Healthcare, and Christian ethics.  This week is sanctity of human life week here in the US, and I believe it is necessary for Christians to have a biblical worldview of Healthcare.  You can read the other posts in this series here.

Definition of EUTHANASIA

: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy
eu·tha·na·sic adjective
εὐθανασία (euthanasia), from εὐ- (eu-, “good”) + θάνατος (thanatos, “death”)
Let’s Kill Grandma… It’s the Most Compassionate Thing to Do
“Euthanasia is a classic example of how the New Wave works.  First, wipe out the old Christian ethic of compassion in favor of a “new” ethic of convenience.  Liberally disguise this shift with old words like “compassion.”  Redefine the old words to reflect the pro-death shift.  At the same time, play on the natural human vices of greed and selfishness.  Tell us how much trouble it is to save life, and how much nicer it is for the victim to die.
What is happening is that we are being prepared to think of death as a benefit, both for the person sacrificed, for his or her relatives, and for society.
Suzanne Fields pointedly remarked in a 1985 column in Insight magazine:
The hot trendy topic on talk shows these days, after X-rated lyrics and AIDS, is “how I helped my mother, my wife, my husband (or fill in the blank) die in dignity.”
As an accomplice to an assisted suicide or as the person who actually does the deed in what is euphemistically described as “mercy killing,” the celebrity slayers seek applause and forgiveness (and maybe a book contract).
Theirs is the confession in the name of “higher good.”
“Honor thy father and thy mother” becomes “honor their death wish.”  And the vow “till death do us part” becomes a little less romantic when it means “till I give you a little push.”
Some of the confessionals are moving and tragic, but all raise more questions than they answer….
Because we hear only the survivor’s tale, we have no way to question it.  But what if these stories aren’t exactly true?
Could it be that these writers, actually persuaded their patients that it was in their best interest to die, to diminish doctor and hospital bills, to let the living get on with their lives?  Or could it be that the ill wife or father was too far gone to make a decision, and husband and daughter decided to do “what’s best”?
How would the rest of us respond to the story then?…
Today only 10 percent of all Americans believe that children should bear the burden of taking care of their parents.  In the mid-1950s, half of all Americans believed that aging parents were a personal responsibility….
Our attitudes toward death and dying, as well as our care for the elderly, become the true test of our civilization.  Those who confess to assisted suicide or call murder mercy (which is very different from defending a patient’s right to refuse treatment) are attempting a climb up a slippery slope.”
Quotation from: Unholy Sacrifices of the New Age Paul DeParrie and Mary Pride ©1988

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