Please don’t tell me about pain and suffering. My father died of cancer of the spine, after surviving a serious stroke and having lived for thirty years with psoriasis and arthritis. But then my dad was brave and not afraid of life’s challenges. Not afraid of death’s sting either and would have told the right to die mob to take a hike.Let's not forget that, as we launch the 40 day prayer vigil for life - for the right to life, for the culture of life. Let's not forget that it's not just about ending abortion, but also - about preventing direct actions which end another person's life (otherwise known as "euthanasia" and "assisted suicide") from ever becoming legal.
My mother had severe dementia and the words she uttered for the two years before her death no longer made any sense and she could seldom feed herself and tended to wander. This intensely intelligent and startlingly kind woman was deprived of so much of what made her who she was.
Yet the essential, the core, was still there. She was still the same person and the same soul. Yes, the soul. Created and given by God. To have sacrificed my mother as a martyr on the black altar of euthanasia would have been an obscenity beyond compare. That splendid and sagacious writer GK Chesterton once said that, “The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world.” Quite so.
The poor wretch in Ottawa was a victim of societal pressures and expectations, even if he wasn’t aware of it. I will not comment on his family but I will say that if either of my parents had reached the point where they wanted life to end I would have felt that I had been a personal failure.
I would ask why had I not found the right medical, spiritual and emotional support for them? Why had I not convinced them that life was good and that the sight of playing grandchildren, a new dawn, an old friend was worth the fight?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Right in time for the 40 Days for Life, great article by Michael Coren: