Killers at Large
Thomas A. Droleskey
Amazingly, there are people, traditional Catholics among them, who are still insisting that it is indeed morally licit to starve and dehydrate brain-damaged human beings to death under cover of law. Some of these people believe that the medical profession wants to keep us all alive by the use of Frankenstinian devices well beyond our years. I do not know what planet these people are living on, but I can tell you this: they are not living on planet Earth, that is for sure.
The professional medical establishment in the United States of America and most of the rest of the world is in love with killing people, not with prolonging life beyond the time of its natural end. Obstetricians and gynecologists prescribe abortifacient contraceptives, both pills and other devices, to kill babies soon after they are fertilized. Many of these obstetricians and gynecologists kill babies surgically. Others among their ranks "refer" their pregnant female patients to surgical baby-killers. It is standard operating procedure for obstetricians to recommend that women in their forties kill their preborn babies out of concern for possible "deformities," such as Down's Syndrome. No, the medical profession in this country and around world is in love with playing God.
This is very important to keep in mind as totally needless debates continue to rage over the case of the murder of Mrs. Theresa Schindler-Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman who was fed by means of nutrition and hydration tubes until her estranged, faithless husband, Michael Schiavo, sought a court order to have her starved and dehydrated to death. Mrs. Schiavo was no more near death than you or I. Apart from being brain-damaged, Mrs. Schiavo was a reasonably strong young woman. After all, it took nearly thirteen days for her to be killed by means of starvation and dehydration, not exactly indicative of a person "in extremis," as supporters of killing her contended prior to the removal of her nutrition and hydration tubes on Friday, March 18, 2005 Mrs. Schiavo was a disabled human being entitled to the ordinary care of food and water, which were neither burdensome to her or costly to her relatives.
One so-called medical "expert" went so far as to deny Mrs. Schiavo's very humanity in a nationally televised interview. This is not the mind of Our Lord, obviously. Mrs. Schiavo was a source of grace to those who had the duty to love and to care for her unconditionally just as a newborn child with Down's Syndrome, who will need some form of assistance and support his entire life, is to be seen as a gift from God who has been sent to his parents to add love to the world and to give honor and glory to God both here and for all eternity in Heaven. We do not kill children in their mothers' wombs who have been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome. We do not kill disabled human beings after birth because we have determined that it is a "burden" to keep them alive by merely feeding and hydrating them.
Other articles of mine have discussed the many distinctions and qualifications between the administration of extraordinary medical care and that of ordinary, non-medical care, such as the provision of food and water. One can refuse quite licitly extraordinary medical care to sustain involuntary bodily functions after attending to his spiritual needs (seeing to it, for example, that the Sacrament of Extreme Unction has been administered) and consulting with a good traditional Catholic priest about the variables of his particular circumstances. This is not the same thing as taking direct or indirect measures to will one's death. Many in the medical profession in the United States and elsewhere in the world are committed to taking measures, both by commission and omission, to dispatch people they believe have outlived their "usefulness" to society.
The active killing of people is an accomplished fact in The Netherlands. It is happening in hospitals and other institutions in our own country, as a number of well-documented articles have attested in recent months. The very mentality that produced the horrors of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People's Republic of China and Fidel Castro's Cuba has spread like wildfire in the so-called "civilized" nations of the West. Weak and disabled human beings after birth are considered just as expendable as the defenseless preborn before birth. Death sentences are being meted out by means of pro-active measures that go undetected outside of the medical community or actually receive the sanction of patients and/or their relatives.
The utilitarian mindset is such that a man suffering from a degenerative brain disorder in the United Kingdom at present has been told that the socialized medical system there will not provide him with feeding and hydration tubes when his condition deteriorates to the point that he will need same to continue to live. Just as women who change their minds about killing their babies as they lie on an operating table in an abortuary are frequently strapped down to the table in the name of "choice" to force them to kill their babies even though they are screaming that they have had a change of mind,. so is it the case that patients who make a full and conscious choice to be fed when they lose the ability to feed and hydrate themselves must be told that the "choice" belongs to medical professionals, not to them. There is a word for this: fascism.
The medical profession is not concerned principally about keeping us tied to tubes and machines until our insurance monies run out. Oh, this might be the case in some instances in some places. Granted. However, an increasing number of doctors and nurses find a perverse pleasure in playing God, convincing themselves that they have the authority to determine who shall live and who shall die, frequently invoking the shopworn slogans of "compassion" and "death with dignity" as they do so. It is a relatively easy thing to kill an innocent human being after birth once it is admitted that their very humanity before birth does not exist or depends entirely upon the choice of others to recognize and to accept or reject.
The husband of a former student of mine from the State University of New York at Albany in mid-1970s said that he, an obstetrician-gynecologist, was helping to "solve the welfare problem" by killing the babies of black and Spanish-speaking mothers in a municipal hospital during his residency program. In like manner, you see, those who believe that disabled human beings may be starved and dehydrated to death believe that they are simply "letting nature take its course" as human suffering is alleviated, oblivious to the simple moral truth of the Divine positive law and the natural law that one may never take any action that has as its immediate and only direct end the death of an innocent human being.
The perverse mentality that prevails in much of the medical profession worldwide at present is the result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King. Emotion and illogic have replaced reason and the Deposit of Faith as it has been entrusted to Holy Mother Church by the God-Man, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The distinction between dying a good death and being dispatched by immoral means has thus been lost on more than a handful of believing, practicing Catholics, who have sadly lost sight of the fact that the disabled and the dependent are given us by Our Lord so that we go can out of ourselves to see His very impress in their immortal souls, seeing His suffering in their suffering, counting it as no cost to serve them as though we were serving Him in the flesh at this point in salvation history. Our world of cold secularism has caused many Catholics to harden their hearts to the plight of the preborn and to the fact that those who suffer at some point after birth are indeed sources of grace for us so that we can sanctify and thus save our own selfish souls by performing the Spiritual and the Corporal Works of Mercy.
We have now entered the month of June, the month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, formed out of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A consecration to the twin hearts of Jesus and Mary will help us to see in the suffering and the disabled an opportunity to serve others as we would serve Our Lord Himself, never counting the cost, understanding that a bit of self-sacrifice in this life might merit us the crown of eternal glory in the next if we persevere until our dying breaths in states of sanctifying grace. We need to have the compassion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on those who suffer and are disabled, not a corporate, bottom-line mentality that deprives them of the basic human right to food and water or, worse yet, subjects them to pills or injections that are designed to kill them.
A Catholic must be taught from the youngest years of life to be prepared for the moment of his death, which can come at a time when we least expect it or after years of suffering. We must remember, though, that nothing we suffer is the equal of the pain that just one of our venial sins imposed upon Our Lord in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross. The grace won for us on that same Holy Cross is sufficient for us to deal with whatever suffering we are asked to bear. No matter if it be Cerebral Palsy or Parkinson's Disease or Multiple Sclerosis or the after-effects of a severe heart attack or a stroke, a Catholic understands that he is to give all of his suffering freely to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slave, making frequent use of the Sacred Tribunal of Penance and spending time before her Divine Son's Real Presence, wherein beats the Most Sacred Heart Itself.
Killers are at large in the world. They wear white coats and they bear impressive credentials. We must commend these utilitarians to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, praying that they will be converted to follow the courageous and loving example of authentic Catholics in the medical profession, men and women who understand the difference between dying well and doing anything, whether by omission or commission, that kills an innocent human being, men and women who see in each human life, from the moment of fertilization to the time of natural death, the very image of the Blessed Trinity.
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.