Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Discarding the burdensome. . .

You have heard all the buzz about the elimination of Down's Syndrome babies through abortion.  Now it is the elimination of Alzheimer's patients at the other end of life. We hear of Quebec, which has legalized euthanasia is legal, that 72 percent of caregivers favor permitting Alzheimer’s patients to be euthanized (even without evidence the afflicted person ever requested euthanasia). If the patient signaled in writing a request for euthanasia if he or she were incompetent, 91 percent of caregivers approved of euthanasia.  In this Quebec is not far behind the Netherlands. Remember that the Netherlands is where an elderly Alzheimer’s patient was held down by her family fighting the lethal injection but Dutch authorities found that the homicide was permissible, since “the doctor acted in good faith.”

The same people in favor of this are also pro-choice.  Except that they take the choice out of it for Down's Syndrome babies and Alzheimer's patients.  They reserve to themselves the choice made on behalf of those they deem to be too costly to care for or to have lives not worth living.  The suffering of many Alzheimer's patients is less a burden that they bear and more a burden born by the care-giver.  So the choice is made by those who find caring for someone with such disability to be an unfair burden.

I am not at all disputing the cost and burden the care-givers bear. Caring for Down's Syndrome children and adults as well as those suffering from Alzheimer's is, indeed, exhausting both physically as well as mentally.  I know this from family members who have suffered Alzheimer's.  That said, when and how do we decided when the burden of caring for such patients becomes too much to bear?  How much inconvenience, cost, and duty is too much?  Who gets to make the decision?  

This is hard enough when one has a moral compass tuned to the objective values of God who is the Giver of life.  What about when one is making a moral decision on no moral basis greater than "I find it too much responsibility or sacrifice from me?"

3 comments:

John J. Flanagan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Respect for life has been largely lost, as has respect for the Creator of Life and the Redeemer of Life. It all goes together as a single package.

Fr.D+

Anonymous said...

*Sigh*

It is no secret that the neurologist has a blood test for aluminum. Find a way to eliminate the aluminum and other toxic metals from the bloodstream/brain, and you will have a cure.