Thursday, July 30, 2009

This is a dark day...

...for Britain and for all who love the heritage of British law.

The House of Lords has ruled in favour of assisted suicide. Read here and here.

Think about what this means, and weep.

When the great John Paul II spoke about a "culture of death" I thought perhaps he was using language that was rather too dramatic, rather too colourful. But now...

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree Joanna. I am an Anglo-Catholic Priest in NJ USA and am seeking come into Rome. One BIG reason is that the only voice I see for LIFE is in the Catholic Church. The protestant world has capitulated over...and over...again.

May God save Britain once again!

Timotheus

Karol J Gajewski said...

Joanna,

The current 'mild' step that is trumpeted by the liberal media is akin to Neil Armstrong's 'giant leap' in 1969.
Do the exponents of 'a dignified death' not understand simple historical parallelism - even if they are blind to the moral implications?

The Nazi T4 Euthanasia apparatchiks produced a film in 1940 - 1, with the title "Ich Klage An" ("I accuse").
The film features the contrived 'good death' of Hanna, a multiple sclerosis patient and the moral convolutions of her husband, who finally, filled with compassion, decides to kill her. The script contained the following, nauseating lines:

Hanna: I wish that was the end, Thomas.

Thomas (Hanna's husband): It is the end, Hanna.

Hanna: How I love you Thomas (He weeps)...I wish I could hold your hand.

Let me know if you'd like more information on this,

Karol J. Gajewski (from the Stone Summer School)

Margo's books said...

Shudder.

Alyson said...

I felt desperate watching the news last night!

Malcolm McLean said...

A woman's body is hers to do with what she will. So we are told.

The natural consequence of that attitude is suicide. Soon it will be as normal to end a life through suicide as it is to end a pregnancy through abortion.

Anonymous said...

What starts as voluntary easily becomes mandatory.
Fr. Jim

Anonymous said...

To think that my own sins are adding to this evil!
Do pray for us in the States. Obama's "health" care reform is all about bullying the elderly into thinking that submitting to euthanasia - more "ethical" than suicide is the socially responsible, compassionate thing to do.

Lara said...

Would you prefer the lady in question lived her last days out in abhorrent pain and discomfort? Or should she die in dignity? Her pain will not desist, it will get worse. Who, morally, would wish that on anyone?

Joanna Bogle said...

There is no question of this lady dying in abhorrent pain. As was discussed at some length during the case, her condition will not involve agony or horror. As her life runs its course she will be able to recieve care and treatment such that she need have no fear of this sort. This has already been accepted: the position is one of wanting to end her life, not one of wanting to end her pain.

It's very important to understand this. Back in the 1970s at a major conference on Pain Relief held in London, I remember Dr Richard Lamerton, from a leading hospice, explaining emphatically that no one need die in agonising pain, and going to some lengths to explain some of the aspects of good medical care that this involves, not only in the appropriate drugs but also the way they are administered, timing, removal of any unwanted side-effects, etc etc. Good nursing and good medical care are not impossible to provide, and it is wrong to assume that assisted suicide is a morally acceptable alternative.

The treatment of gravely ill people must always be about care, not killing.

Anonymous said...

Joanna, the House of Lords has not ruled in favour of assisted suicide. Don't be so melodramatic! The House of Lords has ruled that the CPS should publish the guidelines it uses when deciding whether or not to prosecute. There is no question that assisting a person to commit suicide is illegal and will remain so at least for the immediate future.

Now, who knows what the CPS guidelines are? When they are published, maybe we will find out that prosecutions are unlikely unless, for example, any coercion is involved. If this turns out to be the case, then it would hardly be earth-shattering news. I am indeed surprised that Ms Purdy went to the trouble of going to the House of Lords, since she will probably only find out what everyone already knew - that her husband would almost certainly not be prosecuted for taking her to Zurich. He would still, however, be committing an offence, and be liable to prosecution - since the CPS presumably reserves the right to prosecute any offender irrespective of 'guidelines'. And surely you can see that there are occasions (and Ms Purdy's theoretical future case may or may not be such an occasion) where it would not be in the public interest to prosecute an offender?

If I accompanied an able-bodied person to Dignitas, would that be 'assisting a suicide'? If I carried their bags at the airport? Held the door open for them?

If you want to have a prosecution every time the law is broken, you will first have to divert a lot more of tax-payers' money, and find a lot more lawyers.

Let's not bewail the complete Nazification of Britain's statute book before it actually happens, please.

Edward