Christianity and Middle-Earth

Monday, March 27, 2006

How Long, O Lord, Holy and True?

The Dutch are already euthanizing babies. The English aren’t too far behind, if this article in the Sunday Times is any indication (via American Thinker):

“In a submission to a two-year inquiry into premature babies by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the college says: “Some weight should be given to the economic considerations as there is a real issue in neonatal units of ‘bed blocking’, whereby women have to be transferred in labour to other units, compromising both their and their babies’ care.”

The statement reflects a growing view among child specialists that babies born under 25 weeks should be denied intensive care and allowed to die.Next month the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will debate a motion at its annual conference that it is “unethical” to provide intensive care routinely to babies born under 25 weeks. In practice, they would only be saved in exceptional circumstances. “

Bed-blocker. What a lovely epithet for a helpless infant whose only sin is to be born too early to survive without medical help. And yet, it does make for a horrible kind of commonsense: why burden the socialist health care system with sick children? For that matter, why burden it with cripples and decrepit old ladies?

Here in the States, we’re a bit behind our European cousins in the infanticide division, but never fear – we’ll get there soon enough.

It’s already all right to starve to death innocent adults in the land of the free. And to not just starve them by removing a tube that perhaps merely bypasses faulty swallowing equipment in an otherwise healthy human being, but to deny them the least comforting taste or drop of anything food-related, lest a calorie somehow derail the project.

Just think: Grandma’s between you and $500,000. She’s not really all there, so it’s not hard to find a lawyer and a judge to agree that her life isn’t of value to herself or others, and we all know that food and drink are medical treatment, and she wouldn’t want to be kept alive artificially, so the rest follows naturally.

Thus, in a situation where Grandma would have once been at the least tenderly hand-fed, even if she could only take a teaspoonful of broth at a time, we demand that she die with her mouth parched shut and her lips cracking and her soul quivering with the bewildered misery of what those cute grandchildren really think of her.

After all, Grandma would want you to have that big new house and that luxury cruise, wouldn’t she? The fact that she got to spend her declining years looking forward to being starved to death as soon as was legally possible couldn’t possibly have affected her earthly happiness: Grandma always was one to go on about Duty.

Or maybe you’re one of those pure souls who would ONLY starve Grandma in the name of Selfless Love and that Omnipotent Deity “Dignity.” By these lofty standards, spoonfuls of Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup held to wrinkled lips violate all principles of rectitude and decency and possibly even the Geneva Convention.

Or maybe you think that a man should be able to starve to death his estranged wife if he wants to: he couldn’t possibly be doing it out of any motive apart from sincere concern for her unwritten last wishes. After all, he IS her husband and we all know that a wife is chattel, a unit of property to be disposed of as His Highness wills. By gum, other, less civilized, peoples can merely mutter "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you" and get rid of their wives that way; we've got to prove that we Westerners are more dedicated to women's rights than barbarians are, after all!

Or maybe all you care about is you: “if I publicly support the people who say starving people to death is wrong, then I might end up on a respirator for ten years against my stated and written and clearly legal wishes. Damn this 'laying down one’s life for others' business. I will risk no hurt to me, for I am precious!"

And then there’s the "if the Republicans are against it, then it must be right!” mindset. I begin to suspect that we could use preemies for stir-fried cat food without other opposition as long as the Republicans were against it.

I’ve got a suggestion for all of the above enablers of legal murder: you might want to search the Scriptures daily and see if you can pull together a good enough defense to get you through Judgment Day. Maybe George Felos can help you. And to the I am the Master of My Fate crowd, let me point out that pigheadedness won’t survive that particular fire. God gives to each of us the freedom to choose our courses in life: in death every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, even if hell follows after.

(This by the way, does not mean that I think that everyone who doesn't become a Christian in this life is automatically damned. Think C.S. Lewis and The Last Battle. Many a man or woman whom God has not called to Christ in this life will awake, I think, like Faramir [to revert to Tolkien] to look on their king with a light of knowledge and love kindled in their eyes.)

But I pray for a better revenge. I, sister in heart to Terri Schiavo, I, crippled and broken and of little practical use to the greater society—I pray rather that the judgment upon you each will be this: that in life you will be struck down onto trembling knees by unapproachable Light, and that out of your terror and sudden shame you will cry—as we all must or perish—

“Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”


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