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Bobby Schindler: Drinking the Pro-Death Kool-Aid
Townhall ^ | 3/31/12 | Bobby Schindler

Posted on 04/01/2012 10:01:20 AM PDT by wagglebee

Lately, Americans have been quick to disparage other countries for their approach to life and death issues. In particular, many Americans have been outraged at the Netherlands’ policies regarding euthanasia, assisted suicide, infanticide and the killing of those with mental illnesses.

As Americans, we haven’t been entirely intellectually honest in addressing why these things have become so prevalent in Europe. After all, we would never allow that kind of immorality or degradation of human life. Not in this great nation. Right?


Americans had better look again and take the time to rethink their value systems. Because if you honestly believe such things don’t happen here, I’m afraid you may not be paying attention.

The simple fact is that many of us have been successfully conditioned to accept medical killing as a kind, appropriate and compassionate tactic. A great deal of it goes on quietly and out of the harsh light of public view. But, a growing number of families can tell you in no uncertain terms, it happens every single day in the United States.

Embracing death as a medical solution to human problems is nothing new. The attitude is one that has been promoted for decades. The slow but successful indoctrination of our mostly apathetic general public suggests that it is not only acceptable to kill disabled, elderly and vulnerable people, but that such acts are perfectly justifiable.

Only legal in three states, the number of those who have opted for physician assisted suicide may not be staggering. However, what is positively astounding is the very large number of people who, on a regular basis, fall victim to the practice of deliberately killing the cognitively disabled, the elderly, the mentally ill and countless others who are being starved and dehydrated to death.

With the entire world watching, my sister, Terri Schiavo died seven years ago on March 31, 2005 of a court-ordered dehydration – an agonizing death that lasted nearly two weeks. It may have been the first time most people were witness or even considered that this type of inhumane act could happen to an innocent individual. Sadly, Terri’s case wasn’t isolated – it continues and in every imaginable setting.

It seems clear that much of what is happening almost always includes the talk of money. Because health care has become so astronomically costly, bottom-line thinking and profit have started to outweigh the needs and desires of certain people who live at risk.

The very real result, in terms of attitudes and actions, is that more vulnerable American citizens are sitting squarely in the cross-hairs of what appears to be a very real antilife establishment. Such attitudes put each and every one of us at risk.

When a person reaches a certain age, or their physical capabilities become profoundly limited and no longer are able to do what an “able” person can do, what happens?

Working to shape public policy, bioethicists and proponents of choice in dying do their in work in very subtle ways – reaching for buzzwords that soothe the general public into thinking death is the appropriate medical solution to complicated human conditions.

Indeed, their attempts at shifting our societal attitudes towards life, health, disability and death have been tremendously successful. The marketing, packaging and selling of forced death as a solution has brought the United States equal with those countries with which we find fault. We, truly, are no better.

How did this happen?

There are several dynamics at play and many people, who are experts in medical ethics, would probably outline the core issues in this way:

We re-defined basic care. In most states, the provision of food and water is statutorily defined as “medical treatment.” That enables health care providers and family members to deny this kind of basic care with the intent of causing death. This happens to people who are not dying, not stricken with illness and the elderly who unable to safely feed themselves.

We embraced ethics committees. According to a 2005 report by the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, the laws of 40 states allow doctors and hospital “ethics committees” to disregard advance directives when they call for treatment, food or fluids. Perhaps the term “death panels” doesn’t seem so funny anymore, does it?

We tolerated the Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) diagnosis. PVS was established in 1972 by physicians, and it is often used as a criterion to kill the cognitively disabled. This is precisely the diagnosis used in Terri’s case. Consider, if you will, how profoundly offensive it is to refer to anyone as a “vegetable”.

Clearly, this term is meant to condition you to think less of a disabled person. There is another problem. PVS is misdiagnosed upwards of 50% of the time, according to a number of published studies. Even though the diagnosis is largely unscientific, it can be a death warrant to a patient with profound cognitive disabilities.

We embraced a flawed personhood theory. Some bioethicists have defined human beings as human “non-persons,” based on their ability to interact in “meaningful” ways – a benchmark that is subjective in every way. If someone doesn’t meet this criterion, theirs is a life no longer worth living. Indeed, personhood theory is being taught to our future physicians and health care professionals in some of our most prominent universities. It’s a sad and odd to note that, in the final decade of his life, President Ronald Reagan became according to these bioethicists a human non-person because of his Alzheimer’s.

The final stroke? Verbal engineering. Putting words in our public discourse and vernacular—words that people will repeat without thought, words that are intended to be the means to an end. The concept is simple, efficient and it works. As an example of this, read an article by Wesley J. Smith and Rita Marker titled, “Words, Words, Words.” They explain how various words and phrases have had a profound impact on the public, numbing them into accepting things that they know are negative.

Truly, the desensitization in our culture has become so intense that those who compare the dehumanization of disabled people to the atrocities in Germany prior to the Holocaust are now labeled fanatics. Yet, the very same people that were eliminated in Nazi Germany–the cognitively disabled–are being eliminated now for the very same reasons. They are seen as inferior. Burdens. Not quite complete humans.

Obviously, there is more than just culture-jamming that goes into this insidious movement. But it has become apparent to me that the death culture is not only winning, it’s gaining broad support.

Clearly, the reasons are out there for one and all to see. Health, life and longevity have become direct threats to profitability and the bottom line. That's why I fear those behind this death movement will not only continue, but it will intensify.

Even if you and I think it’s horrible, even if you believe that starving and dehydrating vulnerable people to death is abhorrent and even though we see some politicians wringing their hands over what is happening to people at risk, the question that still remains is simply this: What is being done to stop it?

Is anybody really serious about saving lives? Or, did we obediently buy the sales pitch?

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deathpanels; euthanasia; moralabsolutes; prolife; terridailies; terrischiavo; whiterose
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Truly, the desensitization in our culture has become so intense that those who compare the dehumanization of disabled people to the atrocities in Germany prior to the Holocaust are now labeled fanatics. Yet, the very same people that were eliminated in Nazi Germany–the cognitively disabled–are being eliminated now for the very same reasons. They are seen as inferior. Burdens. Not quite complete humans.

The truth of this is chilling.

1 posted on 04/01/2012 10:01:27 AM PDT by wagglebee
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To: cgk; Coleus;; narses; Salvation; 8mmMauser
Pro-Life Ping
2 posted on 04/01/2012 10:02:53 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; APatientMan; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]

3 posted on 04/01/2012 10:03:54 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
New Terri Dailies Theme

On the anniversary of dear Terri's murder, Bobby Schindler has written a chilling description of how the culture of death has permeated society.

4 posted on 04/01/2012 10:08:38 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: topher; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ..
This looks like a fantastic movie!

Thread by topher.

Pro-life 'October Baby' rejected by major studios, blitzes box office

The Hunger Games” wasn’t the only film to hit box office paydirt this past weekend. Although it only opened in 390 theaters, the anti-abortion drama “October Baby,” starring John Schneider,earned the second-highest-per-screen average, bringing in almost $2 million in ticket sales.

“I was shattered when I first learned about the story. I was moved and mesmerized. I wasn’t an activist, I was just someone who was shattered by the truth,” director Jon Erwin told FOX411’s Pop Tarts. “Here is our little film, small budget, in the top ten (at the box office). We are thrilled, blown away.”

“October Baby” follows the emotional journey of a young woman who learns that she was almost aborted, but at the last minute was instead given up for adoption. The film almost didn’t see the light of day.

“This film couldn’t find a home, no studio wanted to touch it. It was considered too controversial,” Erwin continued. “There was a real moment of despair at one point, the film wasn’t finished and nobody would take a look at it. But every time we screened it, it attracted such intense emotional reactions. So we had to raise the money ourselves, and the release process took much longer than we wanted.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

5 posted on 04/01/2012 10:52:13 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
NOTHING is more important to the left than killing the innocent.

Thread by me.

Obama endorses Planned Parenthood: ‘you’ll never stop fighting for choice and neither will I’

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2012 ( - In an unusually candid video addressed to Planned Parenthood, President Obama assured the billion-dollar abortion organization of his continued support and touted his record blocking efforts to defund the group by pro-life “professional politicians.”

“For you and for most Americans, protecting women’s health is a mission that stands above politics,” said the president in a video posted to Youtube by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Yet in the past year you’ve had politicians who want to deny millions of women the care they rely on, and inject themselves into decisions that are best made between a woman and her doctor.”

The affirmation comes amidst an onslaught of bad publicity for the abortion giant in recent months: The group is now under federal investigation after reports alleged that it has engaged in systematic Medicaid fraud, abused other federal funds, and routinely evaded state abortion laws.

Planned Parenthood’s defensive posture became even clearer last December when prominent breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to the group because of the investigation, as well as the fact that Planned Parenthood clinics do not provide direct breast cancer services such as mammograms. After Planned Parenthood and its allies excoriated Komen for the decision, the charity was forced to apologize, but left it unclear whether the grants would resume.

Obama extolled Planned Parenthood’s “fight” for women in the video, suggesting that the group helped women receive “mammograms,” alongside praise for its efforts providing affordable contraception.

“So when some professional politicians casually say that they’ll ‘get rid of Planned Parenthood,’ don’t forget what they’re really talking about: eliminating the funding for preventive care that millions of women rely on and leaving them to fend for themselves,” said Obama.

Kristan Hawkins, head of Students for Life of America, called it “outrageous” that Obama would repeat the claim that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms, after extensive coverage pointing out that the abortion organization does not provide the service.

“Somehow the White House has missed the memo that PLANNED PARENTHOOD DOESN’T PROVIDE MAMMOGRAMS. How could they have missed that?” wrote Hawkins.

“And why is Planned Parenthood posting videos that say as much, when they have already been caught in the lie?”

The president also referred to last year’s budget negotiation stalemate, in which Obama and House GOP leader John Boehner came to personal loggerheads over the bill’s Planned Parenthood defunding - the final issue Obama cited in his refusal to sign the bill hours before government shutdown.

When “Republicans in Congress threatened to shut down the government” over the measure, “I had a simple answer: no,” Obama said in the video.

The president concluded: “I know that Planned Parenthood will continue providing care no matter what. I know you’ll never stop fighting to protect the health care and the choices that America’s women deserve.

“And as long as I have the privilege of being your president, neither will I.”

YouTube: A message to Planned Parenthood Supporters from President Obama

6 posted on 04/01/2012 10:55:42 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: marshmallow; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
Big Murder doesn't understand why people don't support their death camps.

Thread by marshmallow.

Contractor Leaves Job After Discovering it was Planned Parenthood Clinic

FORT WORTH, Texas - Construction equipment churns away behind a chain link fence, but there's no sign to show what's being built on John Ryan Road in Southwest Fort Worth.

The Gladney Adoption Center right next door, which sold the land to a third party, didn't learn who bought it until Thursday.

One subcontractor didn't find out until just a few hours before he was to pour concrete footings this week.

When he discovered it was a new Planned Parenthood health center where abortions will be performed, he told the general contractor his religious convictions wouldn't allow it.

He walked off the job. He told News 8 other construction workers are also raising religious objections.

The president of Planned Parenthood of North Texas said there's a reason the organization's name is not on the project.

"From the beginning, we intended to be public with this project," Ken Lambrecht said. "We wanted to choose the right time, so that our contractors wouldn't have to endure the harassment and intimidation that Planned Parenthood staffers and patients must endure on a day-to-day basis."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

7 posted on 04/01/2012 11:00:17 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: All; wagglebee

We should all try to see this movie, even if we have to drive a distance. We were going to drive around 50 miles today to see it, but we are expecting snow, and hubby took off snow tires. :)

Hopefully, we’ll still see it this week.

8 posted on 04/01/2012 11:21:41 AM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: wagglebee
it's even more chilling when you realize that the current Holocaust -- abortion -- is about nothing more nor less than money. Period. A way to make a buck, get rich, live the "good life."

It might make the nazi's a degree less evil, if that were possible.

9 posted on 04/01/2012 3:44:23 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Peter Singer is the embodiment of evil.

Thread by me.

I do not think we need more human beings on this planet: Peter Singer

(TEHRAN) - Peter Singer is a world-renowned Australian philosopher and bio-ethicist. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. Singer specializes in applied ethics and is known for his secular and preference utilitarian viewpoints. In 2004, he was recognized as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies. Peter Singer holds controversial and widely contested viewpoints regarding abortion, infanticide and euthanasia and has written several articles and books on these subjects.

His 1975 book "Animal Liberation" is considered to be the hallmark of animal liberation movement. His other important books are "Rethinking Life and Death" and "Practical Ethics."

To me as a Muslim journalist, Singer's opinions and ideas have always seemed objectionable and irrational. According to the teachings of Islam, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia are unlawful and impermissible. Islam says that human fetus is a conscious being and does have the capacity to determine its future if given the opportunity, so it's illegal to seize its life. Therefore, I conducted an interview with Prof. Singer to challenge his standpoints and ask some questions regarding the why-ness of holding such controversial and unconventional beliefs. What follows is the complete text of our conversation. Peter's answers are rather brief as compared to my elaborate questions; however, I think it has become a readable debate.

Kourosh Ziabari: why do you advocate voluntary euthanasia and abortion? I think the traditionalists and religious thinkers are right in their position that killing a human fetus or a newborn or someone suffering from a terminal or incurable disease is immoral and contrary to the laws of creation and the will of the Creator. Does it provide a justification for killing a fetus or a newborn that they don't possess the essential characteristics of personhood such as rationality, autonomy and self-consciousnesses? After all, they are living beings, even if they are unable to reason or determine their fate. If allowed to be born and grow, the fetus or the newborn will turn into complete, rational human beings. Do we have the permission to deprive them of the right which the God has bestowed upon them? To put it in other words, are we the ones who decide our birth that want to be the decider of our death?

Peter Singer: I think if we are to discuss such issues at all, I need to make it clear that I do not share your assumptions about God, or a Creator. I do not believe that there is such a being. I accept a scientific view of the origins of the world, and of life, so I do not think there is a god who has bestowed rights on any beings.

Given that, then it follows, indeed, that we are the ones who have to make decisions about life and death. And if a person is terminally ill, and because of the poor quality of his or her life does not want to go on living for the last few days, or weeks or months that he or she could live for, who better to make that decision than the person whose life it is? Why should the state interfere in this choice?

As for abortion, you write that the fetus is a living being. I agree. But so is a sheep, or a cow, or a chicken, or a dog. Why should a fetus have more of a right to life than they do? After all, they are conscious beings, able to suffer, in ways that the fetus, at least early in pregnancy, cannot.

I know that some people will object that the fetus has a potential to become a rational human being, which the sheep or cow does not. But the world already has 7 billion humans in it, and this is causing enormous environmental problems, especially with regard to climate change. I do not think we need more human beings on this planet.

KZ: in a 2009 New York Times article, you raised the example of a patient suffering from advanced kidney cancer who is told that will be dying in the next year or two, but can be given an extra six months at the cost of a $54,000 medicine. Then you asked that "is a few more months worth that much?" Don't you really believe that that few more months are really worth spending $54,000? Won't the life of all of us become meaningless and hollow if we sit back and wait until our death comes and takes our life? It's hopefulness that makes the life significant. Don't you believe that the human being should do its best to live as much as possible and enjoy his life in the best way he can? Of course I'm not talking about mere pleasure and happiness, but alluding to the fact that the life of human being is the most precious gift he is endowed with. Don't you think so?

PS: Yes, I agree that human beings should enjoy life as much as possible. But my point is that there are limited resources, and even the richest nation cannot afford to do everything possible to extend the life of every person. So if we spend $54,000 to extend the life of a person with advanced kidney cancer for six months, then there is something else we are not doing that would save the life of someone who could live longer, perhaps for years. And if we were to give the money to an organization working to stop malaria in Africa, we could save someone’s life for much, much less – perhaps for just $1000, we could save the life of a child who will live for another 50 years. So for $54,000 we might be able to save the lives of 54 children. Isn’t that better than extending the life of one person for only 6 months?

When resources are limited – as they always are – we should try to get the best possible use from them.

KZ: with all due respect, I believe that the points which you raised in your book the "Animal Liberation" are contradictory to your viewpoints about physician-assisted suicide, infanticide and euthanasia. You associate a great value to the life of animals and hold that "the interests of all beings capable of suffering to be worthy of equal consideration, and that giving lesser consideration to beings based on their species is no more justified than discrimination based on skin color" while permitting abortion or euthanasia on grounds that people are entitled to determine the manner or time of their death. You have argued many times that animals will be more deserving of life than certain humans, including disabled babies and adults who are brain-injured or in vegetative comas. But don't you think that this argument is unfair?

Your book converted many readers to lifelong vegetarianism and inspired reforms in humane treatment for laboratory animals and livestock. So, isn't the life of human being as valuable as that of the animals? Shouldn't we try our best to preserve the life of human beings as much as possible?

PS: No, there is no contradiction. I think we should give equal consideration to the similar interests of all beings, whether they are human or nonhuman animals. So yes, the life of a normal healthy human being is at least as valuable as that of a nonhuman animal. In fact I think it is normally more valuable, because of the particular interest that a normal human has in the future – humans make plans for the future and hope to achieve things in the future, in ways that nonhuman animals cannot.

On the other hand, as I already said in answer to one of your earlier questions, if a person is very ill and wants to die, then it is in that person’s interest to die, and we should allow him to do so.

As for people who are so severely brain-damaged that they can never again be conscious, I don’t believe that they have any interest in continuing to live, for they can gain nothing from life any more.

KZ: you're a bioethicist, but you don't believe in the sanctity of life and refute religion. Even though you proposed some of your arguments regarding the uselessness of religion for morality in the article the "Godless Morality," but it's still astounding to me that why you don't believe in the power of religion and its connection with morality. Let's put aside the human religions such as Buddhism and Sikhism. All of the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) have morality and ethics as their theoretical and ideological foundations. Islam, for example, says that all of the sins are kept in a room, and "lie" is the key of that closed room. So, why don't you believe in the necessity of religion for morality?

PS: Long ago, Plato argued that there must be a basis for morality that is independent of religion. For if someone who believes in the existence of God wants to say that God is good, what is he saying, if all ideas of morality come from God? He seems to be saying that God is approved of by God. But that is meaningless. On the other hand, if there is a God who is not good, then that God is just a tyrant. Why should we obey him?

Some of the most ethical people in the world have been atheists. Even today, the two greatest philanthropists in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, are not religious. And many religious people commit terrible crimes. So there is no necessary connection between religion and morality, neither in theory nor in practice.

KZ: why do you deny Thomas Hobbes's viewpoint on the rule of law and adherence to codes of morality in presence of the state? At least in the developing countries such as Iran, people need the forceful presence of an authority to persuade them to follow the social laws and morality codes. Without the presence of police, for instance, the traffic laws and regulations are meaningless in a country like Iran. What's your take on that?

PS: I am not sure what it is that you think I deny. I certainly agree that the state needs to use force at times, to ensure adherence to the law. But that does not mean that I think, as Hobbes does, that morality depends on a social contract, or that there can be no morality without a state.

KZ: in your article "Famine, Affluence and Morality" in 1971, you spoke of the suffering of Bengali people in India who were subject to severe famine, lack of food, shelter and medical care at that time. Your raised some arguments including the necessity of giving assistance to the subjugated people in dire need of help and the importance of preventing bad things from happening. You're arguments are comprehensible and well-structured. But what is happening in practice is far from what it should be. For example, we can consider the example of this year's drought and famine in Somalia. The U.S. and other Western states dispatched the least humanitarian convoys to Somalia and dedicated the lowest amounts of monetary assistance to the famine-stricken country. What's the reason in your view? Isn't it that morality is consigned to oblivion in the industrialized, developed world? Isn't it that the citizens of prosperous and economically affluent societies such as the United States are inattentive to humanitarian affairs and morality?

PS: Why do you say that Western states donated the least assistance to Somalia? What figures are you basing that claim on? To the best of my knowledge, most of the aid that has gone to Somalia has come from Western nations, just as most of the aid that goes to the global poor also comes from Western nations. Of course, I agree that the rich Western nations should do much more, but it is also a great shame that the oil-rich states of the Middle East do not use their wealth to help the world’s poorest people.

I hope that some of your readers will go to my website, and will make a personal pledge to share some of their income with people who are much poorer than they are.

KZ: do you see any significant relationship between morality and the culture of consumerism? Can we argue that the more consumerism penetrates into the society, the more morality declines and turns down?

PS: I don’t think it is quite so simple as that. Although I agree that there is too much emphasis on consuming things, I also think that we are making progress in morality, and there is more concern for the poor, for the environment, and for animals, than there used to be. I am also pleased to see that there is now wider acceptance of the equality of women, and that homosexuals are no longer persecuted in the way that they were 50 years ago. These things are all improvements in morality.

KZ: at the beginning of your "Ethics" entry for the Encyclopedia Britannica, you raised a number of questions the answers to which deal with the discipline of moral philosophy. One of them was that "If conscripted to fight in a war we do not support, should we disobey the law?" I want to know your answer to this very question. Do you believe that in the contemporary world which is witness to destructive and lethal wars and conflicts, people should refuse to comply with their nationalistic obligations and avoid taking part in wars which will inevitably lead to the killing of innocent civilians? In a broader sense and with regards to countries with fragile political structures which are prone to revolutions and popular uprisings, is joining the opposition and voicing support for the contenders of the government considered to be immoral and a kind of betrayal to the republican values? To put it more succinctly, I want to raise the example of Iran. In Iran, the majority of people are satisfied with the way the government handles the country's affairs; however, there's a significant minority which is at odds with the government. We have also powerful opposition groups and parties outside the country, including some terrorist groups such as PKK, PJAK and MKO who want to topple the government at the cost of the lives of innocent people. Is allying with them and supporting them moral, in your view?

PS: I do not think that anyone should ally with terrorist organizations, ever. But I do believe that the people of Iran should be able to vote for their rulers, and I mean, for the people with ultimate power to decide the future of their country. So I would like to see a peaceful opposition movement in Iran that moves the country towards true democracy. Such a movement has happened recently in Tunisia, and also in Egypt, although it is certainly running into greater difficulties there because of the resistance of the military to losing power. But if this can happen in Tunisia and Egypt, why not in Iran?

KZ: does culture influence the value of moral action? Can we find conceptions and behaviors which are moral in a certain culture but are considered to be immoral and unethical in another? I want to know if culture influences the quality of moral action and the morality of deeds and social behaviors. Does such an impact exist? Of course you've talked about the universality of ethics and argued that there are no ethical universals, because as you have put it, "there is so much variation from one culture to another that no single principle or judgment is generally accepted" but I think some concepts such as abnegation, sacrifice, truthfulness, honesty and loyalty have the same meaning in the all the cultures around the world. What's your take on that?

PS: I do not recognize the quote you have above. In fact I do believe that there are some ethical universals, even though there is also a great deal of cultural variation. But the principle of reciprocity, or example, appears to be universal, as is the obligations of parents to support their children. I also think that there are more fundamental universal moral truths, like having equal consideration for the interests of all, which may not be recognized everywhere yet, but one day will be.

KZ: according to the Sophist Thrasymachus, "the concept of justice means nothing more than obedience to the laws of society, and, since these laws are made by the strongest political group in their own interests, justice represents nothing but the interests of the stronger." What's your viewpoint regarding his argument? After all, there should be an authority to administer justice and proclaim the foundations and bases of justice. Is it right to deny that the distinction between right and wrong has any objective basis, only because those who set the rules of justice are in power and have authority and abiding by their rules would mean obedience to power?

PS: I do not accept the cynical view of morality put forward by Thrasymachus. What the strongest political group says is right is often not right at all. It may be that just as there are truths of mathematics, so there are moral truths, for example that suffering is bad. These truths may often not be fully accepted in a community, because we humans tend to be selfish or nationalistic in our outlook. That is understandable, for evolutionary reasons, but it does not make it right.

10 posted on 04/15/2012 11:15:50 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Morgana; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
Big Murder is now openly asking people to pray to Satan.

Thread by Morgana.

Planned Parenthood launches ‘40 Days of Prayer’ for abortion

EUREKA, California, April 11, 2012 ( - Although Planned Parenthood has frequently complained of pro-life prayer vigils - particularly the biannual 40 Days for Life Campaign - one California Planned Parenthood affiliate seems to have chosen an unusually direct way of countering such efforts.

Last month, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood (SRPP) of Eureka, California, launched a campaign called the 40 Days of Prayer: Supporting Women Everywhere. The campaign, as noticed by Liberty Counsel, lists 40 different prayers for those involved in the “sacred care” of abortions to continue protecting, providing, and embracing the procedure - including mothers, escorts, abortionists, and everyone involved except the unborn children.

Some examples include Day 14, a prayer for “Christians everywhere to embrace the loving model of Jesus in the way he refused to shame women,” and Day 38, for “a cloud of gentleness to surround every abortion facility. May everyone feel calm and loving.”

The event is scheduled from March 18 to April 27 and includes several local gatherings “in celebration of women and reproductive rights,” according to a press release.

The campaign is being advertised under SRPP’s Clergy for Choice, who bill themselves as “religious leaders who value all human life.” The prayers themselves are credited to Faith Aloud, a “religious and ethical voice for reproductive justice” based in St. Louis.

The event appears to mimic an increasingly prominent thorn in Planned Parenthood’s side.

The 40 Days for Life Campaign, an emphatically peaceful prayer and fasting event in hundreds of cities in the U.S. and around the world, has reported saving at least 5,838 children from abortion, closing 22 abortion clinics, and prompting 69 providers walk away from abortion work since its inception in 2007.

Planned Parenthood affiliates have derided the campaign as “40 days and nights of intimidation and harassment” and routinely encourage supporters to pledge a donation for every new pro-life witness praying outside abortion clinics during the events.

Liberty Counsel likened Planned Parenthood’s latest tactic to Nazi Germany’s attempts to use religion to dehumanize the portions of society they sought to exterminate.

“Planned Parenthood’s attempts to develop a ‘spiritual’ aspect to the pro-abortion argument can seem comparable to the religious leaders in Germany who supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. It was wrong then and it is wrong now,” wrote LC in a press release Tuesday.

David Bereit, National Director of 40 Days for Life, told that the counter-campaign wasn’t entirely new.

“Some say that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,’ but when that imitation is being used to promote the killing of innocent children, we are anything but flattered,” said Bereit.

While he has seen the same “prayers” mockingly displayed outside during 40 Days for Life campaigns,” he said it was the first time he had seen the invocations officially sponsored by a Planned Parenthood affiliate.

“Planned Parenthood has stooped to a new low by exploiting pastors and churches to ‘celebrate’ the slaughter of babies made in God’s image and likeness,” he said. “They certainly wouldn’t be doing this if 40 Days for Life wasn’t having a devastating impact on their abortion business!”

11 posted on 04/15/2012 11:21:50 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Jim Robinson; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
Jim Robinson has outdone himself recently in reaffirming Free Republic's devotion to the cause of life!

Notice: FR is and will remain a pro-life, small government conservative site.

To hell with the GOP-e. Barring a miracle, they got their big government, unconstitutional mandate loving, socialist abortionist Obama-lite RINO on the ballot, they can now get him elected.

We are the resistance!!

Shove him down our throats today, we shove him up your donkeys in November!!

I can see November from my house!!

12 posted on 04/15/2012 11:26:47 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Will God smite them? Hello, God...

13 posted on 04/15/2012 11:28:24 AM PDT by floriduh voter (I have no comment.)
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To: Nachum; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ..
A preview of what we will see with Obamacare OR Romneycare.

Thread by Nachum.

Sentenced to death for being old: The NHS denies life-saving treatment to the elderly, as one man's

When Kenneth Warden was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, his hospital consultant sent him home to die, ruling that at 78 he was too old to treat.

Even the palliative surgery or chemotherapy that could have eased his distressing symptoms were declared off-limits because of his age.

His distraught daughter Michele Halligan accepted the sad prognosis but was determined her father would spend his last months in comfort. So she paid for him to seen privately by a second doctor to discover what could be done to ease his symptoms.

Thanks to her tenacity, Kenneth got the drugs and surgery he needed — and as a result his cancer was actually cured. Four years on, he is a sprightly 82-year-old who works out at the gym, drives a sports car and competes in a rowing team.

‘You could call his recovery amazing,’ says Michele, 51. ‘It is certainly a gift. But the fact is that he was written off because of his age. He was left to suffer so much, and so unnecessarily.’

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

14 posted on 04/15/2012 11:31:53 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
The culture of death wants to murder every human being with PVS.

Thread by me.

Bioethicist argues PVS diagnosed patients should not be kept alive

April 11, 2012 ( - If an American bioethicist gets her way, all patients evaluated as being in a “permanent vegetative state” (PVS) would by default have artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) withdrawn unless they have made a prior wish to be kept alive.

In the March 2012 issue of Bioethics, Dr. Catherine Constable argues that “in the absence of clear evidence that the patient would opt for this existence over death, keeping him alive by any means of assistance is ethically more problematic than allowing him to die.”

Terri Schiavo was declared to be in a PVS state
and despite intense opposition from her parents
and thousands of supporters, her food and water
were withdrawn causing her to experience a slow,
painful death.

Constable’s article however, does not appear to adequately confront recent research indicating that many patients have been misdiagnosed as PVS and have in fact had functioning, fully conscious brains. They have been unable to communicate their situation to caregivers and to those who in many cases made misguided decisions to end their lives. The highly respected Discover Magazine published a dramatic report on such research last year.

The term PVS itself is also being increasingly being challenged as inappropriate for human beings who it is argued can never be considered to be “vegetative”.

In her article titled Withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration for Patients in a Permanent Vegetative State: Changing Tack, Constable suggests that the current medical presumption that favors providing nutrition and hydration to PVS patients is a “violation of autonomy” and that it “goes against the best interests of the patient”.

Constable, who teaches at New York University School of Medicine but who studied bioethics at the Ethox Centre at Oxford University, justifies her position using the philosophical premise of Peter Singer that “[whether or not] a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being’s life.” She drew heavily on Singer’s method for valuing persons in terms of consciousness that allows him to argue that “the most significant ethically relevant characteristic of human beings whose brains have ceased to function is not that they are members of our species, but that they have no prospect of regaining consciousness.”

“Without consciousness, continued life cannot benefit them [PVS patients],” Singer argued.

Constable runs with Singer’s line of reasoning, concluding that “a decision to preserve the life of a patient in a state of permanent unconsciousness based on respect for life itself is morally no more sound than a decision to take that life.”

For Constable, an individual’s autonomy is the highest human good, overriding any other good, including what she calls the “sanctity of life”. Since a PVS patient presumably no longer has consciousness and therefore lacks autonomy, her argument runs, then there is no moral reason that such a patient should be kept alive.

“In view of this conclusion, other considerations, such as the cost to the healthcare system (public, or any other kind) would seem poised to be deciding factors,” she argues.

Constable goes as far as making the case that those who provide a PVS patient who may not have wanted to be kept alive with ANH “have arguably committed a worse violation of autonomy by treating the patient than if we had not treated him against his wishes.”

Bringing in surveys that indicate that a majority of people would not want to continue living in a permanent vegetative state, Constable argues that in continuing to provide ANH to PVS patients “we are employing a treatment that most do not consider beneficial without consent.” For Constable, ANH is simply a “form of treatment” that is concomitant with all the “ethical ramifications” that would normally accompany any other kind of treatment.

Constable even argues against keeping PVS patients alive through ANH under the pretext of a chance of recovery for the reason that the new life gained would be “far less likely to resemble [the life that was] lost” and would likely resemble “some state of middle consciousness”. She suggests that the life of a recovered PVS patient would be “quite possibly, worse than non-existence”.

Renowned bioethics critic Wesley J. Smith called Constable’s position paper a “radical proposal” that would set the stage for what he called a “‘default for death’ policy [that] would establish the foundation for a veritable duty to die”.

Smith warned that Constable’s arguments for killing PVS patients are not limited to the PVS.

“Some bioethicists already claim that those with minimal consciousness have an interest in being made to die. And don’t forget Futile Care Theory and health care rationing bearing down on us.”

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) stated in 2007 that the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration from PVS patients is immoral. Their statements were approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

“The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.”

The CDF clarified that even if a competent physician judges with moral certainty that a PVS patient will never recover consciousness, nonetheless, a PVS patient is “a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.”

The late John Paul II had also taught that “the administration of water and food [to a sick person], even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act.”

“We had better push back on this agenda”, warned Smith on his blog.

“The lives of tens of thousands of people may be at stake.”

"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."

15 posted on 04/15/2012 11:37:06 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee
wagglebee, you know that if the proper drugs are administered, anyone can appear to be PVS. Pharmaceutical has a lot of involvement in these PVS nonsense. Drug 'em and then declare they are PVS. No, they are doped up! Nursing homes and hospices dope people up so they don't have to really tend to their needs in the proper way. Institutions turn patients into vegetables through chemistry.

When will people start asking to see the med sheet when the visit a nursing home patient? Those med sheets can be two full pages long. WHY? It's toxic and doping them up so they cannot speak. Then they have liver failure cuz the liver can't handle cross-meds with cross purposes and similar drugs presribed at the same time.

Forgot Hollywood and celebs. Institutions overprescribe more than Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson's docs.

16 posted on 04/15/2012 5:06:02 PM PDT by floriduh voter (I have no comment.)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks for the ping!

17 posted on 04/15/2012 8:29:55 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: wagglebee; All

PP is trying to stick it to pro-lifers.

They won’t think they’re so cute when they have to face God. Hopefully each of them will repent before they die. Some PP directors, Dr. Nathanson, and others, have repented already.

18 posted on 04/16/2012 5:48:59 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: SumProVita; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
I timely warning.

Thread by SumProVita.

Dad rescues ‘brain dead’ son from doctors wishing to harvest his organs...

...boy recovers completely

Although a team of four physicians insisted that his son was “brain-dead” following the wreck, Thorpe’s father enlisted the help of a general practitioner and a neurologist, who demonstrated that his son still had brain wave activity. The doctors agreed to bring him out of the coma, and five weeks later Thorpe left the hospital, having almost completely recovered.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

19 posted on 04/29/2012 11:27:15 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
A perfect explanation of the war against the culture of death.

Thread by me.

Euthanasia is a war to the death between a religious and atheistic vision of society

Having blogged last Thursday about Mark Dowd’s first programme on Radio 4 about euthanasia, “Heart and Soul”, I have now listened to his second one, broadcast last Saturday. In the first programme he interviewed Alison Davis, a Catholic convert, who suffers from spina bifida and who is a passionate opponent of euthanasia and assisted suicide. In this second episode he interviewed Edward Turner, a humanist, whose mother, Dr Anne Turner, made headlines in 2006 when, accompanied by Edward and his two sisters, she ended her life at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

She was suffering from a degenerative disease, similar to one her husband had died of a few years earlier. Edward’s father had had a “normal” death and his son described his last year as “a torture.” Originally opposed to assisted suicide he told Dowd that as a result of that experience he thinks “we hold on to other people’s lives longer than is good for them.” At first he was opposed to his mother’s wish and with his sisters did everything he could to make her life enjoyable and comfortable. But Dr Turner, a retired GP who had specialised in family planning, was adamant that she wanted to die before she became completely helpless and dependent on others.

Turner began to feel selfish in opposing his mother’s wishes. When he returned to the UK after her death the local vicar, together with a humanist practitioner, arranged a humanist funeral for her in his parish church. According to Turner they both agreed that the funeral “marked one of the high points of their professional careers.”

Throughout the programme the interviewer, Mark Dowd, came across as tactfully as he had done in his earlier interview with Alison Davis. You could not guess where his own sympathies lay – except perhaps for one small clue. Alongside his conversation with Edward Turner he also interviewed at length a doctor from a Kenyan hospice as well as a doctor in South Africa. They both spoke of the importance of palliative care and how different the African culture is in its attitude towards the sick and the dying. Where the average life expectancy is 52 years, the aim of medicine is to reduce this mortality rather than to end life.

The Kenyan doctor explained to Dowd that religious faith is at the heart of this discussion. Suicide is very much disapproved of; Africans regard it as offending their ancestors; their families would be stigmatised by the community. Also, the culture means that illness and dying are “not such a lonely place” as in the Western world; there is much less emphasis on individual autonomy; you are part of a community rather than an isolated individual. Dowd gave as much airtime to this positive African perspective – not something, I would have thought, a covert euthanasia sympathiser would have done in a programme wanting to show the “pro-choice” point of view.

Dr Jonathan Romain, a Reform rabbi, was also briefly interviewed. He used to worry about the “slippery slope” argument but had “watched too many people die in agony”; he has been impressed by the safeguards formulated by Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions and now thinks that assisting suicide “is a religious thing to do.” He told Dowd he thought doctors should “play God” and use their skills to help people “die with dignity.”

Certain things came over clearly in these two programmes: broadly speaking it is a war (to the death) between a religious (largely Christian) outlook and a humanist/atheistic one. If you believe in life after death it gives you a different perspective than if you don’t. You can also accept the possibility of helplessness and dependence because suffering has worth and purpose within the Christian faith. Living by rational principles as Turner does, means that seeming to prolong suffering when faced by terminal illness makes no sense.

I have just come across a book by Ann Farmer, about whom I have blogged recently, entitled “The Five Wounds”. For many years she has suffered from a physical illness and her book, published by Gracewing, is a wonderful testament to the Christian outlook on suffering (the Five Wounds are those of Christ on the Cross). In a postscript on suicide she writes, “The only effective answer to human suffering is love; in committing suicide we would curtail our capacity to love and be loved; we would be inflicting a fatal wound on an already wounded spirit. The “death as a solution” approach is based on the assumption that the earthly life is the only life. As such, it offers an easy way out of suffering, a promise of true rest, eternal sleep…but death without God would not mean eternal sleep; it would mean eternity without love.”

I heartily recommend this book to Keir Starmer, Dr Romain and the humanist practitioner – indeed to anyone laid low by pain, physical or mental. It is a prescription for hope rather than despair – which is really what “assisted suicide” is all about.

20 posted on 04/29/2012 11:32:00 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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