Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Euthanasia: the Canadian Crisis deepens ~ "The Proposal" supported by the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians must be rejected

"Whoever does not take up the cross, and follow me, is not worthy of me"
Mt 10:38

I wrote a few weeks ago about "The Proposal" which is an effort by good but perhaps frightened people who wish to avoid a confrontation with the full force of the Canadian Medical Association. This is humanly understandable. No one wants to be run over by a train. As one commentator to this blog wrote: 

"They see the assisted death train roaring down the tracks and they really don't know what to do, having been long abandoned through the silence of the moral leaders representing Christ, as well as His 'moral theologians'."

The Proposal offers nothing to actively oppose euthanasia; nothing to reverse the advance of death and evil. It merely seeks to create a zone of protection for physicians who are on paper opposed to euthanasia, but in practice, will end up facilitating it via the ideas contained in The Proposal. 

It would seem that the genesis of The Proposal comes - at least in part - from misguided efforts in the United States, long in protecting the physicians' comfort, but short in the discomfort of making a radical stand in defense of life - even if it means being stripped of one's medical license, or even facing civil or criminal ramifications. The Proposal contains material cooperation with euthanasia, as has been outlined in my earlier post. 

I have read carefully the advise given to Catholic physicians at a blog identified as "The Way of the Lord Jesus". Readers may review the entire convoluted response if they so wish. It is obvious that the entire response is geared towards not reversing the evils in society, but in primarily protecting the physician from discipline for opposing intrinsic evil. 

I quote a very interesting section, which is illuminating:

If nothing more is necessary to save you from serious professional or civil liability, I see no reason why you should offer any further advice. But let us suppose that stopping at this point would open you to disciplinary action or a malpractice suit. 

So there we have it! No resistance, no positive action, but a consistent backing down; a surrender to the "assisted death train" to protect one's professional and civil standing.

Friends, this does not work. This is a fantasy, a delusion. Opposing euthanasia, as long as no one knows about it is not an option for the Christian. The Roman Empire was defeated by the taking up of the cross. There is no other way.  We are to imitate Christ: Our Lord did not consider his standing with the Sanhedrin or the Pharisees - he proclaimed the Truth, even though it meant the cross. The martyrs through the ages knew this. 

Another example. In the United States, the National Catholic Bioethical Center has this to offer a physician if faced with a patient determined to kill themselves: 

When all else has failed, if the patient is insistent on pursuing the immoral and harmful choice, health care providers and institutions may be unable to prevent this. Ultimately, the patient is an independent moral agent who is free to decide where and from whom he or she will seek care. The provider or institution may remind the patient of this, and may offer to assist the patient with accomplishing a transfer of care to another provider or institution of the patient’s choosing [and what if the patient's choosing is someone who will proceed with an immoral procedure?], without stating where the patient might go to receive the immoral procedure or otherwise directing the patient to it [they have already done so, if they transfer them to a provider whom they know will proceed with an immoral procedure]. A general list of other providers or institutions based on geographic vicinity or even area of specialty might be provided; however, the list may not be developed based on the criterion of whether they are known or believed to offer the immoral procedure. In practice, this means that the list must include any providers or institutions that fit the chosen criterion (geography, specialty, both, or other) and also oppose the immoral practice. [But there is no mention that providers or institutions that offer the immoral practice will be excluded. A physician needs to determine if  immoral practices are offered, and transfer a patient accordingly. This is like sending someone to a group of stores that may provide healthy food and also poison; yet claiming to be opposed to accessing poison. Nonsense!]. 

Friends, either one is opposed to euthanasia, or one is not. Either one accepts the cross or one does not. It means accepting all the moral responsibilities with the the vocation of being a physician: yes, it is a vocation first and foremost. It is not a profession! 

"Daddy, it hurts"! 

Yes, the cross does hurt, but it is the only way of Christian witness, the only way to Heaven. 

The author of the Imitation of Christ asks us: 

"Why then are you afraid to take up your cross, which leads to the kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection." (Bk 2. Ch 12) 

It is time for Catholic physicians to stand up, to say they will not pander to the Canadian Medical Association. This is a moral issue that goes far, far beyond so-called conscience rights of the physician: it is about repelling, combating the monstrous evil of the the culture of death. 

Once again, I call on the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians to reject The Proposal.

St. Agnes, Virgin-martyr pray for us, pray for the Church 

2 comments:

Jim J. McCrea said...

Amen!

Freyr said...

I have just spent some time looking both here and on the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians website for the proposal as I wish to read it for myself. There is no clear link anywhere. There is however the following in bold letters:
We are concerned that physician conscience rights are at risk.
Conscience rights are ONLY protected when:
1.There is no duty to perform the procedure
2.There is no duty to make any type of referral
3.There is no discrimination if(i)and/or(ii)are not done.
Many physicians cannot refer for euthanasia for reasons of conscience or religious belief. They want to maintain
the physician patient relationship, and continue to care for the patient, but ask to step aside when the patient chooses this procedure.

This is the position clearly stated by Cardinal Collins before the House committee.