Duty to Die: Author Says Too Few People in Oregon are Requesting Assisted Suicide

being mortal

How about this for piling on.

Here are my brief thoughts about someone else’s article. That article is kind of a review of a book review.  More like a response. And I just happened to finish that book, and I really enjoyed it. The book is called, “On Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande the Harvard trained surgeon who has produced a number of good books in the last decade. I have read them all 🙂

Anyway, Gawande’s book is about aging and dying and how the healthcare system has not done a very good job in actually helping people live better lives during the last phase of their journey. He spends a few pages talking about assisted suicide, and I would disagree with what he says (he thinks it is OK under some circumstances). But regardless of your position, he makes what I think is a compelling point. In America, and other countries, we are making huge strides in palliative care and hospice services.  And contrary to popular conception, those treatment modalities are not about helping people die as much as to live as well as they can during those difficult days.  People with painful and  incurable diseases are choosing to live out their days with family and finding more dignity than they knew was possible. And it is worth mentioning that how we live when we are dying is an important part of the human journey. How the story ends is truly important.

But it seems that in the Netherlands, the availability of assisted suicide has become the quick fix that has railroaded more promising alternatives. Rather than developing health care systems that can help people live full lives to the end, they have opted instead for something more sinister in the name of “dignity.”  Here is a quote from Gawande’s book, ”

 “I fear what happens when we expand the terrain of medical practice to include actively assisting people with speeding their death. I am less worried about abuse of these powers than I am about dependence on them.”

“The implication is that we might begin to substitute assisted dying for palliative care and hospice. He points to the experience in the Netherlands, where he says the fact that “one in thirty-five Dutch people sought assisted suicide at their death is not a measure of success. It is a measure of failure.”

The author of the article at LifeNews.com, Wesley Smith J.D. makes a point that is even more disturbing. Marcia Angell, an author who is an advocate for assisted suicide, has been quoted as saying, “I am concerned that too few people are requesting it. It seems to me that more would do it. The purpose of a law is to be used not to sit there on the books.”

Is this debate about presenting options that people want, or imposing your choice on others?

Source: Duty to Die: Author Says Too Few People in Oregon are Requesting Assisted Suicide | LifeNews.com

Vox: Where Philosophy Goes To Die

 

Crimes Against Philosophy

Trigger Warning: LOGIC

In this article (which you should read) philosophy professor Shaun Rieley takes Vox (a typically liberal publication) to task for its decision NOT publish an article by a prominent philosopher Torbjorn Tannsjo from Stockholm University.  Evidently the editors of Vox asked Tannsjo to contribute a piece for their magazine, but later decided not to publish it. What concerns Rieley, is not that Vox decided not to publish because they disagreed with the article, because they didn’t, but that they killed the piece because of the uncomfortable implications that might arrive from it.  That troublesome need for coherence…

Tannsjo argued that humans in general have a moral duty to reproduce offspring.  He arrives at this conclusion using some tight logical conclusions from utilitarian ethics.  The average person might think it is silly, but evidently his position is respected by professional philosophers and hard to evade.

All fine and good.   What is remarkable to me is that the editors at Vox don’t seem to disagree with Tannsjo, at least in general terms.  What bothers them is the idea that some conservative people might read the article and arrive at conclusions that are at odds with the editorial mission at Vox. They might use the ideas in the article to support a pro-life agenda.  It might become clear that Vox’s prochoice position is in conflict with their other values.

Rieley writes,

“In other words, it’s not so much that Tannsjo’s argument was wrong, so much as it could potentially be interpreted as giving aid to those who hold “wrong” (read: “conservative”) opinions on abortion and birth control.”

Now Vox has the right to publish whatever they like.  But what should concern everyone is that these kinds of ideological parlor tricks are happening more often.  The pattern of squashing dissent, or turning a blind eye seems to be happening more frequently in places where liberal thinkers run the show.  In my opinion, this is not intellectually honest. I have more respect anyone that acknowledges and attempts to wrestle through difficult questions  rather than toss them into the closet.

But instead we see the easy path of intellectual conformity.  We see a move to ignore or suppress facts and discussion that might disagree with the reigning wisdom.  It seems that Vox doesn’t trust people to think for themselves. They have to protect their dogma from any threats, even when those threats come from truth and reason.

Rieley continues,

“Philosophy proceeds by engaging with those various points of view, sometimes to defend what is being attacked, and sometimes to attack what is being defended. Indeed, this is how philosophy has proceeded since the time of Socrates. Without this back-and-forth, philosophy becomes all but impossible.

“Leiter laments that so few are interested in reasoning. This is true. It is much easier to retreat into the comfort of one’s own unexamined assumptions than it is to challenge them by thinking through difficult arguments that one finds disagreeable, and either assent to them, or learn to refute them.

“Nevertheless, free citizens of a republic are obligated to do the hard work of philosophical engagement. Liberty is hard work in this sense, but if liberty is to be sustained, this work is necessary. Unfortunately, by rejecting the piece, Vox has missed an opportunity to participate in the important task of facilitating this engagement.”

Source: Vox: Where Philosophy Goes To Die

14 Reasons why I am attending the Protest at Planned Parenthood Tomorrow

14

I have many reasons for my position on abortion. I am going to list a few here, and try to do it in a way will encourage you to act.  IF YOU ARE PROLIFE, YOU SHOULD JOIN A PEACEFUL PROTEST TOMORROW.  It is a national event.

One conviction that I have is that even if you are prochoice, you should be outraged by what Planned Parenthood is doing.

I am attending the peaceful demonstration in Fresno tomorrow. You can find more info here.

You can also learn more about other events here.

  1. If we care about creating a just society, we need to protect the value of every human being. I read a statement once that makes a lot of sense: “Everyone matters, or no one matters.” We can’t act like people have value and “human rights” and then turn around and deny those rights to other humans like me. It doesn’t make any sense. We have to ask the question regarding the fetus, “what is that?” And the answer can’t depend on how we feel about it. As ardent prochoice advocate Mary Elizabeth Williams said, the unborn “don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.” It is crazy to rejoice with pregnant friends, grieve with couples that have had a miscarriage, and then ignore what abortion does to children. Everyone matters or no one matters.
  2. I need to take a stand for the lives of children. As a man I feel responsible to stand up for the weak and helpless. The most helpless human beings in the world are unborn children. If I never take a stand, then I can’t respect myself or expect others to respect me.
  3. So few are willing to take a stand on this issue. There are many Americans, maybe even a majority, that believe abortion is wrong. But the group that is willing to take a stand on this issue is much smaller. I don’t want to have hidden convictions.
  4. I hope to encourage some other people that are struggling or on the fence on this issue. I hope that when they see me, hear my reasons, see the other things I do for children and the poor they will be able to dismiss all the nonsense they hear about the prolife movement.
  5. I believe that God created children and loves them. I believe that they are made in his image and should be valued. I can’t pretend to love God and then be indifferent when his image is desecrated.
  6. The recent release of videos has brought the horrors of abortion to the front of the American conscience like never before. This is the biggest event in the abortion arena since 1973. We may not see another event like this any time soon. I want to see real change. I don’t want to waste this open door.
  7. I want to support and partner with the leaders in the prolife community that have taken risks and made sacrifices for the lives of babies. I know what it is like to feel like you are all alone. I want to support them. I am happy to stand with them on this issue.
  8. I want to use my anger and frustration in constructive ways. I think that changing the abortion laws and the abortion industry in our country is one of the best things that can happen for the unborn, and it will also be a good for women. I have watched all the videos. I have cried. I have been distracted. But I don’t want that to be fruitless.  I want good to come of this!
  9. I believe in the power of forgiveness and grace. Many women and men are suffering from guilt and shame from their involvement in abortion. Some of them knew what they were doing, some didn’t. The vast majority had no idea of the consequences they would face. I believe in the power of the grace of Jesus Christ to bring healing and restoration to people in need. But this can only happen when we face the reality of our dark choices. I want people suffering in secret to have an opportunity to experience healing and grace.
  10. If Planned Parenthood was doing this to puppies or kittens they would have been arrested long ago. You can’t dismember an animal or cut them into little pieces while they are still alive without anesthesia. We actually dissected “fresh” rats in my anatomy class years ago. They had to be euthanized with Ether before the process, and animal rights groups checked on them.   Unborn children shouldn’t be treated worse than animals. Why should the unborn be treated differently? Because to treat them chemically would be to render their tissues unfit for resale.
  11. Planned Parenthood has shown that it is manipulating our government contract system by making political donations to candidates that support them (here one article of many on this topic. Here is another). This is a conflict of interest and a clear example of corruption.
  12. Many media outlets have intentionally ignored the stories attached to the recent videos. And the PR firm that was hired by PP sent letters to various outlets encouraging them not to cover the story. And it isn’t that they have alternate evidence, they are ignoring it. The white House press secretary said that they haven’t even seen the videos. With such staggering violations of human ethics at stake, isn’t it warranted to even look.
  13. I do NOT want to tell my grandchildren that I was silent during this time. Most likely I will have some grandchildren in the coming decades. I also think that we will talk about history and the value of life. When they ask me if I remember when the undercover Planned Parenthood videos came out, and what I did about it, I don’t want to have to change the subject. I want to tell them that I prayed, and wrote, and loved, and spoke up for the lives of the innocent.
  14. I don’t want to be a coward. It is clear that following Jesus involves a cost. I also know that many pastors and friends don’t speak up on abortion, even though they think they should because they are afraid. They are afraid of many things. I am convinced that Christ is greater than all my fears. The words of Rev 21:8 are sober: “8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Those ruled by fear cannot be ruled by faith. I am often frightened. I am going to trust God and step out in faith.

Corroborating Evidence. Why I Don’t Believe The Planned Parenthood Videos Are A Lie

corroborating evidence

A number of people have expressed suspicion about the recent Planned Parenthood videos, even calling them “deceptive.” It seems that many of us are eager to give the abortion industry the benefit of the doubt. We don’t want believe that such terrible things can be happening just up the street, paid for by your income taxes, defended by our darling political candidates.

There are a few people that I have read that seem like they are attempting to evaluate the facts without bias. For instance Tim Stanley at the Telegraph wrote a piece on the current scandal.  He travels around debating pro-lifers. He is an abortion apologist and he is disgusted by what has been happening. He writes,

“The Planned Parenthood scandal isn’t about whether or not abortion should be legal. It’s about medical ethics, big money politics and public morality. You can be pro-choice and still feel sick to your stomach about it.”

There are others like Camille Paglia who wrote, 

“Now I am a former member of Planned Parenthood and a strong supporter of unconstrained reproductive rights. But I was horrified and disgusted by those videos and immediately felt there were serious breaches of medical ethics in the conduct of Planned Parenthood officials.”

But most of the voices I hear coming from the prochoice side of the discussion are vigorously defending Planned Parenthood as if that organization cannot be separated from women’s rights.  We are often eager to believe that corporations could be corrupt and unethical, but not this corporation. And so there is an eagerness to denounce the video evidence the way conspiracy theorists deny the lunar landing. But in this case it may be worse because many have rushed to defend Planned Parenthood but admit they haven’t even watched the videos

This account below from Abby Johnson is an example of one of the reasons I don’t believe they are deceptive. I suppose it is not really just a “reason” but more like a category of evidence. They match up with what many other former PP employees have said. There is A LOT of corroborating evidence.

By the way I recently learned about an investigative report from 15 years ago done by 20/20 that pretty much reveals the same thing. Though not from “pro-life extremists.”

Abby Johnson was a director for Planned Parenthood and she left the organization when she realized the horror of abortions. You can read her story in “Unplanned.”

She writes (about abortion in general not necessarily fetal tissue donation in this quote) on her Facebook Page,

“I remember one day at Planned Parenthood we were standing around in the POC lab talking about how far along Warren Hern performed abortions (he performs them up until the date of birth in Colorado). I remember my boss laughing and saying, “He aborts them so far along they come out crying and looking for their mama.” Everyone in the room laughed as she made the motion of holding a baby up and spanking it’s bottom. I went to a friend of mine and asked her what she thought of aborting babies so late…I had always been uncomfortable with late term abortion. She said, “Well, it’s better to kill them before they are put in a dumpster.” And that was how I then began to justify late term abortion in my mind…”better than in a dumpster.” 

Since leaving Planned Parenthood, that conversation has always haunted me…how easily I could justify something so heinous. I have since learned that if you have to justify something, then you probably shouldn’t believe in it. 

Thank God for redemption and mercy.”

The videos echo what a number of present and former abortion providers have been saying for years.  There is a LOT of this kind of testimony.  If you are interested in looking at this issue, you don’t have to rely on the videos by themselves.  This post is just about one other source of corroboration. There are others. But to be open minded about this you would have to at least believe that it was possible that as a nation we have been defending the indefensible.

Read more about former abortionists here.  It seems like one of the most powerful tools for changing their minds was exposure to abortion itself.

Here is a page with links to videos with former abortion providers telling their stories.

What is the Difference Between Planned Parenthood Presidents Cecile Richards and Gloria Feldt?

PlannedParenthood Presidents

The Internet makes all the difference. 15 years ago Chris Wallace was part of an undercover investigative report about several companies obtaining fetal tissues from abortions and turning around and selling them for profit. The doctor in this video said that he can obtain a fetus for $50 and turn around and sell the parts for $2,500. But did you hear anything about it back then? You aren’t hearing much about it now from the mainstream networks, but the power of social media and the Internet has dislodged the choke hold that mainstream media has on the stories it wants to cover. I suppose you could say that the video is “heavily” edited, but you will never know because 20/20 doesn’t release the complete footage of their work, unlike the Center for Medical Progress.

Watch the Video Here.  It is worth the 7 minutes of your time for some historical context. And if you are familiar with the current investigative videos it will seem like deja vu.


Note also that this video exposes a history of:

  • Compromised consent procedures, including outright dishonesty.
  • Changing medical procedures during abortions in order to obtain “better” specimans for sale.
  • And profiting from the sale of the bodies of these unborn children.

Here is something else important. Note how Gloria felt responds to the charges raised by the undercover video (back in 2000). The  former Planned Parenthood president said, “It seems inappropriate, totally inappropriate. Where there is wrong doing it should be prosecuted, and people doing that kind of thing should be brought to justice.” (7:22 in the video) That is a far cry different from what we are getting from current Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. What we are getting now is an apology about “tone,” and the constant message that any outrage over this is political and anti-woman… That any investigations must be motivated by partisan interests. We are hearing lots of name calling (“extremist”) for anyone concerned about these illegal activities, etc.

Read more about this from lifenews.com here.