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Healing the Dying

At our annual reunions, my brother and sisters and I often joked that we flew home every year because “this might be Grandpa’s last.” We wanted to be sure to say one final goodbye. The odd thing was, we had been saying this for twenty years. Grandpa just didn’t seem to die. And as the clock . . . . Continue Reading »

The Terminators

Canada’s pending legislation on euthanasia and assisted suicide raises a question: What shall we call people who are legally involved in the destruction of human life—particularly those who do the actual killing? Shall we call them medical executioners? They are indeed executioners, as none can . . . . Continue Reading »

Slick and Far From Truth

Given the low standards of mainstream reporting on religious issues, it’s hard to publish an article that is truly disappointing, but Slate’s recent piece “Sick and Far From Home” manages to achieve just that. The article, which a Slate press release trumpeted as “a stunning investigatory . . . . Continue Reading »

Planned Parenthood Is a Racket

It would happen the same way every time.A few tough-looking guys would show up on the doorstep of a new business. They came offering “protection services” for a certain fee as a most generous favor to the owner. These services were necessary, it would be explained, because this was a “bad . . . . Continue Reading »

Doctors and Abortion

Nearly thirty years ago, I published a book, Abortion and the Private Practice of Medicine, in which I sought to understand what then was already emerging as the settled pattern of access to abortion services around the country. By the 1980s, the present pattern in which abortions are performed in specialized clinics rather than in hospitals or doctors’ offices had been established. Several writers in that decade, the sociologist Kristin Luker and the anthropologist Faye Ginsburg among them, described the politics of abortion clearly dependent on how physicians were delivering those services. Continue Reading »

Euthanasia's Cancerous Corruption of Medical Morality

During World War II, German doctors euthanized disabled babies and adults. As Robert Jay Lifton reported in The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, no one forced these doctors to kill. Many of them believed euthanasia to be a “healing treatment” that ended “unlivable” lives, liberated families from the burden of caregiving, and kept the country from “wasting” scarce resources on the lebensunwertes leben(“life unworthy of life”). Such was the fruit of years of utilitarian indoctrination and the resulting societal acceptance of eugenics ideology.At the time, Netherlander doctors were well aware that German medical ethics had devolved. Thus, when the German commander of the occupation, Arthur Seyss-Inquart (now known as “the Butcher of Holland”), commanded that Dutch medical practices adjust to the German way, Netherlander doctors courageously defied the order. Continue Reading »

Apostolate of Death

On November 1, after posting a Facebook message stating, “Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer,” twenty-nine-year-old Brittany Maynard took a lethal dose of barbiturates, prescribed by an Oregon physician, and . . . . Continue Reading »

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