Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Egocentric New World

A compassionate, trusted professional puts her hand on your shoulder. "You don't want him to suffer, do you?" she offers, as you stroke the small, frail figure stretched out beside you. You muffle sobs. "There is nothing more we can do for him," the doctor continues. "A little shot and he will go to sleep. He will feel nothing. It is the most humane thing to do for him."

The caring doctor waiting for the go ahead, syringe poised to react, isn't referring to your beloved canine companion. It is your son moaning on the bed beside you.

A scene out of the Twilight Zone? Rob Serling, creator and narrator of the popular series from 1959 to 1964 that remains in syndication to this day, stoically began each episode, "Imagine if you will . . ." Then the show launched  into nightmarish, futuristic, and bizarre plots which often featured illogical twists and morals.

On February 13, 2014, Belgium Parliament passed a bill allowing for child euthanasia. In this New York Times article, we learn that incurable children in unendurable pain can now be euthanized with the consent of their parents, if they can show a "capacity of discernment," in other words, they understand the consequences of their choice.

First, it is a cruel joke to imagine that a child can comprehend the consequences when his trusted family and doctor advise him of his options. And beyond that, my mind reels with the implications. Beyond my Christian aversion to killing, I have to ask—who makes the decision on who is incurable? Whose life is valuable? I start to think of "death panels." Might there be ulterior motives to declare one class unfit for treatment? Recent history with the IRS scrutinizing members of the Tea Party comes to mind. What if the doctor was a far right Republican? Would that frighten families who post their Left leanings on Facebook. Who could we trust?

What if the illness of the child isn't actually terminal, but extremely expensive? Will insurance companies be willing to spend a million on one sick kid, when that money could be stretched to cover one hundred kids? And orphanages are very costly to operate, with little assurance that the children will leave the institutions as functioning members of society.

Is this starting to sound like gas chambers to anyone else? I wish it were a fictitious episode of The Twilight Zone!

Peter Singer, a prominent professor of ethical philosophy at Princeton University is one of the most influential philosophers today. He has served as an adviser on President Obama's Health Care team. His "quality of life" takes a stand against Christians' "sanctity of life." Ideas have consequences, especially when he is preaching them to the next generation of leaders.  Read the following quotes of Singer.

"I do think that it is sometimes appropriate to kill a human infant. For me, the relevant question is, what makes it so seriously wrong to take a life? Those of you who are not vegetarians are responsible or taking a life every time you eat. Species is no more relevant than race in making these judgments."

"A human being doesn't have value simply in virtue of being human."

"I don't believe in the existence of God, so it makes no sense to me to say that a human being is a creature of God. It's as simple as that."

Singer also believes that health care must be rationed in order to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people.  It is ironic that Singer's parents fled Austria in 1938 at avoid Nazi control. His grandparents went into a concentration camp and were never heard from again.

Ideas have consequences. If we think that Belgium is alone in this new "progressive" thinking, we have our heads in the sand. Downs Syndrome  and now autistic preborns are targets for prenatal tests that most often end in abortion. Singer also advocates that parents of these children who make it to birth, have the right to kill them.

Remember Rob Serling always left us thinking about the moral of the story. I am praying for a moral to be taught for this story, disturbing enough to give us eyes to see. I pray that lessons will be learned. Otherwise, we are lost, as we enter The Twilight Zone.

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