Archive for the ‘euthanasia’ Category

August 17, 2009

I see no reason for attributing to man a significance different in kind from that which belongs to a baboon or a grain of sand.

…the sacredness of human life is a purely municipal ideal of no validity outside the jurisdiction.

He authored the landmark decision in Buck v. Bell upholding a Virginia eugenics law mandating the involuntary sterilization of people the State deemed undesirable.

It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.

United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.; a consistent evolutionist.

Sanctity of Life

August 6, 2009

For my part I believe that there is no life so degraded, debased, deteriorated or impoverished that it does not deserve respect and is not worth defending with zeal and conviction … I have the weakness to believe that it is an honour for our society to desire the expensive luxury of sustaining life for its useless, incompetent, and incurably ill members. I would almost measure society’s degree of civilization by the amount of effort and vigilance it imposes on itself out of pure respect for life.

Jean Rostan, the French biologist, quoted from Humanly Possible by C. Everett Koop at the beginning of his The Right to Live; the Right to Die

Dignity and Death

August 5, 2009

Consider Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement. A social worker and nurse, she was appalled at the way medical staff treated people who were about to die-in essence, ignoring them, as tokens of failure. This attitude offended Saunders as a Christian, for she knew that care for the dying was traditionally one of the church’s seven works of mercy. Since no one would listen to a nurse, she returned to medical school in middle age and became a doctor before founding a place where people could come to die with dignity and without pain. Now there are 2,000 hospices in the United States alone, about half of which have a Christian base. Dame Cicely believed from the beginning that Christians offer the best combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual care for those facing death. Now she presents the hospice movement as a glowing alternative to Dr. Jack Kevorkian and his “right to die” movement.

Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing about Grace?p.266-7