Monday, June 18, 2012

The Church's Teaching on Euthanasia

Press Release from ACIM FRANCE. January 27, 2012:

2012 Political campaign:
"I propose that everyone of age suffering from an advanced level or terminal phase of incurable illness, causing physical or psychological unbearable suffering no one or nothing could apease, may request, under specific and strict conditions, to benefit from medical assistance to end his life with dignity." François Hollande (Socialist cantidate standing for french presidential election coming this May 2012) January 25, 2012

1939 Hitler’s Authorization:
"The Reichsleiter Bouhler and Brandt MD are responsible for granting more authority to certain physicians in order to release personally by death, persons within the limits of Judgement human and as a result of a thorough medical examination, have been declared incurable. " Signed Hitler. 1st September 1939.   Add that Dr. Brandt was quoted as saying at his trial at Nuremberg: "There is no doctor today who would not give to a patient who suffers an anesthetic and that would make death easier ...."  

These two texts, legalizing euthanasia, means exactly the same thing. Don't forget that in both cases, physicians whose mission is to give care, are in charge of giving death, and also that Mr. Holland will "propose", just to decrease his responsibility. Also, apparently he has not heard of palliative care.
The slide difference is given by the fact that Mr. Holland is ready to pass the act of death provided that it is "required". But if the person asks when she is not actually aware of the implications? This is the case of depression, Down syndrome, the majority of mental illness, delirium, patients with Alzheimer's, the old people slowly starting to lose the reason or the will to live and so on. We note in passing that such requests are assisted suicide as it is currently allowed in Holland, and tolerated in Switzerland. Anyway, there will be doctors who agree to end the lives of their contemporaries when they are not really aware of the nature of their request.

Dr. Brandt was sentenced to death August 20, 1947 and hanged the same day.

Translated from for ACIM-Asia by Marguerite-Marie Gerard


The Church's teaching on euthanasia
"If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So in life and in death we belong to the Lord." (St Paul)
Pius XII
"The apostle is right to let us know. We believe we must repeat, while with deep sorrow, we see beings deformed, or affected of hereditary diseases, as an unwelcome burden to society, private sometimes in life, and this conduct is exalted by some as if it were a new invention of human progress, quite consistent with general utility. Or what man of the heart does not understand that it s 'violently opposed not only the natural and divine law inscribed in my heart for all, but also any sense of civilized man. The blood of these beings, our Redeemer was more expensive precisely because they are more worthy of commiseration, "cries from earth to God." (gen.4, 10)
(Encyclical Mysticicorpiris, 197, 29 June 1943)
"Every human being, even children in the womb of his mother, has the right to life received immediately from God, not parents, or in any human society or authority. So there is no man, no human authority, no science, no "indication" medical, eugenic, social, economic, legal person who can show or give a valid legal title to have deliberately and directly an innocent human life, that is to say by having to remove it, either for a purpose, either as a means for a purpose, perhaps in itself, is not at all illegitimate.
Destruction "direct" a life "worthless" born or not yet born, practiced a few years in large, can in no way be justified. Also, when this practice began to spread, the Church formally declared that killing, even on the order of public authority, who, being innocent, but because of their physical or mental defects are not useful to the nation, and instead become a burden, is contrary to natural law and positive divine and, therefore, forbidden. "
(Address to the Congress of the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives, October 29, 1951)
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
"The right to life remains complete in an old, even very reduced; a terminally ill did not lose." (Declaration of Quaestioabortu, 1974)
"Nothing and nobody can be given that allow the death of innocent human being, fetus or embryo, child or adult, old, terminally ill or dying. No one can ask for this act of killing oneself or another says was his responsibility, nor even to agree, explicitly or not. no authority can legitimately impose or authorize the same. There are violations of divine law, offense to the dignity of the human person, crime against life, and attack against humanity.
(Declaration on Euthanasia Jure et Bona 1980)

John Paul II
"In conformity with the Magisterium of my Predecessors and in communion with the bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that euthanasia is a grave violation of God's law, as morally unacceptable deliberate killing of a human person. This doctrine is founded on natural law and upon the word of God written and is transmitted by the Church's Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. this practice involves, according to circumstances, the malice proper to suicide and a homicide. "
(Evangelium Vitae, 1995)

Joke: I treat the secu ....... especially in getting rid of its parasites

Euthanasia in Belgium
One does not "death box"-or in a side of fries might say? - Declared the Belgian Order of Physicians, when marketing by 250 pharmacies "euthanasia kits". These following the legalization of euthanasia in 2005 like the Netherlands. Dr. Chantal Lefebvre, head of department of medicine at Louvain an update for notebooks St Raphael.
Few Belgians organize their euthanasia: In late 2010, the number of forward declaration of euthanasia records was 24,046. An article in Le Soir reported that three quarters of these statements come from Flanders. From this newspaper, "this procedure" is still poorly understood and binding. Despite efforts by some municipalities, credit unions and some progressive organizations, there is a real deficit of information, sorry the chairwoman of the ADMD (Association for the Right to Die in Dignity).
Since the entry into force of the law on euthanasia, 48% of requests for euthanasia were accordees.39% of doctors interviewed felt they had at least one request for euthanasia, euthanasia After application, 10% patients have changed his mind. The main reasons for these requests are psychiatric disorders and cancers and non-existence of acute pain and incurable.
Euthanasia in the figure for 2008 2009
The fourth report of the federal panel on euthanasia, covering the years 2008 and 2009, was published recently. The commission says it does not have the opportunity to evaluate the proportion of the number of euthanasia.
Changes in the number of euthanasia declared in 2002:24, 2003: 235, in 2004: 349, 2005:393, 2006:429, 2007:495, 2008:704, and 2009:822
The increase is continuing.
92% of euthanasia was performed in patients whose death was foreseeable near future. 8% for neurological disorders. Euthanasia of 36 unconscious patients were performed based on a forward declaration. 52% were carried to the home of patients. By law, the patient must state aphysical or psychological suffering constant and unbearable.
According to a survey conducted by Professor Luc Deliens, about 917 people euthanized, the majority is rather young, slightly more men than women, suffering from terminal cancer in 93.4% of cases, no longer stand the physical pain. 6.6% of patients with neuromuscular disease, the death should in principle not intervene in the short term and they are suffering psychological unappeasable that justifies the action.A minority of people aged over 80 years is concerned. The study confirms that euthanasia is practiced more commonly in Flanders and Wallonia. Belgian law provides that the doctor makes a call to the opinion of a second practitioner. This condition is not always complied with.
On after another study, 1.9% of total deaths occurring in Flanders in 2007 results from a euthanasia. Moreover, the killings without the prior permission of the patient represent 1.8% of deaths occurring in Flanders. This means that the number of euthanasia practiced on demand is practically equivalent to the number of killings without the prior permission of the patient.
Prospects and reality...
Distelmans Professor, professor of palliative care:
·         proposes the creation of a clinic for euthanasia based on the Dutch model
·         argues for a reconsideration of public financing of hospitals refusing to perform euthanasia
·         reclame in a letter to the first current minister and a political debate on an open social widening of the law on euthanasia:
·         maintain the obligation to confirm every 5 years the declaration requesting euthanasia does not happen to be
·         forward declaration must be made by patients with central nervous system tumor or Alzheimer's disease for example.
·         It is not normal that the patient seeking euthanasia, to find another doctor if the doctor refuses his request.
Others are not sufficient to evoke the Alzheimer brain tumors and severe. Others want to extend it to minors, the depressive and the handicapped.

Organ Donation
The lungs of a euthanized person are better quality for transplantation than those levied on donors with brain death has been reported or those who died by cardiac arrest. Several medicines have recently published the way they proceed for these consecutive organ donation has a euthanasia. This was the case of four others between 48 and 62 years, euthanasia between 2007 and 2009. They suffered from a degenerative neurological disease or muscle, for three non-terminals, and a mental disorder unbearable for the fourth. Donors are hospitalized several hours before being euthanized. Euthanasia is done in a room and the removal operation of the various organs in a room connected, samples taken 14 minutes after the act of euthanasia...
Simultaneous euthanasia of a couple...
A couple age of Brabant has applied for and received, beginning in 2011, a double euthanasia. The man,aged of 83 years, suffering from terminal cancer. His wife, who was 78ans, suffering from various ailments related to his age in a quite acute and it did not seem possible to continue to live without her partner. The medicine that practice euthanasia is therefore outside the legal framework since this woman was not the end of life. Is directed not there be not more, in Belgium like the Netherlands, to the recognition of progressive degradation of the quality of life as a justification for euthanasia?

Netherlands: ambulances death

The Royal Dutch Medical Association has released new lines of interpretation of the Act of 2002 which allows euthanasia to end the days of those who feel unbearable pain. She now includes new items which are as follows. “Mentalailments and psycho-social as loss of a function, loneliness, loss of autonomy".All this being considered as acceptable criteria for euthanasia.More "social empowers shortages, financial resources or inadequate social relationships," All this corresponds in practice to generalize assisted suicide, legally based on "psychosocial factors without terminal illness". These criteria are also already applied by many practitioners by broadening the notion of suffering. The authors argue that "the disorders affecting vision, hearing and mobility, falls, confinement to bed, fatigue, exhaustion and loss of form (fitness) ...". Or when "the patient perceives as endless suffering, and that there is no meaning to her life, although it is not directly in danger." this can be extended to all those who have attacks of dementias or psychological problems. Practically everybody. This is to get rid of all unwanted, of marginalized or vulnerable of all people, have declared the defenders of life, adding that the culture of death is voracious. Hitler would certainly hope so.
The Pr Hugo van der Wedden, favorable euthanasia, note itself, an astonishing increase in the number of euthanasia performed on patients presenting the beginnings of dementia. People are fully aware euthanized on request, outside the conditions laid down by law. These people, for example a beginner Alzheimer's disease, may in no case justify a suffering and more, the company stands ready to support them. But it is precisely this kind of shelved by the company, which in their eyes justifies euthanasia. The professor made a point quite useless because it is the community that drives patients to seek the fatal injection.
The proof?Currently, the government has developed a system of euthanasia at home. Six ambulances of death are already in action. They are called Lenvenseinde (EOL). They act on call. Their main targets: patients which physicians refuse to euthanize who want to die at home. The Foundation for a voluntary end of life (NVVE) hopes to open a "clinical death". It will carry out the euthanasia of all persons whose applications have not been anterior satisfied. The service is free for paid by the association. There is controversy:
First, the association does not care whether those who suffer can not be relieved otherwise.
In addition, over 70 years, she accepted systematically those who are "tired of living". But the Federation of Physicians, Royal Dutch Medical, is that eventually exceed the limits. It considers that such decision is part of a social, medical, or family it is necessary to know, rather than to kill "all-out" without reflection or discernment.
The Council on Human Rights reiterates the need to end the vision of the great age feels like a disease, "an abnormal or pathological phenomenon." The solution is certainly not euthanasia and offers an "active aging". It should improve the quality of life for most ages taking care of their health, their safety and to encourage them to participate in all sorts of activities.
 In this regard, the Holy See "urges scientists and physicians to focus research on prevention (...) disease affecting the very elderly, never give in to the temptation to resort to practices (... )Those are actually forms of euthanasia. "

Law on euthanasia in Belgium
(Key excerpts)

Chapter 1: General provisions
It is meant by euthanasia act, practice by a third party, who has intentionally ends the life of a person at the request of the latter.
Chapter 2: Conditions and procedure
The doctor who performs euthanasia commits no offense if it ensures that:
·         The patient is major or minor emancipated, capable and aware at the time th application.
·         The request is made ​​voluntarily, carefully and repeatedly.
·         The patient is in a hopeless medical condition and is a physical or psychological suffering constant and unbearable that can be relieved and is caused by an accidental condition or serious, incurable.
Consult another independent physician as to the nature of serious and incurable disease.
The patient's request must be acted in writing by an adult of his choice who may not have any material interest in the death of the patient.
Chapter 3: forward declaration of
Any major or minor can be emancipated, or in case he could no longer express his will, recorded in writing, in a statement, his will that a physician performs euthanasia if the doctor finds:
·         He is suffering from a serious injury or pathological and incurable
·         He is unconscious
·         And that this situation is irreversible.
The patient's attending physician, the physician consults and members of the healthcare team can not be designated as trusted individuals. It must be in writing, drawn & in the presence of two major witnesses. The statement can not be considered unless it has been established or confirmed within five years before the beginning of the impossibility to express its will. The declaration may be withdrawn or amended at any time.
Chapter 4: of the declaration.
·         The doctor who performs euthanasia shall, within 4 working days, the registration document referred to in article 7 has the Federal Commission for monitoring and evaluation referred to in article 6.
·         The commission consists of 16 members, designated on the basis of their knowledge and their experience in matters within the jurisdiction of the commission. Eight members are doctors of medicine, which at least 4 teachers in a Belgian university. 4 members are law professors, in a Belgian university, or lawyers. 4 members are from diverse loads of problematic patients with an incurable disease.
·         The commission shall consider the registration document duly complete. It is pronounced within a period of two months.
·         When, by decision taken by a majority of 2/3, the Committee considers that the conditions stipulated in this Act have not been complied with, it sends the file to the prosecutor of the place of death of the patient.
·         The Committee prepared for the Legislative Chambers, the first time in both the entry into force of this Act, and, thereafter, every two years.
Chapter 6: special provisions
·         No physician is required to perform euthanasia.
·         No other person is required to have participation to euthanasia.
·         If the doctor refuses to consult perform euthanasia, it is required to timely notify the patient or support person, specifying the reasons.
·         It was held at the request of the patient, or person of trust, to communicate the patient's medical record to the physician designated by him or by someone you trust.
·         The deceased person was a result of euthanasia in compliance with the conditions imposed by this Act is deemed to have died a natural death with regard to the execution of contracts to which it was party, including insurance contracts.

From euthanasia to infanticide

In February last, two specialists in bioethics DrsGiubilini and Francesca Minerva (Australia) have published an article justifying the murder of new-born children after birth and for several weeks. The argument given was simple: "When the circumstances justifying a request for abortion are still what we call" after birth abortion "must be authorized". Cases are known: economic burden represented by the child, unwanted pregnancy, disability. Do not hesitate to kill these children in cold blood, because the baby is not a person, has no intrinsic value and is not an end in itself.
These persons propose to invent a new word than "postnatal abortion" rather than infanticide. They join the famous Peter Singer of Princeton in Australia which considers the child after birth until 6 months and has no consciousness of itself and it is not a human being. It is possible to kill him if he wants to. He said before the age of two years, the child has no moral status. "Killing a child is not killing a person" he writes. Are time Dr. Watson, the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of DNA, wrote in Paris magazine:” A child should not be declared alive before the age of 3 days. This choice must be made by parents. The physician must authorize the death of the child to prevent him misery or suffering. This way of seeing is so rational and compassionate” It should be noted that these are exactly the same terms that were used by Dr. Brandt during the Nuremberg trials was about mass euthanasia of the handicapped. Dr. Crick who Noble received the same time as Watson himself suggested that "every newborn child is declared human until it has spent a number of genetic tests, and if they were weak, there was reason to revoke the right to live.” It should be noted finally that the famous" partial-birth abortion "is the American has come to the birth by the feet and trunk sometimes a child living; the brain is empty by suction at the neck to reduce the size of the head and allow extraction. This method used in late abortions was prohibited by Bush in 2003 but it still exists in three states considering this restriction as illegal.
Poke in the chest
It is obvious that climate is beginning to develop to effectively get rid of a child with malformations same minor. The debate slips at the time of resuscitation of children at birth. Normally at birth, we have 3 minutes to resuscitate babies. Beyond, it's a case by case depending on the vital recovery and also simply at the request of parents who want a certain relentlessness. Continue or not continue it? And the most extraordinary is that indeed I had to resuscitate a child beyond this limit: it is a date of Mines engineer.

The protocol of Groningen in the Netherlands permits euthanasia of disabled children born premature and large. A number of criteria are given for example that of unbearable suffering and the agreement between the medical team and family. He would never have been applied except that in some cases rare. Physicians prefer to use the "terminal sedation" which consists in removing all products give consciousness and pain until death.
Moreover, it is always a difficult case to treat. Spina bifida is a malformation of the lower back characterized by non-closure of the bones at this level. Appear when we see the meninges. This serious malformation can be made with 80% of neurological sequelae of varying severity. I remember a newborn child in such conditions. The father had declared to me: "you will not let live" that. "My answer was:" Sir, I prepared a syringe. You poke in the chest. Your child will die”. Of course the father refused the gesture. But a child under such conditions can put 15 days to die if nothing is done. The solution has also been found with honor by the department that the premature has care of a newborn as inoperable. Inevitably he died of meningitis, as one would relieve part of palliative care.
An ignominious mentality
The issue is serious if the child is a carrier of brain lesions patent. The teachers Christian Dageville and the philosopher Marc Gassin then propose a lethal injection they call "neo-natal euthanasia exceptional lethal injection." Freedom to "transgress the prohibition of killing" should be given to physicians in those cases where "the child and his family, an outcome preferable to its survival." They do not however wish that harness this legislation come.
In 2000 the Ethics Committee approved the implementation of "stops living practices on disabled newborns with spontaneous breathing." What M.Arduin, bioethicist of the diocese of Toulon describes as a "French exception" in the periodical La Nef. He recalls with a connection that John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae strongly condemns "selective abortion" child in the womb of their mother: "Such a mentality is shameful because it claims to measure the value of human life only within the parameters of "normality" paving the way to legitimizing infanticide ".

Participates in a silence that evil
The conclusion is simple. Our company wants it back to the barbarism of Sparta who got rid of handicapped children? The answer is increasingly "yes". In the name of what?From a utilitarian moral and economic imperatives.
The handicap is a nuisance and it is doing him a service than delete. Clearly, this is the message of evangelical charity which collapses. What was the average in our country to get the? This is obviously the law that says abortion Veil, a child, one minute before being brought into the world, may be killed. There is no reason than it is not even one minute after. And it is with a great sigh of relief that the public is ready to accept the sustainability in the time of the massacre of Saint innocent. Our Christian duty is to oppose such laws. Do nothing; say nothing is a collaboration objective evil that we will have to account to God.

Translated from Cahiers St. Raphael (No. 106, March 2012 issue) for ACIM-Asia by Mathilde Rigolot

Monday, April 6, 2009

Morality of Organ Harvesting

The dead donor rule and organ transplantation
Source: Convictions, issue number 15 - February 2009

A very interesting contribution to the whole consideration of the morality of the removal of organs from person said to be brain dead has come from an unexpected source. It is the New England Journal of Medicine that published last August 14 an article that demonstrates beyond all serious doubt that the harvesting of organs is done from persons that truly are living, and that in point of fact it is the harvesting of the organs necessary for life, such as lungs, heart, two kidneys, complete liver and pancreas, that is actually the cause of death.

The authors do not conclude that organ transplantation ought not therefore to be done, but to the contrary justify it on the purely utilitarian non-principle that the person was going to die in any case. This we cannot accept, for the end does not justify the means, and you cannot kill a person on account of the good that can come to another person. Nevertheless, the passage below illustrates the principle that the donor of the organs is indeed a living person, and hence that the act of taking the organs is the deliberately termination of life, and that organ transplantation can
only be justified as the taking of one life to save or prolong another life - that is, by playing God.

The title of the article is “The dead donor rule and organ transplantation” and it was written by Dr. Truong & Professor Miller. “Since its inception, organ transplantation has been guided by the overarching ethical requirement known as the dead donor rule, which simply states that patients must be declared dead before the removal of any vital organs for transplantation. Before the development of modern critical care, the diagnosis of death was relatively straightforward: patients were dead when they were cold, blue, and stiff. Unfortunately, organs from these
traditional cadavers cannot be used for transplantation. Forty years ago, an ad hoc committee at Harvard Medical School, chaired by Henry Beecher, suggested revising the definition of death in a way that would make some patients with devastating neurologic injury suitable for organ
transplantation under the dead donor rule.

The concept of brain death has served us well and has been the ethical and legal justification for thousands of lifesaving donations and transplantations. Even so, there have been persistent questions about whether patients with massive brain injury, apnea, and loss of brain-stem reflexes are really dead. After all, when the injury is entirely intracranial, these patients look very much alive: they are warm and pink; they digest and metabolize food, excrete waste, undergo sexual maturation, and can even reproduce. To a casual observer, they look just like patients who are receiving long-term artificial ventilation and are asleep.

The arguments about why these patients should be considered dead have never been fully convincing. The defi -nition of brain death requires the complete absence of all functions of the entire brain, yet many of these patients retain essential neurologic function, such as the regulated secretion of hypothalamic hormones. Some have argued that these patients are dead because they are permanently unconscious (which is true), but if this is the justifi cation, then patients in a permanent vegetative state, who breathe spontaneously, should also be diagnosed as dead, a characterization that most regard as implausible. Others have claimed that “brain-dead” patients are dead because their brain damage has led to the “permanent cessation of functioning of the organism as a whole.” Yet evidence shows that if these patients are supported beyond the acute phase of their illness (which is rarely done), they can survive for many years.

The uncomfortable conclusion to be drawn from this literature is that although it may be perfectly ethical to remove vital organs for transplantation from patients who satisfy the diagnostic criteria of brain death, the reason it is ethical cannot be that we are convinced they are really dead. Over the past few years, our reliance on the dead donor rule has again been challenged, this time by the emergence of donation after cardiac death as a pathway for organ donation. Under protocols for this type of donation, patients who are not brain-dead but who are undergoing an orchestrated withdrawal of life support are monitored for the onset of cardiac arrest. In typical protocols, patients are pronounced dead 2 to 5 minutes after the onset of asystole, on the basis of cardiac criteria (See footnote), and their organs are expeditiously removed for transplantation. Although everyone agrees that many patients could be resuscitated after an interval of 2 to 5 minutes, advocates of this approach to donation say that these patients can be regarded as dead because a decision has been made not to attempt resuscitation. This understanding of death is problematic at several levels. The cardiac definition of death requires the irreversible cessation of cardiac function. Whereas the common understanding of “irreversible” is “impossible to reverse,” in this context irreversibility is interpreted as the result of a choice not to reverse. This interpretation creates the paradox that the hearts of patients who have been declared dead on the basis of the irreversible loss of cardiac function have in fact been transplanted and have successfully functioned in the chest of another. Again, although it may be ethical to remove vital organs from these patients, we believe that the reason it is ethical cannot convincingly be that the donors are dead. At the dawn of organ transplantation, the dead donor rule was accepted as an ethical premise that did not require refl ection or justifi cation, presumably because it appeared to be necessary as a safeguard against the unethical removal of vital organs from vulnerable patients. In retrospect, however, it appears that reliance on the dead donor rule has greater potential to undermine trust in the transplantation enterprise than to preserve it. At worst, this ongoing reliance suggests that the medical profession has been gerrymandering the defi nition of death to carefully conform with conditions that are most favorable for transplantation. At best, the rule has provided misleading ethical cover that cannot withstand careful scrutiny. A better approach to procuring vital organs while protecting vulnerable patients against abuse would be to emphasize the importance of obtaining valid informed consent for organ donation from patients or surrogates before the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in situations of devastating and irreversible neurologic injury…”

Note: Asystole: Insuffi ciency of heart contractions, producing a drop in heartbeat rate.