Yesterday the Canadian government introduced legislation to legalize doctor assisted suicide. One commentary said, “if passed, this would allow some Canadians to kill others, with support of the state.” Christians are saying we may not cross this sacred line, for human life may not be violated. How alarmed or upset should we be about this development? Are we really crossing a sacred line?
I take it this will be the first time that federal law will support some Canadians killing others, where the Bible instructs them not to kill. If written law is needed to cross a sacred line, then we a poised to cross one. But have we not already crossed the sacred line of state sanctioned killing?read more
Why do I talk about personhood? Personhood has come to be part of the discussion of organ donation, abortion, and euthanasia. Why?
A basic definition of personhood is the state of being a person. This is important because we place special value, along with moral and legal rights and responsibilities, upon persons. So, when we want to attribute rights and responsibilities to certain people, or we want to take rights and responsibilities away from certain people, we can, in our arguments, attempt to show it is right to do so by attributing, or by not attributing, personhood to them.read more
Before you read this: I understand, for some, the conclusions drawn in this post may be difficult. It may be helpful to first read the follow blog posting — What IF You Did Not Know?
Organ transplantation has quite an appeal. A child dying from congenital heart disease receives a “new” heart. A mother receives a “new” liver after hers is damaged by a pregnancy related blood clot. Yet, there are concerns about the retrieval of vital organs. Vital organs must be taken from living bodies that, as a result, die. Most are taken from people declared brain dead. But even this has concerns. Is there a way for vital organ transplantation to proceed that does not involve the taking of life?read more
Recently reviewing an essay on Organ Donation which I wrote in 1998, I came across some thoughts on the definition personhood. How a “person” is defined plays a vital role in how we approach things like vital organ donation and assisted death. Our society is rapidly moving to a definition of personhood that connects a person’s intrinsic value to their ability to think. Those with less ability to think are considered to have less value and are more easily deemed expendable.read more