An odd connection? Why connect the desire to live forever with actively ending life? Consider the follow passage from a book titled, The View From A Hearse: A Christian View of Death, by Joseph Bayly.
One of my early memories is of being led into my grandmother’s room in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to give her a final kiss. She was dying, I had been told, “so be quiet and behave.” That scene impresses me today with its Old Testament quality. Grandma, an imposing person, was conscious, slightly raised on a bolster, her white hair braided and carefully arranged on the quilt she had made as a young woman.
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Have you ever reflected on the Holocaust of WWII and wondered how a country of people, not much different than you and I, ever become involved in the extermination of millions of Jews. Part of the answer lies in the fact that people are often bystanders. Writer Paul Hilberg tells us,
Many people . . . saw or heard something of the event. Those of them who lived in Adolf Hitler’s Europe would have described themselves, with few exceptions, as bystanders.
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Caring for a dying person can be difficult. Caring for a dying person in our culture, a culture increasingly focused on death, can be doubly difficult, especially when questions of hydration, feeding, and assisted death come up. In our culture, we seem to easily forgo feeding. The mantra has been that dehydration is a comfortable way to die. And now, if things become uncomfortable we have sanctioned ending life with medical killing.
Let me share a story based on a real life. … Read the rest
I am compelled to comment on my recent blog posting, Assisted Death – Conscience Rights, Bystanders & Responsibility.
In this post, I began by suggesting there was a similarity between the Holocaust of WWII, the killing of unborn by abortion, and now the killing of sick and suffering. I also quoted Martin Luther as an example of following one’s conscience, in spite of great risk of personal harm. Although, I think Martin Luther’s stand against the organized church of his day had merit, I think my choice of examples was poor.… Read the rest