During a recent flight, a friend fell into conversation with his neighbouring passenger from Sweden. When occupations came up my friend explained that he was a Catholic priest to which his companion responded: “I admire your Church. It is the only organisation I know of that consistently defends the dignity of human life.”
On 13th March 2017, a bill which would effectively decriminalise abortion had its First Reading in Parliament and was passed by 172 votes to 142. A second reading on 12 May was thwarted by the General Election and the dissolution of Parliament. Abortion procedures range from the use of chemicals to achieve an early miscarriage, to later surgical procedures that, by the use of sharp medical instruments or powerful suction, remove the baby piece-by-piece from her mother’s uterus. Such actions always violate the right to life of the unborn child herself, and can cause emotional and other harms to the mother.
Partly due to the disregard of the rights of the unborn child, scientific research and medical practice has often been undertaken which involves the destruction of human beings when they are at their embryonic stage of development. To date, no such research has led to any beneficial medical breakthroughs.
In 1961 Parliament legalised Suicide, the attempt to take one’s own life, but it remained illegal to assist someone to take their own life, with a punishment of up to 14 years in prison. In countries where this has been legalised, palliative care has been undermined. Every charity supporting the disabled is against legalising assisted suicide.
Euthanasia, unlike assisted death, is the direct killing of an individual by a medical doctor or other practitioner. In Holland and Belgium where euthanasia is legal there are signs that it has led to involuntary euthanasia as Doctors and Nurses arrogate to themselves the right to decide who ought to die, and in pressure being brought to bear on vulnerable people. Euthanasia, even more than assisted death, dehumanises the human person and subverts the vital doctor patient relationship.
In our Parish, we have a Pro-Life Group which is in need of support. We shall meet this Tuesday, July 25th, in the Presbytery at 7.30pm. Please come and help us champion the dignity of human life.