“Choice” my foot: If the
new bill to legalize assisted suicide in California (A.B. 374) becomes law,
Catholic nursing homes will be legally required to permit assisted suicide to be
committed within their premises, even though doing so would be a profound
violation of Catholic moral teaching. In-patient hospice facilities would be
similarly coerced, despite assisted suicide being a direct affront to the
hospice philosophy and the medical standards under which programs operate. Other
California medical facilities and group homes could also be forced to comply.
Only acute-care hospitals escape the proposed tyrannical duty to cooperate in
ending patients’ lives.
It seems like in the end no dissent is brooked. You cannot stand on the sidelines of a sacrificial cult and merely refuse to participate and expect that you will remain unmolested in tolerance. The subversion of telos, of that view that things were made for ends given them by God, will leave no neutral ground for those who witness with the earth to that telos. The blood cries out. It is only silenced by repentance or more blood.
Perhaps you have heard of the Al-Qa'ida and other radical Muslims attacking Christian charities abroad, far away, in Africa. But look homeward, angel, the same principle, the same power in different forms, in different garbs, is at work, disbanding orphanages, requiring all doctors to give their moral assent to abortion, and now attacking faith-based hospitals in what could turn out to be a much more insidious way than the bombing of a charity administration building.
Am I being extreme in referring to a sacrificial cult? Am I being extremist to think in terms of there being a sacrificial cult which delivers up nascent human life and aged human life and sickly or handicapped human life to be slain for the benefit, for the well being, for the fortune casting anticipations of the healthiest, the coolest, the most in, even the most "counterculturally" in? Am I being nonsensical in speaking of a broadly secular world as conforming to form of a sacrificial cult? Let me reference the work of Rene Girard here on the scapegoaing mechanisms and sacrificial systems of the world.
7198 (b): No professional organization or association, or heath care provider,
may subject a person to censure, discipline, suspension, loss of license, loss
of privileges, loss of membership, or other penalty for participating or
refusing to participate in good faith compliance with this chapter. (My
Here’s the sneaky part: Subsection (e) permits acute-care
hospitals to refuse to permit assisted suicide in the facility.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a general acute care hospital, as
defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250, may prohibit a licensed physician
from carrying out a patient’s request under this chapter on the premises of the
hospital if the hospital has notified the licensed physician of its policy
regarding this chapter.
Under 1250 (a), an acute-care hospital is defined as
“a health facility having a duly constituted governing body with overall
administrative and professional responsibility and an organized medical staff
that provides 24-hour inpatient care, including the following basic services:
medical, nursing, surgical, anesthesia, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, and
dietary services.” Thus, nursing homes, hospices, and other such facilities
would not qualify for the exemption provided acute-care hospitals under 7198
(e), since they do not have laboratories or pharmacies on-site, provide surgical
medical services, etc.
By explicitly identifying acute-care hospitals as the
only facilities where assisted suicides can be prevented from taking place
on-site, the legislation must be construed to require that all other health-care
facilities cooperate with assisted suicide—whether or not they have religious,
moral, or philosophical objections. Nor could these facilities sanction or
discipline staff doctors or other personnel who agree to participate in on-site
assisted suicides of patients.
If A.B. 374 becomes law, Catholic and other
religiously oriented nursing homes will be forced to choose between shutting
down, selling, or cooperating in assisted suicide. That this could cause untold
misery for thousands of helpless sick and elderly people matters to its authors
not a whit. The culture of death brooks no dissent.
The media are making a pretty big splash about a New England Journal of Medicine
study, which measured doctors' willingness to refuse
desired services if it violated their personal moral codes. From the story:
"Based on the findings, the researchers estimate that more than 40 million
Americans may be seeing physicians who do not believe that they are obligated to
disclose information about legal treatments the doctor objects to, and 100
million have doctors who do not feel the need to refer patients to another
provider."The focus, of course, was on doctors who hold what are labeled
conservative beliefs, e.g., abortion, contraception, etc. And there is a pretty
strong move underway to compel medical professionals (including pharmacists) to
perform these services at the risk of losing their jobs or licenses to
[There are intelligent ways to address some of the issues and Wesley Smith gives some good practical decisions that might at least temporarily address differences in the rest of this post I quote from above. However, it seems to me that there is mixture in the making for violent confrontation but the side that truly values life will prefer to be the victim rather than sacrifice other human beings to affirm the perogative of their choice.]
See also regarding