The Present State of Medical Ethics is a Sorry Mess

From the "Science of Eugenics" published 100 years ago. There have been so many breakthroughs in this field since then, true?

From the “Science of Eugenics” published 100 years ago. It seems SOOOOO much more scienc-y today, doesn’t it?

Utilitarianism continues to mushroom. Respect for the dignity of the human person, and sound moral principles, command that life is inviolable and that human beings are not commodities to be sold or bartered, and yet today we have the following stories:

1. A 29-year-old woman, suffering from terminal brain cancer, has relocated herself and her family to the state of Oregon so that she can euthanize herself on November 1.

2. The Journal of Medical Ethics suggests that it may be acceptable to harvest a donor’s organs while the donor is living, and thus abandon what is known as the “Dead Donor Rule”.

3. The University of California at San Francisco is offering a new on-line course titled: “Abortion: Quality Care and Public Health Implications”. The professor (ostensibly teaching the course) is quoted: “I think that if we can inspire even a small portion of the people who take the course to take steps in their communities to increase access to safe abortion and decrease stigma about abortion, then we have been totally successful.” So much for “Do no harm.”

4. A white lesbian sues the sperm bank because she received “black” sperm instead of the “white” sperm that she “ordered” and now alleges that as a result her “mixed-race” daughter will be the victim of prejudice and discrimination. Because a person is a product that you should be able to order and — if you are dissatisfied — send back for a better model.

5. A Belgian couple — both healthy, non-terminally ill octogenarians — plan to jointly end their lives through assisted suicide this coming February 3, their 64th wedding anniversary.  In an especially twisted turn of irony, their children have “aided them in their quest to find a doctor amenable to their wishes” and their son — JOHN PAUL — “ultimately managed to find a doctor to perform the procedure.”

From the CCC (para. 1700):

The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.


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