What’s Wrong With Physician-Assisted Suicide? The Most Important Show You Will Watch All Year

It’s the next great battle and make no mistake family, our future as people, as a nation, and as citizens of this world and the next depends on it.

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D, President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center, has has extensive national media experience including Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, and Deepak Chopra on God and modern physics), the Today Show (debating euthanasia), The History Channel in “God and The Universe,” a multi-part PBS series “Closer to the Truth,” and the Hugh Hewitt Show. He has also appeared on dozens of nationally syndicated radio programs.

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D, President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center, has has extensive national media experience including Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, and Deepak Chopra on God and modern physics), the Today Show (debating euthanasia), The History Channel in “God and The Universe,” a multi-part PBS series “Closer to the Truth,” and the Hugh Hewitt Show. He has also appeared on dozens of nationally syndicated radio programs.

“The culture of suicide is the culture of despair – it’s the culture of un-love. If there were enough love out there, nobody would want to commit suicide. Something’s going wrong when we morally sanction suicide within the culture.”

So says Father Robert Spitzer, S.J., President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center, in a must-see presentation filmed live at the NAPA Institute 2015 Conference in California. “The Case Against Physician-Assisted Suicide” will air at approximately 9:45 a.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 17, immediately following George Weigel’s 9 a.m. ET address on “The Evangelical Future of Catholicism in the Next America.” (Other talks by top Catholic theologians will follow throughout the day.)

If you are having a tough time explaining to others why this is wrong – if part of you buys into the “mercy” killing language used by “right to die” proponents – then you cannot afford to miss this presentation. Tape it, study it, learn from it.

Right-to-die proponents like to invoke the specter of patients being kept alive by machines at the end of their lives or screaming in pain. But Father Spitzer clears the deck of these fears right from the outset invoking the church’s longstanding doctrine of extraordinary means and the legitimacy of pain management that may nonetheless carry some risk.

However, right-to-die proponents are now bombarding society with the message that, at the end of life, you and I might as well commit suicide because we will no longer have “quality of life.” Let’s think about this.

Father Robert Spitzer, S.J., says there are four levels of happiness in life, which correspond to the four levels of quality of life. Level 3 involves the contribution we make to family, friends, organizations, society, the Church, the Kingdom of God, and the salvation of souls. We can make such contributions no matter what our age our physical condition.

Father Robert Spitzer, S.J., says there are four levels of happiness in life, which correspond to the four levels of quality of life. Level 3 involves the contribution we make to family, friends, organizations, society, the Church, the Kingdom of God, and the salvation of souls. We can make such contributions no matter what our age our physical condition.

As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, Fr. Spitzer says happiness in life more often depends on the contribution we make to family, friends, organizations, society, the Church, the Kingdom of God, and the salvation of a soul who needs help (level three happiness) or on our faith (level 4 happiness), which calls us to literally link up with God who is our eternal destiny. Our happiness is no longer completely dependent on the material things we own (level 1 happiness) or being better than others at sports or our jobs (level two happiness). It’s not that we would no longer find pleasure in those lower level things, but we realize that there are more important things in life.

Unfortunately, when right-to-die proponents talk about quality of life, they are stuck at these lower levels of happiness. (I can’t beat John at tennis anymore, what good am I?) When you have a terminal illness, says Fr. Spitzer, level 1 and 2 happiness decrease, but level 3 and 4 increase.

“[At the end of life], if you’ve got any forgiving you’ve got to do, you’re going to be motivated. If you have somebody who has to forgive you, now’s the time to call them in because now you are vulnerable. When we are vulnerable, the Holy Spirit can drive right into our hearts with a truck full of grace. All our defenses are down. We don’t care anymore about level 2 abilities.

“Vulnerability is such a blessed gift. It allows us to forgive and to be forgiven; it allows us to transmit the wisdom of our lives and to have wisdom transmitted to us and for us to accept it; it allows us to give compassion and to accept compassion; it allows us to grow in faith. When we see our lives coming to an end, we are so open to grace, it is simply unbelievable.”

Right-to-die proponents like to say that they are not hurting anyone, that they are just giving people options, but Father Spitzer says that, to many people, this legislation says something quite different. That is why advocates for the mentally or physically challenged are universally against this legislation.

The top level of happiness and quality of life, says Father Robert Spitzer, S.J. , is faith, which calls us to literally link up with God who is our eternal destiny. Anyone can talk to God, no matter their age or physical condition.

The top level of happiness and quality of life, says Father Robert Spitzer, S.J. , is faith, which calls us to literally link up with God, Who is our Eternal Destiny. Anyone can talk to God, no matter their age or physical condition.

“It is being proclaimed from the rooftops, that your life isn’t worth anything. It’s pure indignity. You have to have help in your life? How dare you? You should be ashamed of yourself. You need someone? You should be ashamed of yourself. It’s the rule of autonomy gone crazy. It is totally the opposite direction from Christianity. … Instead of being the occasion for compassion, we call compassion giving you a suicide pill so you can take your own life and end the indignity of it all.”

Father says such legislation won’t just affect the physically and mentally challenged.

“Every single person who needs help, every person who has a disability or challenge of some kind or another, every single person who needs help in their life for whatever reason, will now have to feel inferior. … It is completely converse to Christianity and to any humane effort whatsoever. This is not good legislation. It really will impact people who are most in need of our help. People who deserve our help, not our disdain.”

Already, some insurance companies in right-to-die states are telling cancer patients with lesser insurance that they won’t pay for their treatment, but will pay for the pills needed to commit suicide. “We are creating two classes,” says Fr. Spitzer, “those who can afford NOT to commit suicide, and those who are compelled to commit suicide to get basic coverage.”

At the end of their lives, Father Spitzer says people are vulnerable to relatives who are concerned about costs or who simply don’t want the burden of caring for their family member; those without family are vulnerable to doctors who believe they should commit suicide; those with depression or self-esteem issues may interpret a discussion of a right-to-die option as indifference to their death, while the “stoically responsible” often think it’s their “duty” to die so they don’t inconvenience others.

“What becomes legal becomes socially acceptable; what becomes socially acceptable becomes moral because everybody else is doing it,” says Fr. Spitzer. “People look at what other people are doing – it’s called social norming – and they adjust their behaviors according to the social norms.”

That’s why Father says you and I must do everything we can to fight this legislation.

“This legislation is a disaster. It’s a disaster for love; it’s a disaster for Christ; it’s a disaster for culture; it’s a disaster for the weak; it’s a disaster for the poor; it just simply has to be stopped.

“With every single scintilla of energy in our fibers and sinews and bones, it has to be stopped.”

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This entry was posted in Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, EWTN, Magis Center, mercy killing, NAPA Institute, Physician-assisted suicide, right-to-die and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to What’s Wrong With Physician-Assisted Suicide? The Most Important Show You Will Watch All Year

  1. Janis Ernest says:

    Dispite what judges may secretly believe, they are NOT God! They are NOT second in the Holy Trinity! They ARE accountable and will be judged, themselves. The difference: this judgement will face will be everlasting. There will be no end.

    I pray for all of us, especially the conversion of sinners. God help us all.
    Janis Ernest

  2. David F says:

    I strongly disagree that this will grant dignity to these people. This incredibly insane thing to do will lead or come to a point where people will say “it is “noble” thing for you to end your life now ( At any age ) so as not to put any undue burden on your family. This will morph into a murder mill in a very short time. The world is in as dark of a time as the minds of people who are proponents of this.

  3. Gary says:

    There is no dignity in this kind of death … assisted murder is can only be likened to somebody wanting to take out the trash …

  4. Sue says:

    When my husband had cancer, I had Hospice come in to help me take care of him at home, in our own bedroom and in our own bed. He was sick for 15 months and I treasure the time I was able to spend with him at home. He died a natural death, with dignity, five days before Christmas. That was 30 yrs. ago. My memories are sad but good.

    • mjohnsonewtn says:

      Sue, I feel the same way. My husband also died of cancer three years ago. In fact, he had three bouts of cancer over eight years, had his leg amputated and became a quadriplegic. That sounds staggering, even to me. But that time was so precious. It taught me how to TRULY love. I too treasure the time we had together. I wouldn’t change a thing. I am still awed by my husband’s courage and strength in the face of much suffering. We got through it together. So many awesome times we wouldn’t have had if he had taken his own life — and what incredible spiritual growth we both would have missed. With God’s grace, we will see our husbands on the other side. What a joyful reunion that will be! Thanks so much for writing!

  5. Theresa says:

    I strongly disagree. We are entering the culture of death. This is a disgrace

  6. Desiree Bouwer says:

    I strongly disagree! Assisted suicide, is murder.

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