Monday, February 25, 2013

Pro-Life or Anti-Abortion?

Planned Parenthood is attempting to redefine their organization by dropping the term "pro-choice". Polling data has shown them that this term is becoming out of favour, because the obvious question is what choice are you pro?  And then the dreaded word "abortion" is spoken and people back away. Even supporters of abortion don't really want to talk about it - most people are uncomfortable with the word and all that it conveys. If you don't believe me, try saying the word at the next exercise class you attend or drop it into the conversation at the next dinner party you are invited to.

There has been an equal reaction within the anti-choice side to steer away from the word abortion, such as the label "anti-abortion", and use the broader term "pro-life".

Today's newsletter from Human Life International has two articles on this very topic and the two writers are on opposite sides of the issue.

First, the article by Dr. Denise Hunnell, The Language of Life,  is quite convincing in its support of using pro-life to describe the movement.

She states that, even if abortion should be made illegal, the culture of death would pop up elsewhere, because what has happened is a societal change that has devalued life. It began with the contraceptive mentality, that separated sex from procreation, and has led to all sorts of life-denying attitudes, which lead to euthanasia, embryo experimentation, etc.

Kristan Hawkins in her article, Why I am anti-abortion,
says that mothers against drunk drivers don't call themselves mothers for sober driving, nor did those who fought for the freedom of slaves call themselves pro-free workers, but called themselves anti-slavery.

Two leaders with very different views on how to call their movement. So who is right?

I see a couple of things here. Dr. Hunnell says that those who came to Washington for the March for Life were

" not just marching against abortion. We were marching in solidarity with the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, the infirmed, and all the vulnerable whose lives might be deemed unworthy by a society poisoned by the culture of death."

But that is not why the March was begun. It was organized by Nellie Gray in 1974 precisely to be anti-abortion. The fact that people now include, in their cause, euthanasia and other issues should not change the original intent. Abortion is still the reason for the March and should be held as such, front and center.

The second thing that I see is that any people who have told me they favour pro-life over anti-abortion, are usually the ones who don't come out for the life-saving events. Along with choosing to be called pro-life is an unwillingness to confront the culture on the issue of abortion. Despite their beliefs, I find that they evade the confrontation and somehow the term pro-life gives them permission to do that. There is a desire to not offend anyone.

But the tragedy of abortion should offend all of us. I have to say that I think Kristin wins this debate.
We have to fight against the pro-abortion forces in our society with an aggression that most people don't want to be associated with. But we can't fight evil with a meek attitude. We have to fight evil by calling it what it is and by exposing it to the light so that everyone can see it.


"But if something is as evil as abortion, you should want to be clear about what you are fighting against. After all, the slavery abolitionists of the past were anti-slavery, not pro-worker freedom. The anti-smoking campaigns of the 1980s and 90s were just that, not pro-clean air campaigns. It’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving, not Mothers For Sober Driving. It’s anti-war, not pro-absence of conflict. If you truly believe in your heart that something is wrong, you must say it and not be afraid of putting it in a negative light."


h/t Human Life International

Friday, February 22, 2013

O'Reilly on Abortion

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to change the abortion laws in NY state, so that there are no limits on abortion. Any time for any reason, "it's her body, it's her choice" he chanted. Bill O'Reilly says that Cuomo is worshipping at the altar of reproductive rights.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bill-oreilly-kirsten-powers-and-republican-panelist-pile-on-barbaric-late-term-abortion-policy/


It would seem that Bill O'Reilly isn't aware of the position in Canada on late-term abortions. Here, any reason for any abortion at any time is okay.  At least, outrage is expressed in the US on this topic; in Canada, more of the usual - SILENCE.

The very least that should happen is that Archbishop Timothy Dolan should excommunicate Andrew Cuomo. There is plenty of grounds to do this; he is living with his girlfriend and receiving communion and he is completely pro-abortion. Excommunication would at least send a message to New York Catholics that this is simply unacceptable.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

No Going Back - Keep Roe

Father Dwight Longenecker argues that progressivism is a subset of historicism, believing that things are better simply because we live in a later time than our predecessors. I hear many people saying this - "things are better simply by virtue of all the new stuff we have". 

Is abortion an advance and giving birth a retreat? This is where an education in the Old Testament and classic civilizations comes in handy. It was the bloodthirsty age of the Old Testament patriarchs where we learn about the great god Molech into whose brazen jaws the pagan peoples threw the unwanted “products of conception” after their debaucheries. It was the cruel and brutal Roman civilization, which in her later years, condoned infanticide and the exposure (or throwing away) of unwanted “products of conception.”


It was the Christians and Jews of the first centuries who exposed not infants, but the cruel and heartless barbarism of the people who could kill innocent children. Rather than abortion being a step forward into some brave new world, it is a step backward into the cowardly old world of world weary decadents who fornicate and conceive and throw their babies away.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2013/02/going-back-on-abortion.html




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pope Benedict's Stepping Down

I haven't written about the Pope's recent announcement to leave the papacy, since everyone and his uncle have been blogging about it. But this morning, I read this article by Elizabeth Scalia and wanted to get as many people reading it as possible.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2013/02/12/prayer-and-penance-did-twitter-hasten-benedicts-retirement/

Many blogs have already mentioned that this Pope sees a battle coming and some have speculated that he does not think he has the strength for it, so he is stepping aside for someone else to do that.
Even Glenn Beck who is not a Catholic, but is a Mormon, produced a brief segment on his trip to the Vatican and his observations that Pope Benedict was putting in place cardinals who are truly orthodox. As Beck said recently, Pope Benedict is stacking the deck, so that his successor will be chosen from a field of truly orthodox cardinals. The reason: Pope Benedict knows that the Church is going to be facing a time of increased persecution.

In my own experience with pro-life activity, I have seen just a little bit of the venom that has been thrown at people who hold traditional Christian values, such as protection of the unborn's right to life. I can only imagine how much more the pontiff would receive when he opened himself to the world via Twitter, and every hateful wingnut felt free to sling abuse at him and at the church.

My normal human nature kind of likes the excitement that seems to be on the horizon. But my more enlightened (hopefully) spiritual self holds back cautiously and is trying to heed the warning that this brings. As so many Christian writers have said prayer is a powerful tool, more powerful than we can know because this universe is not visible to most of us. I am speculating that it is visible to Pope Benedict.

Derek Prince, one of my favourite evangelists, wrote that prayer is the force that moves all things in the world. Those who pray determine how the world will go. So Pope Benedict, in retiring to a life of monastic prayer and penance, is devoting himself whole-heartedly to that power.

The decisive factor in this great war with Satan is just one thing: praying believers. We are the ones who tip the scale for victory on God's side. This is an astonishing fact, but Scripture makes it clear that this is so. Our prayers are not unimportant; they are not secondary. They are the decisive issue in the entire spiritual conflict.

The way we pray will decide the way the universe goes.

Secrets of a Prayer Warrior, by Derek Prince




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Canada faces economic disaster

“Statistics show that if every aborted baby had been born in 2006, 2009, and 2010, a replacement fertility rate would have been reached or surpassed,” the report states.

The report was issued by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. Overpopulation is not the problem; failure to have children is.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-report-calls-upon-canadians-to-have-more-kids-or-face-economic-disaster

Saturday, February 16, 2013

No need for a law

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/suicide-of-91-year-old-woman-proves-canadian-suicide-law-does-not-need-chan?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=7372460c43-LifeSiteNews_com_Canada_Headlines_02_15_20173&utm_medium=email

As I wrote before on this blog, why can't people who wish to "off" themselves just do it and not involve anyone else?  This article shows that the push to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide is an attempt to justify that ideology. It has nothing to do with compassion for those who do not wish to live any longer.

Alex Schadenberg says:
“People usually do not commit suicide unless they feel abandoned and devalued by those who are closest to them,” he said. “Suicide is never a healthy response to any of life’s circumstances. People commit suicide when they have lost hope, when they have lost a sense of purpose, and especially when they experience rejection by those around them who ought to love and care for them.”

Death is the final moment of life. Let's have the guts to go through it rather than try to circumvent it by some means. How we die says so much about how we have lived.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lila Rose on The Blaze



Lila Rose is interviewed on The Blaze by Glenn Beck. This aired today at 4 pm, but was pre-recorded just prior to the March for Life in Washington DC. Lila began her pro-life work at UCLA when she was just 18 years old; she is now 24 and heads up Live Action, a group of young Americans whose goal is to expose the abortion industry. An amazing young woman whose life purpose is to end abortion and to save lives.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Christians should not vote NDP

Thomas Mulcair, national leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada, has put his foot in his mouth (yet again). It brings to my mind the statement, silly as it may seem, that the electorate never votes for a man with a beard to lead the country. That statement aside, Mulcair has offended a lot of people, and not just the evangelical Christians that he took aim at. Even members of his own party are calling for an apology.

Mulcair made the statement that Christian groups, whose beliefs include holding homosexual behaviour to be sinful, should not receive any government funding. His argument is that they hold beliefs that are anti-Canadian and therefore they should be precluded from any funding. 

As Monty Solberg on Sun News said, Mulcair's remarks show an ignorance that is almost unbelievable. Solberg said that groups, such as Crossroads, do so much work in areas of the world where no NGO will venture. They pack up their families, and go and live in some of the worst conditions in the third world, because their faith motivates them to care for the unfortunate. And they do incredible amounts of work there, which no one else has the guts to do. So calling them out for being hateful towards homosexuals seems a little off the mark. Especially since Crossroads doesn't even lobby on this issue, nor does it do anything to bring any harm to homosexuals. They merely have in their mandate, the Christian teaching that homosexual acts are not in keeping with God's word, which is absolutely true.

Mulcair is a Catholic or says he is. And he claims to be proud to be a Catholic. But he must subscribe to the view that one can be Catholic in one's private life, and keep those beliefs out of the public square. The old Kennedy position. But where is one's integrity when that happens? 

This kind of thinking will never produce any Abraham Lincolns or Martin Luther Kings. It simply shows that this kind of believer is a cafeteria Catholic, picking and choosing which tenets of that faith one wishes to subscribe to and which ones can be ignored or even labelled as anti-Canadian.

If anyone takes part in the political process, I certainly do want to know what their personal beliefs are and where they stand on moral issues. Because those issues influence our country's identity and future.

Anyone who takes their Catholic or Christian faith seriously needs to know that one cannot be Christian/Catholic and vote for a party like the NDP. This party espouses things that our faith condemns: abortion, homosexual actions, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, reproductive experimentation, the list will only get longer.

Believers must vote according to their conscience and that means, inform your conscience about people like Thomas Mulcair.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nuns who don't get it

CBC radio did an interview with Sister  Donna Brady of the Sisters of St. Martha in Antigonish NS and with Fr. James Mallon, pastor St. Benedict's parish in Halifax NS. 

I can only shake my head as Sister failed to grasp the significance of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, the significance of any papacy for that matter. She praised Benedict for "environmentalism" and for reducing the Vatican's carbon foot print. 

Father James, on the other hand, spoke of the Pope's intellectual gifts. When asked about questions that would face the next pope, such as contraception and AIDS in Africa, abortion and women, Father James responded that people are surprised to find that the Pope is a Catholic. The interviewer, Don Connolly, simply didn't get it.

Smart answer Father James, I wish Don had given you the time to explain what you meant, but he gave the last 30 seconds to the nun who is part of a dying order. And her closing words were that there will not be one woman who gets to vote for the next pope. She doesn't get it either. 

http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile/Information+Morning+-+NS/ID/2334278207/

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reggie Littlejohn in Ottawa

Feb 7, 2013

Ottawa, ON – Today, Member of Parliament Mark Warawa invited Reggie Littlejohn, a leading expert on gendercide and China’s One Child Policy, to call on Canadian leaders to condemn discrimination against women and girls occurring through gendercide.

Reggie Littlejohn was in Ottawa today meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators. She urged Canadian Parliamentarians to stop the violence against women and girls worldwide. “It does not matter whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, no one can accept the atrocities that are inflicted upon women and girls. Stop the violence. Stop gendercide,” said Littlejohn.

“Canada is part of a global crisis,” says Warawa. “According to the United Nations, 200 million women and girls worldwide are missing due to gendercide. In June 2012, a CBC investigation revealed that sex-selection is happening in Canada. We as Parliamentarians cannot ignore this reality. 92% of Canadians oppose this practice. All national parties have condemned it. Now is the time for the Canadian Parliament to condemn this form of discrimination against women and girls,” said Warawa.

Reggie Littlejohn has testified numerous times at the United States Congress, the United Nations, the European Parliament and the British and Irish Parliaments. She has briefed officials at the White House, and is a frequent guest on radio and TV programs, including CNN, C-SPAN, and the BBC. A human rights activist, last year Reggie Littlejohn successfully led the international effort to free blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng who fled house arrest in China.

Mark Warawa currently has a motion in the House of Commons asking Parliament to condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex selection. Warawa hopes to receive unanimous consent in Parliament to send a message around the world that Canada condemns discrimination against women and girls.




http://www.markwarawa.com/media_/mark_in_the_news/world-expert-meeting-canadian-leaders-about-gendercide-crisis

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cause of Death - Abortion

Germantown, MD - A 29-year old woman died yesterday as the result of fatal complications suffered during an abortion at 33 weeks that was done by LeRoy Carhart at Germantown Reproductive Health Center in Germantown, Maryland. Information about the incident comes from an extremely credible anonymous source.

The woman, who came for a third trimester abortion from out-of-state, arrived at GRHC on Sunday and was seen by pro-life activists every day through Wednesday. Witnesses said she appeared "pale and weak."
 
Early Thursday morning, the woman began suffering chest pain and other discomforts. Her attempts to reach Carhart were unsuccessful. The woman was taken by her family from her hotel to a nearby hospital emergency room at approximately 5:00 a.m. Efforts by hospital staff to contact Carhart or get informational assistance from the abortion clinic were unsuccessful.
 
The patient suffered massive internal bleeding into her abdominal cavity. She slipped into a Code Blue condition approximately six times before finally succumbing to her injuries at around 9:30 a.m. The case has been placed with the Medical Examiner for further investigation.
 
 
FYI, Carhart is a former friend of George Tiller, the late-term abortionist, who was gunned down two years ago.  I read somewhere that he is carrying on the abortions that Tiller would have done had he lived.
 
At the recent March for Life, Father Frank Pavone put together a list of women who have died from abortions and made it into a Tombstone Poster which was distributed to those who attended the Youth Rally. He also read out these names at a prayer vigil outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Washington, DC.  The list numbered several hundred women, all dead from abortion complications.
 
I wonder how many women die in Canada from abortion. A woman who works at the hospital here in Halifax and registers people coming in for treatment  told me that many girls/women arrive the evening of their abortion or the following day. They are admitted for treatment, suffering from hemorrage or pain or infection. The report never states that the cause of their problem was an abortion gone wrong. So we would have no idea of how many women arrive for treatment after an abortion, and I am sure we would never hear of a woman who died from an abortion gone wrong.
 
Perhaps we need to get Patricia Maloney of www.runwithlife.blogspot.com to look into this. She certainly has unearthed other facts about abortion and has brought things out into public view, that our health system would prefer to keep hidden.  
 
 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

George Weigel - Evangelical Catholicism

Another book to read. Evangelical Catholicism by George Weigel. A friend emailed me an interview by Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, with George Weigel. This friend is a former Anglican priest, so it is interesting that he sent this article on to a number of friends. It seems that quite a few Protestants are taking an interest in Catholicism these days.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/339783/setting-world-ablaze-interview?utm_source=StandFirm&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=link


Weigel says that Catholic theologians are looking at Pope Leo XIII because he was the pope who decided that the Vatican should not continue in "retreat mode", as it was doing in the mid 1800's. Pope Leo set in motion Catholic reform movements that would mark the 20th century:  the liturgical movement, the development of Catholic social doctrine, and rigorous study of Church history to mention three. These set the groundwork for Vatican II which is now being interpreted by Pope Benedict XVI as the "new evangelization". 


All I know of Pope Leo XIII is that he was the Pope who predicted that the Church was like a ship sailing into safe harbour after the threat of the open sea, with the Mother of God standing guard on one side and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist on the other. I believe he is also the Pope who began the practice of saying the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel after Mass, a practice that should be resurrected. I will have to learn more about him.


One of Lopez's questions to Weigel was about the "Catholic vote". I found his response very informative and so clear. Right to the point.


 Well, let’s begin by noting for the umpteenth time that there isn’t any such thing as “the Catholic vote.” There are voters who self-identify as Catholics, but their degree of Catholic commitment and practice varies widely, and their voting patterns tend to mirror their commitments. Regular, weekly-Mass-attending Catholics skew heavily Republican; once-a-year Catholics skew heavily Democratic; and the scale slides in between — the once-a-month Catholic is more likely to vote Republican than the once-a-quarter Catholic. So it really makes no sense to talk about a “Catholic vote,” any more than it makes sense to talk about a “gender-gap” in our electoral politics. The “gap” in the latter is between married women and single women; the “gap” among Catholics is between practicing Catholics and occasional Catholics.


... to get down to specific cases, I can think of several members of Congress and senior administration officials who fit the bill. These people self-identify as Catholics, and they may even go to Mass with some regularity. But they are leading lives of such theological and moral incoherence (by, for example, supporting Roe v. Wade or agitating for “gay marriage” or defending the HHS mandate while ignoring its threat to religious freedom) that their communion with the Church is seriously damaged.


The politicos aren’t the only problem here, of course. There are aging, tenured members of theology departments at prestigious Catholic universities whose teaching and writing make clear that they are in a defective state of communion with the Church, because they deny what the Catholic Church teaches to be true. The entire fracas with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is, in fact, about precisely this: Is the LCWR living in communion with the Church, or is it living (and propounding) what amounts to another faith — indeed, another religion? We know that there are schismatics in the 21st-century Church: people who are, in a formal, canonical sense, living outside the legal boundaries of the Church because they have broken communion with the Church by breaking its canon law (think of the Lefebvrists). What I’m suggesting with the, admittedly provocative, term “baptized pagans” is that the Church has a much bigger problem than the tiny and marginal Lefebvrist sect, because there are a lot of people who are still inside the canonical boundaries of the Church but who aren’t in communion with the Church in any other meaningful sense. And it’s the job of all Catholics — but especially the Church’s pastors — to call those “baptized pagans” back to living in the fullness and integrity of Catholic faith.



On the question of Church authority and how can he believe that the Catholic Church is correct, Weigel responds:


The key question is, as always, “Who do you say that I am?” as Jesus put it to the disciples when they were strolling through Caesarea Philippi. If I embrace Jesus as what he says he is — the way, the truth, and the life — then it seems reasonable to think that Jesus would have wished his followers, the Church, to be preserved in that truth. Catholics have always believed that that truth is preserved by the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church through the “apostolic succession”: the bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome, who “succeed” the apostles, the original witnesses to Jesus, the Risen Lord, as Christ’s witnesses in the world, and as the authoritative teachers of the Church.


Finally, I see what has happened to Christian communities that have lost any sense of a teaching authority anchored in, and responsible to, Scripture and the Church’s settled tradition: They crumble in the face of a hostile culture, or they simply become expressions of the culture rather than the Gospel. That’s a cautionary tale, and, at least along the via negativa, it’s another argument for the Catholic Church’s understanding of itself as guided by authoritative teachers in the apostolic succession.


Speaking on the subject of homosexuality and same sex marriage, Weigel continues to speak clearly:


Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who is quite probably the most intellectually accomplished bishop in the history of Catholicism in the United States, put this brilliantly in a January column in his archdiocesan newspaper: “Sexual relations between a man and a woman are naturally and necessarily different from sexual relations between same-sex partners. This truth is part of the common sense of the human race. It was true before the existence of either Church or State, and it will continue to be true when there is no State of Illinois and no United States of America. A proposal to change this truth about marriage in civil law is less a threat to religion than it is an affront to human reason and the common good of society. It means we are all to pretend to accept something we know is physically impossible. The Legislature might just as well repeal the law of gravity.” Now, in a culture where the idea that some things just are has become severely attenuated, this is, as the disciples once remarked of something Jesus said, a “hard saying.” But it happens to be true. And if the state successfully asserts its capacity to redefine reality in the matter of men, women, and marriage, where does its capacity to redefine reality stop? Why not redefine the parent-child relationship, or the doctor-patient relationship, or the priest-penitent relationship, or the counselor-counselee relationship? Why not redefine citizenship as adherence to the state’s redefinition of reality?



On the subject of sexuality and Catholics' just wanting to take the fun out of it, Weigel delivers my favourite line of the interview:

The Incarnation teaches us that God takes our enfleshment very, very seriously because human flesh and blood became the material by which the Son of God entered history.



And finally on the need for "divine mercy", Weigel sums up the tragedy of this century.


The 20th century was the bloodiest in human history, by orders of magnitude. Add the new slaughter of the innocents in abortion to the slaughters of the World Wars, the death camps, the Gulag, and all the rest of the politically induced horrors, and you have a world awash in guilt over the cruelty and inhumanity it has visited upon itself. To whom can the sin that produced that guilt be confessed? By whom can it be expiated? By what authority can it be forgiven? The answers to those three questions cannot be Dr. Freud, Amnesty International, or the United Nations. The answer, I believe and the Church proclaims, is the God of the Bible, who comes into the world and into history — first in the people of Israel, and then in his Son — to offer humanity the embrace of the divine love, which alone can heal the brokenness of our lives, our societies, and our cultures.


 
Definitely a new book on the list.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Talk on Conscience Rights of Doctors

Last night, I attended a panel discussion at Just Us Cafe on Spring Garden Road. It was put on by the CIHR (Canadian Institute of Health Research). Every few months they host talks open to the public and they are located in various cafes and restaurants around Halifax. Tea, coffee and snacks are served and the public is welcome to ask questions after the speakers have given their talks. 

Here is the blurb for last night's talk:

 
Crisis of Conscience: Conscientious Refusal by Healthcare Providers and Access to Care

Conscientious objection in healthcare is often discussed in the context of abortion, but that is only the tip of a much larger iceberg of contexts in which healthcare providers have conscientiously refused to provide services. For example, practitioners have also refused care to patients who engage in ‘unhealthy’ activities (e.g., smoking, body modification, accessing experimental care overseas) or who do not follow their advice. All of this creates difficulties for patients seeking access to services. Can we create policies that allow practitioners freedom, while maintaining a functional healthcare system that is accessible to all Canadians? When can conscience be limited by concerns about access to care?




The speakers were Dr. Mary McNally, a dentist and also a bio-ethics prof at Dalhousie University, Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, a OBGYN from Amherst NS and PhD candidate in bio-ethics at Dalhousie University, and Jocelyn Downie, law professor at Dalhousie University.

I was thinking that much of the talk would be over my head and certainly I often found myself assailed by jargon, much of which I thought was unnecessary, but that is how law goes. I came away with a few thoughts about this panel discussion.

Jocelyn Downie made the point that "conscience" is not defined in the law, and it seems to be there for the protection of those who do not ascribe to a religious ethic. Medical professionals who say that they cannot perform certain procedures can point to the moral code of their religion as their directive. But people who are non-religious don't have that, so therefore the idea of "conscience" is written into our Charter of Rights and Freedoms for their sake. Jocelyn said that this was the doing of PM Pierre Trudeau who insisted that it be maintained in the wording. She quoted the autobiography of Jean Chretien as her source for that, so I am not at all convinced of the veracity of the claim.

Dr. MacQuarrie, whom I found the most convincing and most interesting of the speakers, began her section by stating that conscience is a person's moral sense of right and wrong and how that applies to one's behaviour.

She then delineated the CMA code of ethics which is:
1. disclose any conflicts of interest in a case and resolve them in the best interests of the patient
2. do not discriminate against any patient on any grounds, i.e. ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender orientation, etc.
3. treat all persons with respect, even when you do not feel they have earned it
4. provide appropriate care for the patient even when care may no longer benefit them

She pointed out that often doctors will say that they have a crisis of conscience in a particular case, when in actual fact, they are having a problem with something else. She gave the example of a doctor who chooses not to order a lung X-ray for a patient who smokes and refuses to quit.  Some doctors have difficulty treating obese patients who will do nothing to lose weight. Some have conflicts with patients who refuse to be vaccinated or to have their children vaccinated. MacQuarrie said that these are not conscience issues, but rather another issue that is often labeled as a crisis of conscience in order to give the doctor an excuse for his/her behaviour.

Jocelyn Downie cited the fact that the American College of Physicians and Surgeons has a lengthy policy on abortion and conscience rights for doctors. Here in Canada, the Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons has nothing, silence.

Towards the end of the evening, the three panelists concurred that doctors must put the patient's right to care first in the end. So in the case of a patient wishing to have an abortion, a doctor can say that he/she will not perform an abortion, but all three seemed to agree that the doctor must provide the patient with the information so that she can obtain that abortion elsewhere.

This struck me as a manipulation of words that, in effect, denies a doctor the right to refuse to participate in an abortion. It seems to me that having to refer someone for an abortion is being complicit in an abortion, and I do not see how a doctor's conscience rights are protected by such a statement.

Another statement that struck me as problematic was that all three concurred that they would defend their colleagues' right to refuse to do something if it went against their conscience. However, I have been told that students who apply for medical school and who disclose any pro-life activity in their application will most likely be turned down. So if a pro-life student cannot even make into medical school, who will there be to defend? the problem simply will not come up.

This seemed to me to reinforce the notion that medical school, and law school, favour applicants who are liberal in their thinking. There is no need to be tolerant if you won't admit of any differences.

If I had felt surer of my facts on this, I would have asked them that question. But I felt that the people attending would have been quite hostile should I voice my opinion.

Another area in which I wished I had more information in order to pose a question was the old problem of demographics. The issue of cost effectiveness was raised several times, and we are all aware that physicians are making decisions on the basis of where will the tax dollars be spent best. But the fact that our birth rate has declined to 1.6 per woman here in NS really should be addressed. Because if there are fewer and fewer tax-payers entering the workforce, who will be paying for the medical system that we assume will be there? More people are aging and requiring greater care, while there are fewer workers to pay the taxes that will provide the health care system.

Nobody ever wants to talk about that question, but surely it is rather crucial. We have to raise the taxes somewhere; either the existing population will pay more and more taxes to maintain the system, or the system will have to be greatly reduced in order to be sustained.

The woman sitting beside me, whom I did know from church actually, raised the question that, if doctors can require prospective patients to fill out a questionnaire which they can then use to decide if they will take on that patient, shouldn't patients be allowed to do the same? She also recounted how, when she was  a student nurse, she refused to participate in any abortion-related care on the gynecology ward. She said that she would simply call in sick if she was required to do so, but she did manage to trade with other student nurses to steer clear of the abortion clinic. I doubt that a nurse would be allowed to do that today.

I am sure there were more things discussed that could be written about, but those were the ones that stuck with me. Perhaps the next session will find me better equipped to ask a few questions, the ones that no one seems to want to.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ezra fighting for truth about abortion

Ezra Levant really does seek truth on many issues, and he isn't avoiding the "unspeakable" subject of abortion in Canada. Here he discusses with Andrea Mrozek of www.prowomanprolife.org, the recent letter by three MPs asking for an investigation by the RCMP into born-alive abortions.


http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/the-a-word/2135159895001


I was told several years ago by a nurse at the IWK that women who seek mid-term or late-term abortions consent to have labour induced, and the baby is born alive - then left to die without any measures taken to save its life. Women, who have received a diagnosis of a fetal anomaly, are given the choice to have induced labour at approximately 22-24 weeks, because this is the age at which most babies born prematurely do not survive. The nurse told me that most women do not wish to have the baby's heart injected in order to kill the baby in utero but prefer to give birth to the baby who will then pass away fairly quickly. This nurse said that these are indeed abortions, but the language is cloaked in empathy for the parents so that they will not feel guilty about the deaths of these premature babies.


This nurse advocated for "comfort care" for these tiny infants, so that they are blanketed and kept warm during the hours that they survive. I still have difficulty with the entire issue, and wish that someone in that hospital would have the guts to be a whistle-blower. If the public knew that these babies were being born and then left to die, it would certainly affect the fund-raising drive that is huge in this city every spring. Is it any wonder that the Salvation Army disassociated themselves from the children's hospital when this procedure was begun?



Seed, a new TV show airs tonight

An ill-equipped bachelor discovers his foray into sperm donation has resulted in many offspring and finds himself entangled in the lives of his new-found children and their less-than-thrilled families.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed_(TV_series)


I heard about this on the radio this morning, the first episode airs tonight.  I hope it bombs. But somehow I think this is just the beginning of a long line of bad humour made at the expense of real people.


We don't seem to apply any standards to what we will watch if it is labeled humorous. And now children will be the butt of the joke.


As the interviewer spoke with the director Mark Farrell on Talk Radio this am, not once was the issue ever raised of how do the kids feel. The world of sperm donation, fatherless pregnancies, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood - never is the child considered as having any say in this reality.


Does anyone really want to be the product of anonymous sperm with the egg of a woman who just has to have a baby? What kind of world will this be with thousands of such children trying to find out who they are, not just in a biological sense, but in a real existential sense? All of us have to deal with our relationship with our parents as we grow and mature; how are these kids going to deal with this twisted relationship?


Is there any limit to how low we will lower the bar when it comes to sexual relationships? There doesn't seem to be any safe ground from the expanding world of reproductive rights. Once you don't give rights to the child in the womb, there is no stopping what people will do to those little people.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What Abortionists have to say

There is no difference between a first trimester abortion and a second trimester abortion or a third trimester abortion or infanticide. It's all the same human being in different stages of development. I finally got to the point where I could not look at those little bodies anymore. There is no doubt in my mind that I would ever perform an abortion ever again. We have gone into a noble profession for healing and we lose sight of what we were called to do when we get into the killing business.