Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"The Giver" Movie: Abortion, Euthanasia, and the precision of language

In the movie, The Giver, one of the community rules is precision of language.  But surprisingly, the community's description of abortion of infants and euthanasia of the old are imprecise: release to elsewhere--outside the borders of the community.  There is even a ritual involved.  First, all your life will flash before you in the computer screens as recorded by drone cameras, just like in the song "Footprints in the Sand" or in Facebook's lookback video.  Then the doctor injects the poison on the shoulder of the person to be released to elsewhere, and the person dies.

In this article, we shall discuss abortion and euthanasia, and how these are couched in the imprecise language of  "choice".

A. Abortion

Today, some people call abortion as "pro-choice", making the termination of pregnancy depend upon the choice of a woman who bears the child, like the Emperor who decides the life of a fallen gladiator with a thumbs up (live) or thumbs down (die).

In the movie you will see Jonas' father routinely kills an infant that is not viable, by injecting something on the infants head.  He then puts the infant in a shoe box and drops the box in a small hole, releasing the infant to Elsewhere or Hades, the land of the dead.  This is actually what is happening today in abortion mills of Planned Parenthood in the US and around the world in one form or another.  In 2003, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was promulgated which defines the partial-birth abortion as follows:
An abortion in which the person performing the abortion, deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus. (18 U.S. Code 1531)
One method is the Intact Dilation-Extraction method:
Under the Intact D&X method, the largest part of the fetus (the head) is reduced in diameter to allow vaginal passage. According to the American Medical Association, this procedure has four main elements.[3] Usually, preliminary procedures are performed over a period of two to three days, to gradually dilate the cervix using laminaria tents (sticks of seaweed which absorb fluid and swell). Sometimes drugs such as pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, are used to induce labor. Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the doctor uses an ultrasound and forceps to grasp the fetus's leg. The fetus is turned to a breech position, if necessary, and the doctor pulls one or both legs out of the cervix, which some refer to as "partial birth" of the fetus. The doctor subsequently extracts the rest of the fetus, leaving only the head still inside the uterus. An incision is made at the base of the skull, a blunt dissector (such as a Kelly clamp) is inserted into the incision and opened to widen the opening,[4] and then a suction catheter is inserted into the opening. The brain is suctioned out, which causes the skull to collapse and allows the fetus to pass more easily through the cervix. The placenta is removed and the uterine wall is vacuum aspirated using a cannula.[5] 
Gruesome and barbaric.  That is why other abortionists resort to other means, such as "concentrated salt solution is injected directly into the fetal heart using ultrasound to guide the needle."

Indeed, without babies to carry the traditions of Western Civilization, as Aeneas carried his father Anchises, the West would die a slow death.  As Faramir told Frodo and Sam:
"What hope have we?... It is long since we had any hope.  The word of Elendil, if it returns indeed, may rekindle it, but I do not think that it will do more than put off the evil day, unless other help unlooked-for comes, from Elves or Men.  For the Enemy increases and we decrease.  We are a failing people, a springless autumn....
Death was ever present, because the Numenoreans still, as they had in their old kingdom, and so lost it, hungered after endless life unchanging.  Kings made tombs more splendid than houses of the living, and counted old names in the rolls of their descent dearer than the names of sons.  Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars.  And the last king of the line of Anarion had no heir. (The Window on the West, Lord of the Rings, pp. 677-678)
B. Euthanasia

Today, some people also call euthanasia as "death with dignity".  In 1994, the Death with Dignity Act was passed in Oregon:
Under the law, a competent adult Oregon resident who has been diagnosed, by a physician, with a terminal illness that will kill the patient within six months may request in writing, from his or her physician, a prescription for a lethal dose of medication for the purpose of ending the patient's life. Exercise of the option under this law is voluntary and the patient must initiate the request. Any physician, pharmacist or healthcare provider who has moral objections may refuse to participate. The request must be confirmed by two witnesses, at least one of whom is not related to the patient, is not entitled to any portion of the patient's estate, is not the patient's physician, and is not employed by a health care facility caring for the patient. After the request is made, another physician must examine the patient's medical records and confirm the diagnosis. The patient must be determined to be free of a mental condition impairing judgment. If the request is authorized, the patient must wait at least fifteen days and make a second oral request before the prescription may be written. The patient has a right to rescind the request at any time. Should either physician have concerns about the patient's ability to make an informed decision, or feel the patient's request may be motivated by depression or coercion, the patient must be referred for a psychological evaluation. The law protects doctors from liability for providing a lethal prescription for a terminally ill, competent adult in compliance with the statute's restrictions. Participation by physicians, pharmacists, and health care providers is voluntary. The law also specifies a patient's decision to end his or her life shall not "have an effect upon a life, health, or accident insurance or annuity policy."
Instead of allowing death to come naturally in its own time, the Death with Dignity Act makes death a choice that one can make like the Numenorian kings such as Aragorn.  As Aragorn said to Arwen:
"Lady Undomiel,... the hour is indeed hard, yet it was made even in that day when we met under the white birches in the garden of Elrond where none now walk.  And on the hill of Cerin Amroth when we forsook both the Shadow and the Twilight this doom we accepted.  Take counsel with yourself, beloved, and ask whether you would indeed have me wait until I wither and fall from my high seat unmannede and witless.  Nay, lady, I am the last of the Numenoreans and the latest King of the Elder Days; and to me has been given not only a span thrice that of Men of Middle-earth, but als the grace to go at my will, and give back the gift.  Now, therefore, I will sleep.... let us not be overthrown at the final test, who of old renounced the Shadow and the Ring.  In sorrow we must go, but not in despair.  Behold!  we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.  Farewell!" (Appendix A, Lord of the Rings, p. 1062).
But Aragorn is a figure of Christ who lays his own life by his choice:
Before the feast of Passover,* Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end....
"My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.s 34 I give you a new commandment:* love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.t 35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:33-35)
For ordinary mortals like us, the choice to decide the time of our death is not ours.  As Gandalf said to Denethor:
"Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death... And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death." (The Pyre of Denethor, Lord of the Rings, p. 853)


The Giver
The Giver
Messenger
Messenger
Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act Of 2003
Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act Of 2003
Almost Born: The Shocking Truth About Partial-Birth Abortion
Almost Born: The Shocking Truth About Partial-Birth Abortion
Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, Volume II: From 1600
Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, Volume II: From 1600
 Death with Dignity: The Case for Legalizing Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia
Death with Dignity: The Case for Legalizing Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia
Five Non Negotiables-The Catholic Church's Teaching on Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Human Cloning, and Same-Sex 'Marriage'
Five Non Negotiables-The Catholic Church's Teaching on Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Human Cloning, and Same-Sex 'Marriage'
Lord of the Rings Arwen Evenstar Charming Necklace Pendant LOTR Aragorn
Lord of the Rings Arwen Evenstar Charming Necklace Pendant LOTR Aragorn
The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All (Popular Culture and Philosophy)