Friday, November 21, 2014

Pope Francis on false compassion: abortion, euthanasia, and in vitro fertilization

In his meeting with the members of the Association of Italian Catholic Medical Doctors, Pope Francis denounced the "false compassion":
"The dominant thinking sometimes suggests a false compassion, that which believes it is helpful to women to promote abortion; an act of dignity to provide euthanasia; a scientific breakthrough to produce a child and consider it to be a right, rather than a gift to welcome; or to use human lives as guinea pigs, presumably to save others...We are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment. Making children rather than accepting them as a gift, as I said. Playing with life. Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the creator, who created things this way." 
 So let us look at how the secular world used the world "compassion" as denounced by Pope Francis:
  • ABORTION. In the Facebook page of the abortion advocacy group WGNRR, we read: "...skilled 'mainstream' doctors offered safe, compassionate abortion care before Roe. They did so with little to gain and much to lose, facing fines, imprisonment, and loss of medical license. They did so because the beliefs that mattered most to them compelled them to. They saw women die from self-induced abortions and abortions performed by unskilled providers. They understood safe abortion to be lifesaving. They believed their abortion provision honored “the dignity of humanity” and was the right — even righteous — thing to do. They performed abortions 'for reasons of conscience.'  The Reproductive Health Law also says: "(j) While this Act recognizes that abortion is illegal and punishable by law, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortive complications and all other complications arising from pregnancy, labor and delivery and related issues shall be treated and counseled in a humane, nonjudgmental and compassionate manner in accordance with law and medical ethics;"
  • CONTRACEPTION. Because giving contraceptives is a sign of compassion, here's what the SOGC decided to do: "The Compassionate Contraceptive Assistance Program (CCAP) is a program administered by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC). The program provides contraception to women who could not otherwise afford it. Selected contraceptives can be obtained at no cost for patients whose financial situation becomes a barrier to obtaining contraceptives. Licensed Canadian physicians can create an account with the CCAP. Once they have done so, they will be able to order from a list of available contraceptives on behalf of their patient. This program could not be made possible without the generous donations of partners."
  • EUTHANASIA.  Van Zyl wrote a book entitled, "Death and Compassion: a Virtue-Based Approach to Euthanasia".  The reviewer R. Huxtable wrote: "In line with the expanded (patient-directed) conceptions of “harm” and “benefit”, the goal of medicine is conceived in terms of promoting patient welfare. Applying her thesis to euthanasia, Van Zyl contends that where this goal cannot be achieved, and where continued life might even be harmful, euthanasia might be permissible, in either an active or a passive sense. Euthanasia, as a last resort, can therefore be justifiable as a compassionate, benevolent, and respectful response to a patient’s suffering. Although Van Zyl draws some tentative conclusions as to situations of justifiable euthanasia, she also accepts that there will be numerous cases that are not so amenable to resolution; in these the process of interaction between physicians, patients and patients’ families might be more important than the actual decision reached."
  • SEMEN FREEZINGSemen Freezing Discount Program. "MLF offers a discounted fertility preservation program, which includes sperm cryopreservation and storage for males who have been recently diagnosed with an illness where drug and treatment or surgery would result in possible infertility. Our center has a partnership with CHOP – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – to expeditiously accommodate young men diagnosed with cancer. We are aware of the urgency and importance of this service, and our staff will treat you with compassion and sensitivity."
  • IN VITRO FERTILIZATION.  The following discussion by Tollefsen in his book, Bioethics in Liberty and Justice: Themes in the Work of Joseph M. Boyle, may be a breath of fresh air: "Not every embryo is benefitted by being implanted, born, and reared by a loving couple; for, this procedure does not typically implant every embryo.  "Spare" embryos are given, by their parents, to researchers to be experimented upon; others are put into the legal limbo of being frozen for possible later implantation; others are killed before implantation; and others are implanted only to be selectively aborted as unwanted.  Being conceived through in vitro fertilization thus dramatically increases the likelihood of being harmed--or, even killed--before being born.  For these reasons, in vitro fertilization is not an act of compassion for most of the embryos involved."
The Church of Mercy
The Church of Mercy
The Angel of Ashland: Practicing Compassion and Tempting Fate
The Angel of Ashland: Practicing Compassion and Tempting Fate
In Vitro Fertilization: The A.R.T. of Making Babies (Assisted Reproductive Technology)
In Vitro Fertilization: The A.R.T. of Making Babies (Assisted Reproductive Technology)