A Deadly First

With the permission of a Superior Court Justice, Ontario had its first euthanasia case this morning, when an 81 year old man suffering from end-stage lymphoma was murdered quietly by his physician, with the ‘patient’s’ family surrounding his entrance into a dubious eternity (the patient’s lawyers name, ironically enough, was Andrew Faith).  There will be no need for a coroner, apparently, since the patient officially died of his disease.  So begins the totalitarian double-speak, and the perversion of the law even before euthanasia has become the law.

It is curious that they are keeping both the man and his doctor anonymous, a sign either of something very good or every evil.  ‘Let not your right hand know what your left is doing’, said the Lord in reference to almsgiving.  One need not ponder much that this is unlikely the case here.  Rather, the secrecy is one of deep evil.  At some level of their being, methinks, they knew what they were about, that they were involved in the deadly compromise, literally the ‘mutual promise’, of murder-suicide.  If not, then why not proclaim their just and noble deed to the world, as a prominent heart surgeon might in saving someone’s life?  No, the darkness and clouds are necessary to hide what really happened:  Our healers have now become harbingers of death.

The same, of course, has gone on for long time concerning abortion, the murder of the unborn in the womb.  No physician wants to be known as the ‘abortionist’, and in British Columbia, at least, they are referred to professionally only by code names.  Even if they do not recognize the full extent of the moral depravity of their ‘profession’, they consider it unpleasant and, well, awkward to discuss.  Like the dust and mites and lost quarters, keep it all under the carpet or couch.

I am reading a fascinating treatise by the great Thomist philosopher Joseph Pieper, on the ‘Concept of Sin’.  He examines what motivates the heart of a man who turns away from God.  Is such an aversio a Deo, as Saint Thomas put it, fully cognizant to the agent?  Do people in so-called ‘mortal sin’ sleep well at night?  Does their (our?) conscience plague them, gnaw away, rebuke and exhort them?

The greatest literary treatment of the effect of conscience is perhaps Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.  The protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov, after brutally murdering two women, spends most of the book dialoguing with his own guilt, until he has to face the enormity of his crime head on.  Only the light of truth can bring repentance.

We can only hope that a conversion dawns upon our own country, and all who dwell herein, especially those who suffer at the end of their lives, who may be tempted to give up and accept that lethal syringe, insofar as we still have the choice, for now.

But tomorrow is the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the great protector of the Holy Family and the patron of Canada.  May he in his quiet and noble strength intercede for all of us, and for all of your intentions.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, ora pro nobis.