Tuesday 18 November 2008

Not obeying unjust laws and policies is an essential part of pro-life witness

I am very concerned that the government has appointed Dame Joan Bakewell to represent elderly people. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph on Monday, Dame Joan backed Lord Joffe's bill to allow assisted suicide and made several other pro-euthanasia statements, endorsing so-called living wills and confusing ordinary with extraordinary treatment. Dame Joan said: "I have a living will so that I'm not kept alive if I'm a vegetable because no doctor wants to pull the plug."

Dame Joan needs to dust off her human biology school textbook. Human beings can't become vegetables. Considering that many elderly people are or will become mentally incapacitated, what sort of representative for the elderly insults them by caling them vegetables?

Martin Beckford, who interviewed Dame Joan, made matters worse by partly misleading readers, claiming that: "There are now more pensioners than children in the country thanks to rising life expectancy linked to healthier lifestyles and better health care"

In fact, there are more pensioners than children in Britain partly, and perhaps mainly, because of four decades of contraception, sterilisation and abortion (as well an ever-rising average age of marriage, itself linked with anti-child culture).

In an equally disturbing development, Gordon Brown, the prime minister, has said he may push on with presumed consent for organ donation, despite a government-commissioned report which advised against it. Why am I not surprised that Dr Evan Harris MP, Britain's leading campaigner for euthanasia, is also Britain's leading campaigner for presumed consent? Last night Dr Harris claimed that there is "no evidence" of doctors falsely confirming death in order to remove organs before death. Perhaps Dr Harris is unaware of just such a case in Colorado, United States, earlier this year.

The ideology of Dame Joan, Mr Brown and Evan Harris treats human beings as mere machines, to be scrapped and requisitioned for parts once they cease to function according to the state's subjective desires. It is an universally accepted belief that the primary duty of governments is to defend the lives of its citizens. How can the sick, the elderly and the disabled trust a government which thinks some of them are better off dead?

The elderly should certainly have more confidence in the likes of the Italian nuns refusing to kill Eluana Englaro, choosing not to obey a court order to remove her tube-delivered food and fluids. The nuns have been caring for Eluana (pictured) for 14 years, following a car accident which left in a state of diminished consciousness. One has no duty to obey - indeed, a duty not to obey - any instruction ordering one intentionally to kill, or be complicit in killing, an innocent human being. Such a refusal is not arbitrary disobedience to the law, but obligatory non-obedience to an unjust and therefore invalid law.