The Ethical Crisis in our Parliaments
The Ethical Crisis in our Parliaments
“Recent atrocious laws about abortion and embryonic stem cell research only passed by one or two votes. Will the same happen with euthanasia, assisted suicide and cloning? Why wouldn’t it? If we do not encourage people with strong Christian values about life, marriage and family to enter parliament, nothing will change.
The church cannot be involved in politics but it can encourage Catholics and other Christian people to enter parliament, bringing with them their own personal convictions formed by the church upbringing. Is anyone listening? I sincerely hope so.”
Archbishop Barry Hickey 8 Nov 2009 reported in The Record 25 Nov 2009.
We can be very grateful that a prominent church leader makes this call to be directly involved in political action through entering politics.
How can it be that just over one year ago one of our parliaments, in the name of freedom of choice, trampled on the medical profession’s freedom of choice and liberty of conscience not to be involved in something they might consider evil? The Victorian State parliament in allowing abortion for any reason at any stage of pregnancy – right through to term – overruled doctor’s freedom of choice and liberty of conscience not to be involved in this process. (see box)
MUST SEE VIDEO
The issues regarding the Victorian Abortion law were well explored at the Conscience Laws and Healthcare Conference held in Melbourne July 25, 2009. For proceedings of this see http://www.vimeo.com/7809169 including a powerful video of Dr Lachlan Dunjey’s presentation.
For written speech see
How can it be that in November 2009 the euthanasia bill was defeated in the South Australian Legislative Council by only two votes (11 votes to 9). What is really scary is that this bill had significant flaws and yet was defeated by such a narrow margin.
Please consider: the Victorian battle re exclusion of conscience was lost despite strong representation by the medical profession and an appeal based on the Victorian Charter of Rights. Ironically the law was passed by MPs exercising a conscience vote! There were many other arguments made against the legislation which allows brutal methods of terminating the baby’s life through to term without any anaesthetic given to the baby. That these arguments should been over-ruled demonstrates the single-mindedness and power of the pro-abortion lobby and the failure of MPs to consider and allow rational argument. It is sobering to consider the part that Emily’s List has played in this “historic moment for the recognition of women’s rights…” Their website boasts that of 152 Labor women in parliaments 113 are Emily’s List members.
Warning: detail is disturbing.
We would never allow the brutality to animals that we permit in the name of choice to unborn babies. Our animal activist friends get really upset when they see a dolphin or whale foetus cut from its mother and rightly so. Yet these are frequently intact and have not been shredded or pulled apart. How can it be that our society is so schizoid that we get upset about dolphin slaughter yet rabidly defend our right to kill our unborn babies? How can this be? The partial birth abortion procedure entails delivering the baby as a breech and then before the head is delivered pushing a sucker into the base of the skull through the upper neck and sucking out the brain so the skull can collapse and delivery take place through an incompletely dilated cervix. No anaesthetic is given to the baby.
Some babies are born alive then allowed to die because they should have been born dead. Some like Gianna Jessen are born alive and refuse to die and are eventually rescued. Gianna’s story is inspirational – just google her and then also add the word Colorado to find a great story.
Please consider: it has been shown there is no safe way of introducing a law allowing euthanasia that won’t result in risking the lives of others not wishing to be killed. Five government-sponsored inquiries in England, Canada, USA and Australia into the consequences of legalising euthanasia have been published and all reached the same conclusion that such law would always be unsafe (see box). This information was given to each of the South Australian MPs and yet the bill was only defeated by 2 votes. Other cogent arguments were presented and were brushed aside. How can it be that MPs can be presented with such information and yet still push for legalisation?
Why a law permitting euthanasia can never be introduced that won’t result in a slippery slope.
Dr Brian Pollard of NSW writes:
The reports of five government-sponsored inquiries in England, Canada, USA and Australia into the consequences of legalising euthanasia have been published, where oral and written evidence had been taken from a wide range of community and professional sources. While debates on euthanasia seldom achieve anything approaching a conclusion, all these inquiries reached the same conclusion. This was that such law would always be unsafe, because it could never be made free of the possibility that the lives of some others who did not wish to die would be endangered. In other words, the promise of control is an illusion. More astonishing still, this was decided unanimously by three of those committees, each of which included members, who in Tasmania were a majority, who supported the concept of euthanasia.
These inquiries and their published reports are:
U K Select Committee on Medical Ethics, House of Lords, January 1994. (Unanimous)
New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, titled Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in the Medical Context, May, 1994. (Unanimous)
Senate of Canada, June, 1995, titled Of Life and Death.
Community Development Committee, Parliament of Tasmania, titled The Need for Legislation on Voluntary Euthanasia, 1998. (Unanimous)
Social Development Committee, Parliament of South Australia, Report of the Inquiry into the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 1996, October 1999.
I want you to understand how serious these battles are for the future of medicine and for medical care in our society and for conscience and integrity in our world. The risk for medicine is that government demands will overrule conscience and integrity in medicine. But medical care must never be subject to degradation by governments in this age or any age to come. Liberty of conscience is also consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom… to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Imagine a society where integrity and conscience are slowly destroyed. The end results are terrifying.
Fortunately we know where the euthanasia lobby is heading as we have it from the primary protagonists. Ludwig Minelli head of Dignitas International claims that suicide and assisted suicide are human rights and then argues:
If the Right to Suicide is a Human Right… we must accept that, in order to make use of this right, there must be no legal requirements other than that the person has the mental capacity needed to decide to end his or her own life.
Assisted Suicide Backers Mislead the Public by Wesley J. Smith August 11, 2008, Life News.com
Dr Philip Nitschke also argues that anyone, even – get this – troubled teens, should have the right to kill themselves:
…all people qualify, not just those with the training, knowledge, or resources to find out how to “give away” their life. And someone needs to provide this knowledge, training, or recourse necessary to anyone who wants it, including the depressed, the elderly bereaved, the troubled teen.
National Review Online, 5 June 2001
He and others talk about “existential distress” – the stress of simply being alive with however one chooses to define that stress or unhappiness.
The challenge to conscience is also in a very real sense a challenge for our nation, our people. It has been said that requiring men to violate and disregard their conscience results in the loss of virtue and undermines the basis for self-government. Surely we realise it was ethical failure that has caused our global financial crisis. Do we expect an ethical conscience in our governments?
Why am I involved in all this? Why should it concern you? Why am I writing this?
- First of all to alert to the enormity of what is actually happening with the culture of death and like the men of Issachar “to understand the times” and know “what to do”
- Then to equip to think clearly about such issues; we need to have answers to challenges like “where is your compassion?”
- And what is our response when we realise the gravity of the situation, when we realise we have leaders in our country who fail to stand for what is right and who perhaps don’t even understand what is right – or will not. Our responses will be mixed – anger, bewilderment, fear, grief. Because we are created in the Image of God there must be an appropriate degree of grief – otherwise we do not understand. Remember – blessed are those who mourn.
- The challenge then is to waken God’s people and slowly overcome a similar inability to comprehend. I hear their acquiescence but I see in their eyes that they have not understood the inevitable consequences of the anti-family, anti-Christian, culture-of-death agendas that have found their way into political party policy and the reality of shifting boundaries. I am reminded of the protective denial of some of the German people when told what was happening in the concentration camps “no, no – that is not possible, we would never do that”.
So what must we do?
Yes, we need to change people’s hearts and minds by bringing them into the Kingdom of God.
Educating and informing the public is a slow and arduous task particularly when the wrong questions are asked in community surveys.
Members of Parliaments have an absolute obligation to be informed and consider issues in depth. But it is clear that many do not do this and probably have no inclination. I have experienced this when I have received replies to letters from Medicine With Morality which have said that the letters have been forwarded on to the appropriate minister – and this has been with issues requiring a conscience vote from the MP himself or herself. It is so clear that many MPs come into parliament with fixed ideas and are resistent to reason.
So, a hopeless task? Well maybe, but even if we can only change the minds of 1 or 2 that might be enough. Foster a relationship with a MP. Adopt an MP. Pray for them.
But if indeed it is hopeless to change the minds of existing MPs then we must throw them out – like we did in WA in the last state election. The preferences of the Christian Democratic Party in WA were instrumental in the last state election of 5 new Christian MPs favourable to a culture of life. So we need to know who to vote for and we need to know how to use the preferential voting system to the advantage of minor parties such as the CDP – i.e. if you put CDP  and your major party  you DO NOT LOSE YOUR VOTE for your major party (unless CDP wins!).
Enter politics. Become an MP. Remember what Archbishop Barry Hickey said.
Have a look at ManhattanDeclaration.org. This is a declaration upholding and defending a culture of life, the sanctity of marriage, liberty of conscience and freedom of speech. It is a momentous and historic document put together and signed by Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical leaders. It is a fighting document: we will not comply… nor will we bend… or refrain from proclaiming the truth…
What is the Culture of Death? See The Culture of Death – A Lament and a Resolution at www.chooselifeaustralia.org.au or write to me at Box 68 Morley 6943
Why is euthanasia wrong? See Nov 09 submission to the SA Parliament at www.medicinewithoutmorality.info or write to me at Box 68 Morley 6943.