Abortion And Euthanasia Essay, Research Paper
THE RECENT EXTRAORDINARY CONSISTORY OF CARDINALS, held April 4-7 in the Vatican, included a broad and detailed discussion on the threat to human life, and concluded with a unanimous vote: the cardinals asked the pope to “solemnly reaffirm in a document (the majority of cardinals proposed an encyclical) the value of human life and its inviolability in the light of present circumstances and the attacks which threaten it today.” (lines 1-5)In a letter to the Bishops of the World, written on June 21, 1991 by Pope John Paul II, the stand of the Catholic Church on abortion and euthanasia is reaffirmed. The letter starts out by talking about the many attacks against human life and how statistics show a veritable slaughter of innocents, (line 9) all over the world. People seem to be having a hard time seeing the fine line between what is morally wrong and right when it comes to the value of a human life and the government does not seem to be making it any easier. When legislative bodies enact laws that authorize putting innocent people to death and states allow their resources and structures to be used for these crimes, individual consciences, often poorly formed, are all the more easily led into error. (lines 16-18) Pope John Paul then goes on to compare the Church s fight against abortion and euthanasia to their fight to help the working classes about a century ago. The Church feels in duty bound to speak out with the same courage on behalf of those who have no voice. Hers is always the evangelical cry in defense of the world’s poor, those who are threatened and despised and whose human rights are violated. (lines 25-28) He says that even at the price of going against the trend, the Church must protect the fundamental right of every human being to life from the moment of conception until life s natural end. A true democracy can only be established on the basis of a consistent recognition of the rights of each individual. He then tells all the bishops that they must pay special attention to these matters and support projects that offer practical help to people and to assist the suffering and dying. They must also encourage any scientific, legislative, or political ideas that would reduce the popular death mentality. Through the coordinated action of all the bishops and the renewed pastoral commitment which will result, the Church intends to contribute, through the civilization of truth and love, to an ever fuller and more radical establishment of that “culture of life” which constitutes the essential prerequisite for the humanization of our society. (lines 55-58)
I have somewhat mixed feelings on the topics of abortion and euthanasia. If the question had been put to me two years ago, I would have said without a hesitation that abortions is wrong. Now I would have to say, despite what anyone else says, that abortion is neither right nor wrong. It is a matter of personal opinion. But because it is matter of opinion, it is very easy for both pro-lifers and pro-choicers to say with certainty that the other is wrong. I had a discussion once with my cousin about abortion and she said that she supports it. My mother asked, How can you support it? If you had had one you wouldn t have your wonderful kids. (My cousin, 20, has three children between the ages of five and 10 months) She responded that she would have had them. It just would have been later when I was better prepared to care for them and all our lives would have been a whole lot easier. And maybe they would have had a better man for a father. Even though I love my children more than anyone, I regret that I didn t have an abortion when I had the chance. I never should have been afraid of what others would think of me if I had. To me, this makes a lot of sense. Earlier in my life I never would have thought of abortion as an option but now that I think about it, if I were to become pregnant by any means right now I m sure that I would have a much harder time making the choice. On the point of euthanasia, I feel that anyone who is terminally ill should have the choice whether to live or die. In my view, since I am an extremely independent person, one of the worst things that could happen to me would to be completely dependent on other people or machines. I feel somewhat evil thinking this because the rest of my family and the Church are vehemently against euthanasia. Their general approach is that where there is life, there is hope. Even for a person who has twenty tubes stuck in them, feeding them, breathing for them, there is still life. But what kind of life is that? All my life I have been told that there are exceptions to every rule and in matters as important as these I feel there should be.