Filed under: Medical/Bioethical Issues
This post from one of my favorite bloggers, Kelly Clark, is just so startling that I am putting it up for you to read. The video link at the end of her post is really short and worth watching.
Former President Bill Clinton on embryos and I am not making this up!
I tried to embed the Larry King Live interview after being alerted by alert watcher Deborah but couldn’t. She writes:
Clinton spoke about embryos not being fertilized and said that if embryos were ever on their way to be fertilized, they shouldn’t be used for experimentation. He said this one way or another about 3 or 4 times and then ended by saying it unequivocally.
I couldn’t believe my ears! Surely, I thought, Dr. Gupta – a medical doctor, isn’t he? – is going to nicely point out that an embryo is an embryo because it has been fertilized, that it is a genetically complete fully fertilized egg. Gupta said nothing.
Can it be that Bill Clinton and Dr. Gupta don’t really know what an embryo is?
I hope someone in the pro-life movement will use the clip of Clinton saying fertilized embryos should not be used for experimentation!
Anyway, you’ve GOT to watch this: Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviews Bill Clinton on embryonic stem cell research
On December 12, 2008 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published its instruction on certain bioethical questions, entitled Dignitas Personae. Throughout the document there are wonderful quotes about Christ’s identification with humanity and unborn children. Here are three examples.
“In the face of this manipulation of the human being in his or her embryonic state, it needs to be repeated that God’s love does not differentiate between the newly conceived infant still in his or her mother’s womb and the child or young person, or the adult and the elderly person. God does not distinguish between them because he sees an impression of his own image and likeness (Gen 1:26) in each one…“
“In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Son of God confirmed the dignity of the body and soul which constitute the human being. Christ did not disdain human bodiliness, but instead fully disclosed its meaning and value: ‘In reality, it is only in the mystery of the incarnate Word that the mystery of man truly becomes clear’”
“At every stage of his existence, man, created in the image and likeness of God, reflects the face of his Only-begotten Son… This boundless and almost incomprehensible love of God for the human being reveals the degree to which the human person deserves to be loved in himself, independently of any other consideration – intelligence, beauty, health, youth, integrity, and so forth. In short, human life is always a good, for it ‘is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory’ (Evangelium vitae, 34).”
Dignitas Personae was published to give the Catholic Church’s teaching concerning the new technologies that relate to the unborn in our very confused Brave New World. Click here to read the document.
Here are some of the topics discussed at some length in the text:
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
The freezing of oocytes
The reduction of embryos
New forms of interception and contragestation (abortive birth control)
The therapeutic use of stem cells
Attempts at hybridization (the admixture of human and animal genetic elements)
The use of human “biological material” of illicit origin
To read a one page synopsis from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops click here. This synopsis gives a brief overview of the topics listed below.
Ethical fertility treatments
Pre-implantation drugs and devices.
Genetic enhancement/designer babies.
Human/animal hybrid embryos
Considers the challenge faced by researchers and families arising from the proposed use of unethically obtained cells and tissues.
In tomorrow’s post we will have two beautiful quotes about pre-born Jesus from Deacon Keith Fournier of Catholic Online that touch on this new document.
Maddie with her four brothers, all of whom have Down syndrome. Left to right: Jonny, Danial, Justin, Jesse
In our last post we talked about a new bill (The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act) which will be going to the Senate for a vote in the near future.
This bill tries to address the lack of support for woman who are given a serious prenatal diagnosis. As a result of this lack of support a large percentage of woman when told that their unborn child will have a serious health or disability issue are choosing to abort these children.
Coincidentally, a new and important book just published on this subject is now available. The name of the book is:
It was written by veteran author Madeline Pecora Nugent. For more information on this book you can view our previous post or visit the book’s website. The website not only talks about the book and how to order it but also has other resources for anyone who wants to know more about this topic. I believe that this book will not only be a great comfort to women who have been given a serious prenatal diagnosis but will be helpful to all pro-lifers especially those who help woman in pregnancy crisis centers.
To order this book click here:
Two interesting pieces of pro-life news really highlight how the next generation is advancing the pro-life cause.
A few years ago a Harvard student, Brian Skotko, did research about the lack of support that woman who were given a diagnosis for Down’s Syndrome received from their doctors. Student’s study fosters bipartisan legislation.He found that most woman had been given very little information and none of it positive from their doctor after being prenatally diagnosed with a Down’s Syndrome baby. It is no wonder that 90% of these children are now aborted. Mothers: Doctors Too Negative When Diagnosing Down Syndrome.
This study was so convincing that Senator Sam Brownback introduced the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act into the Senate on 7/18/2007. Just last week,the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved the Pre-natally and Post-natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act on a unanimous vote. The bill now moves to full Senate consideration- For more information click here.
The proposed legislation would require that families who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition, prenatally or up until a year after birth, be given up-to-date information about the nature of the condition and connection with support services and networks that could offer assistance. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is a co-sponsor.
The second story is about the pro-life students at UCLA and the unique ways they have of unmasking Planned Parenthood. Last year a UCLA student Lila Rose posed as a pregnant 15 year-old and entered a Santa Monica Planned Parenthood. She told them that the father of the child was a 23 year old. Instead of reporting the incident to the proper authorities, “The abortion facility staff encouraged her to “figure out a birth-date that works,” to obtain the abortion and avoid getting the man in trouble with the police.”
These great UCLA students have a new expose of the abortion industry which is making headlines around the country. Here is a description of their latest venture (from Kelly Clark): They arranged for an actor to call Planned Parenthood “development centers” in seven states and pretend to be a donor asking that his donation go specifically to aborting black babies to reduce the black population.
Sure enough, the Planned Parenthood staffers didn’t bat an eye at the caller’s sickening, overt racism; they were happy to process his donation. One PP staffer in Idaho even called a racist statement “understandable.”
This all makes perfect sense to anyone who knows that Planned Parenthood plants most of its abortion chambers in minority neighborhoods. PP thinks the way to get rid of poverty is to get rid of poor babies. They aborted more than 264,000 babies in their most recent reported year.
For more information read the following – Student Magazine Says Planned Parenthood Probe Finds Abortion Racism.
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Medical/Bioethical Issues
Pharaoh’s Daughter Finds Baby Moses. Nicolas Poussin 1638
“In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. “They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live” (Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: ‘the midwives feared God’. ” #73 Evangelium Vitae
Pro-life professionals are increasingly being put in positions similar to these Hebrew midwives. Many are taking courageous and principled stands for life.
In the past year one doctor in England was censured for persuading women not to have abortions. There is a chance that Dr. Tammie Downes may be forced out of her profession because she saved the lives of these children.
Doctor’s are not only fighting abortion but they are also having to resist groups that are trying to force them to refer women to have abortions.
In an article on the Physicians for Life website we see that this is an ongoing fight.
Many courageous pharmacists are also resisting and working to ensure their right of conscience when it comes to dispensing the Morning After Pill and birth control.
Catholic Hospitals are increasingly being forced to administer Plan B – one Bishop in Colorado has taken a courageous stand against this:
These courageous pro-life professionals are continuing the tradition of the midwives in the Old Testament – they are resisting the pressure of those in authority because they fear God and love the life that He has created.
Filed under: Medical/Bioethical Issues
Two days ago we had a post on Blessed Herman, a saintly man who overcame severe physical limitations to accomplish great things. Today, approximately 90% of children who are diagnosed prenatally with disabilities are aborted.
Madeline Nugent has written a book called My Child, My Gift: A Positive Response to Serious Prenatal Diagnosis. It will be published in 2008 by New City Press. This book was written to support women who have or have had a diagnosis for a child who has a disability. Click here to find out more about this book.
Her website also has a DISCUSSION FORUM . This is an interactive forum where you may dialog with others who have experienced or who are experiencing serious prenatal diagnosis.
Here is why Madeline wrote the book:
‘Because Joseph was diagnosed in utero with anencephaly, My Child, My Gift was written. Joseph was born on his due date and lived four days of love in his parents’ arms.’
Joseph is the grandson of JoAnn McOsker, founder of Catholics for Life. When her daughter Maria went for her prenatal ultrasound, doctors diagnosed that Joseph had anencephaly. They gave Maria a book on “deciding what to do.” All but about three of the 119 pages in this book were about terminating a pregnancy.
She told her mother JoAnn that she could not even read the book. JoAnn, knowing that Madeline Nugent was an author, phoned her and asked her to write a book to tell women how to bring their children to birth in the face of an adverse diagnosis. That book is My Child, My Gift: A Positive Response to Serious Prenatal Diagnosis.
This looks to be a great and helpful book that offers guidance and help to women through these nine months and beyond.
A few days ago we had a post entitled Pro-life Doctors – Heroes of Our Modern Age. We would like to highlight one such doctor, Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers. Dr. Hilgers founded and runs the Pope Paul VI Institute An Institute which in its own words is dedicated to building a Culture of Life.
For years I have heard about Dr. Hilgers in relation to his work with Natural Family Planning but what I didn’t realize is that his institute is dedicated to confronting many of the challenges to do with fertility including developing moral options to treat woman who are infertile. What brought my attention to Dr. Hilgers was a friend who told me her daughter-in-law, who is now pregnant with her third child, would never have been able to have children if it weren’t for the Pope Paul VI Institute.
Below the institute describes how it tries to build a Culture of Life:
“By confronting the contraceptive mentality, which is the gateway to abortion.
By confronting artificial reproductive technologies that suppress, distort, and alter women’s fertility; that negatively impact marriages and families; and that lead to the “new abortion.”
By confronting moral erosion.
By confronting Planned Parenthood’s agenda.”
Here are a few links that explain Dr. Hilgers work:
Norman Rockwell “Doctor and Boy Looking at Thermometer,” 1954
Our last post was on the Hippocratic oath and some modern day “imposter oaths” which are hypocritical. Today let’s focus on the most honorable doctors – Pro-Life doctors who maintain the moral consistency of: cherishing life, serving life and protecting/saving life. This triple test of medical morality is, in the sometimes swirling events of life, a difficult challenge which perhaps every doctor will find at times troublesome or confusing. The times of triage can be moral and emotional as well as medical. Pro-life doctors take the above triple test and add one more key element to it: promoting life!
Pro-Life doctors dedicate themselves to worthy principles and struggle for perfection, not only in their professional lives but also in their personal lives: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48) That is why the rest of us everyday pro-lifers have such admiration for them and for all health care professionals who take their commitment to human life so profoundly.
In February 2007 Pope Benedict XVI gave an important address to the Pontifical Academy for Life about the importance of conscience. He called the “right to life” not only the “first fundamental right of all human rights”, but he also pointed out that “the future of humanity” depends upon us guaranteeing this right. Here are a few striking quotes from Benedict’s address:
When the value of human life is at stake, this harmony between the magisterial function and the committed laity becomes singularly important: life is the first good received from God and is fundamental to all others; to guarantee the right to life for all and in an equal manner for all is the duty upon which the future of humanity depends.
Therefore, I ask the Lord to send among you, dear brothers and sisters, and among those dedicated to science, medicine, law and politics, witnesses endowed with true and upright consciences in order to defend and promote the “splendour of the truth” and to sustain the gift and mystery of life.
I trust in your help dearest professionals, philosophers, theologians, scientists and doctors. In a society at times chaotic and violent, with your cultural qualifications, by teaching and by example, you can contribute to awakening in many hearts the eloquent and clear voice of conscience.
Here are a few of the Pro-life Doctors Organizations around the world:
World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life
Doctors For Life International
Association of Pro-Life Physicians
Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Pro-Life Maternal-Fetal Medicine
British Section of the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life
Filed under: Medical/Bioethical Issues
Whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath written about 400 years before Christ by the “father of modern medicine” Hippocrates? Are the modern replacement oaths more hypocritical than Hippocratic? You be the judge.
Admittedly, translations of Greek from 2400 years ago can offer legitimate variances, but overall various translations seem quite uniform. Below is a standard translation of one of the key tenets of the original Hippocratic Oath followed by a modern version of the corresponding section in a new oath written by Louis Lasagna in 1964:
“I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion.”
“Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play God.”
It seems quite clear that Lasagna is radically departing from the Hippocratic tradition along the lines of “situation ethics” and relativism. Using the Hippocratic wording as our starting point and relying upon the misguided spirit of Lasagna, below is a new Hypocritical Oath for those doctors devoted to ethical hypocrisy:
“I will give no deadly medicine to anyone unless asked by that person, or a relative, legal guardian or state authority. I am free of course to exercise my freedom of speech and may counsel the use of deadly medicines whenever I think it is a good idea. Furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion unless she asks, in which case, I will happily do so or give her a referral to an expert abortionist.”
God save us from the hypocrisy of modern medicine which views an unborn baby as a patient if the mother so directs or as a parasite if that is her “choice”.
Pope Benedict XVI at Auschwitz concentration camp, May 28, 2006
In September 2006, Pope Benedict addressed a conference entitled “Stem cells: what future for therapy?” While Pope Benedict praised and encouraged adult stem cell research – he strongly denounced embryonic stem cell research. Here are a few quotes from his address:
“History itself has condemned such a science in the past and will condemn it in the future, not only because it lacks the light of God but also because it lacks humanity.
I would like to repeat here what I already wrote some time ago: Here there is a problem that we cannot get around; no one can dispose of human life. An insurmountable limit to our possibilities of doing and of experimenting must be established. The human being is not a disposable object, but every single individual represents God’s presence in the world (cf. J. Ratzinger, God and the World, Ignatius Press, 2002).”
“Progress becomes true progress only if it serves the human person and if the human person grows: not only in terms of his or her technical power, but also in his or her moral awareness” (cf. General Audience, 16 August 2006).