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).
Filed under: Papal Quotes
She is a garden enclosed, my sister, my promised bride;
a garden enclosed, a sealed fountain. Song of Songs, 4:12
Here’s an interesting excerpt from Pope Benedict’s new book Jesus of Nazareth. We want to thank PhatCatholic for sending this to us. Following the excerpt I will make an observation.
“The mystery of God’s love is expressed with particular power in the Hebrew word rahamim. Etymologically, this word means “womb,” but it was later used to mean divine compassion for man, God’s mercy. The Old Testament constantly uses the names of organs of the human body to describe basic human attitudes or inner dispositions of God, just as today we use heart or brain when referring to some aspect of our own existence. In this way the Old Testament portrays the basic attitudes of our existence, not with abstract concepts, but in the image language of the body. The womb is the most concrete expression for the intimate interrelatedness of two lives and of loving concern for the dependent, helpless creature whose whole being, body and soul, nestles in the mother’s womb. The image language of the body furnishes us, then, with a deeper understanding of God’s dispositions toward man than any conceptual language could.”
We are shown here the connection between the power of Love and the mystery of Life, between the “womb-like” Heart of God and the “heart-like” womb of Mary (and every mother). In fact, part of the beauty of this intimacy which the Pope is mentioning is that the Heart should be understood as a Life-giving spiritual core of the human person while the womb should be understood as a nurturing sanctuary of embracing Love.
Of course, only the Woman has a womb. If we reflect on ‘the Woman’, that is, the noble woman who dedicates her brain to Truth, her heart to Love and her womb to Life, then ‘the Woman’ bears witness to a hidden spiritual triune mystery: Love-Life-Truth harmonized in her person.
Today is the Feast day of St. Augustine (354 – 430 A.D.), one of the greatest Fathers of the Church. In the following brief quote Augustine reflects on Christ “as servant” within the womb of His mother and at His birth as well.
We have then proved that the birth of the Son was the work of the Father; now let us prove that it was the work of the Son also. Now what is the birth of the Son of the Virgin Mary? Surely it is His assumption of the form of a servant in the Virgin’s womb. Is the birth of the Son ought else, but the taking of the form of a servant in the womb of the Virgin? Now hear how that this was the work of the Son also. “Who when He was in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant.” (Phil 2:6-7) “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman,” (Gal 4:4) who was “made His Son of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom 1:3) In this then we see that the birth of the Son was the work of the Father; but in that the Son Himself “emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant,” we see that the birth of the Son was the work also of the Son Himself.
St. Augustine Sermons (51-60) On Selected Lessons of the New Testament/Sermon 2, point 11
Filed under: Pro-life
Today, August 27, is the feastday of St. Monica. Besides being the mother of St. Augustine, St. Monica is best known for her persistence in prayer. Her unfailing prayer has been credited as the reason for St. Augustine’s conversion.
“St. Monica was born of a Christian family, in Tagaste in Africa in 331. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith in 370· He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life.
St. Augustine was much more difficult, as she had to pray for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest did console her by saying, “it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received strengthened her. St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in 387. St. Monica died later that same year, on the way back to Africa from Rome in the Italian town of Ostia.” From Catholic Online
Persistent and urgent prayer is the lesson of St. Monica’s life. We should look to her example as we pray for the unborn. We had a post in May entitled JPII Says Pray Like Crazy . Here is in part what John Paul II said about praying for a culture of life.
“…a great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.” Evangelium Vitae, 100
To be pregnant is not an easy thing. There is often much suffering for the mother in whom the new life is growing. But, there is also wondrous beauty attached to pregnancy and the pregnant mother becomes a reminder of the greatest good and the strongest hope known to humankind. She is a messenger in a sense. She is called expectant, a term which underscores the reward of patient endurance.
Well, Christians share in something like pregnancy in that they carry a Life within them other than their own – it is the Living God Who has humbled Himself to come into their hearts and dwell there. This Divine Life grows within them and they are called upon to share this Life, to manifest it, to express it, in a sense to give birth to it.
And as the pregnant mother feels the baby stirring within her body, so the Christian feels the Spirit of God stirring within. In a clever twist of imagery, St. Paul tells the Christians of Galatia “…I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!” (Gal. 4.19)
It is simple to see why God has provided us with the pregnant Mother of the Lord as a model. Her nine months of pregnancy were not easy but they were tremendously beneficial. As the Child God formed and grew in her, she was formed by Him and grew closer to Him. We too must allow God to be formed in us and grow in us so that we, like Mary, can likewise be formed by Him and grow closer to Him.
“Christ has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled.” St. Ambrose
“Blessed and true is that comfort which is derived inwardly from Truth.
A devout man everywhere carrieth about with him Jesus his Consoler, and saith to Him: Be with me, O Lord, in all places and at all times.” Imitation of Christ, chapter 16
“I kneel at the door of the empty stable and offer Thee my heart…but my body is not fit to be Thy temple and my heart is treacherous and faithless. I am ashamed to have so poor a shelter to offer Thee. If it were not that Thou didst ask for it, I dare not offer it. Oh! Thou Who didst not refuse the manger-bed, come to my heart, look at the contrition and…the aching longing to be what Thou dost want, and forget the faithlessness and the failures and the weakness. Come, my little King, incarnate for me, come and save me, If I were not a sinner I should not need a Saviour.” Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi