Monday, August 24, 2009

Skip Your Life Your Choices, it's Yukky

The pro-life people, along with the ethically-minded have been up in arms about a Veteran's Administration 53 page booklet about end of life choices called Your Life Your Choices (available in Pdf format). Its distribution was halted under President Bush, but reinstated under President Obama. Arlen Specter has called for hearings.

Before reading more about it, I thought I would take a brief look at the booklet itself, but was stopped dead in my tracks on page 23, part of a workbook section. There, you are prompted to choose among: "I cannot seem to shake the blues: Life like this would be: 1) difficult, but acceptable, 2) worth living but just barely, 3) not worth living, or 4) can't answer now."

When garden variety depression is discussed in the same breathe as comas, you know evil is afoot. Depression is not only treatable, left untreated (not recommended!) it generally can go away on its own. Perhaps the public's increasing discomfort over the Obama heathcare plan (and likely the reason for his declining poll numbers) is linked to the President's view of the value of life itself.

My suggestion? Skip the misguided booklet (which made me sick to my stomach) and spend your time on the Papal Encyclical Evangelium Vitae. While I am not a Catholic, that view of human life will open your mind to the human condition, sick or well, as the glory it truly is. Its first words, "The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as 'good news' to the people of every age and culture" are cause enough for good cheer, even if you read no further.


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