By Mary Kizior
Everyone loves babies, which is why abortion breaks the hearts of so many pro-lifers. A lot of our activism efforts focus on bringing the horrors of abortion to light. We pray outside abortion clinics, peacefully protest, and lobby our legislators.
Abortion is a terrible injustice in our society, but babies are not the only group of people targeted by the culture of death. We shouldn’t forget about the elderly, disabled, ill, or dying who are being subjected to euthanasia and who are helpless to speak out for themselves.
Both sides of the same coin
We see similarities between abortion and euthanasia. A preborn baby dies in an abortion because his family believes his life is not worth living or that he will be a burden on them or society. A sick or elderly person dies in euthanasia because his life is no longer valued. Society cannot see the infinite worth of every human being.
It isn’t easy to watch a loved one suffer as death approaches, especially if he is in excruciating pain. Promoters of euthanasia tell sick and disabled persons that they are a burden on their families and that they should control when and how they die. But is a human being’s life less valuable if he is suffering? Of course not!
Even though euthanasia may appear to be a merciful option to someone in pain, killing another person isn’t mercy; it’s murder.
Death is a beautiful experience as one prepares to meet his Creator. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that death is a consequence of sin. When Jesus took on human flesh and our human condition, He transformed death by His obedience to the will of the Father. For the Christian, death is no longer a curse, but a blessing (See CCC 1009).
The key phrase here is obedience to God’s will. For every human being, death is inevitable, but if we approach our final moments with the attitude that God is in control, death becomes less frightening. If God is in control, what do we have to fear?
Our battle plan
We need to show others that every single human being is a gift and that we don’t take anyone’s life for granted. When a friend mentions a dying relative, we must show compassion and offer comfort and support.
When a coworker struggles with raising a disabled child, we could offer our assistance in babysitting or donating toward hospital bills. Always be willing to help another in need, for that is what God expects of us.
The Church gives us several works of mercy that we can apply to euthanasia. We can visit the sick, bury the dead, comfort the afflicted, and pray for both the living and the dead. How can we live out these Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy? Here are a few suggestions:
- Use our Conversation Starter about physician-assisted suicide to talk with your teens about this topic. This six-page mini-lesson offers a scenario and gives questions and answers so you can begin to feel comfortable talking with your teens or students.
- Our newest lesson entitled Without Mercy: An Introduction to Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Other Threats to the Medically Vulnerable is a four-day lesson that examines the complex topics of euthanasia and assisted suicide and teaches students the reality behind what the culture of death advocates regarding end-of-life issues.
- With your family, friends, and neighbors, make cards to take to a nursing home or hospice. If you can, pass the cards out in person.
- Just as we spiritually adopt a preborn baby who is in danger of abortion, why not spiritually adopt a sick person who is in danger of euthanasia, either by prescribed suicide or by neglect? Pray for this person every day, that he receives comfort in his distress and finds peace with God in heaven.
- Many senior citizens die without many friends or relatives to pray for them. As a class or as a family, attend the funeral Mass of a perfect stranger at your local parish to pray for his soul. A small action like this reminds us that we are part of the Communion of Saints and have a duty to pray for each other and bring comfort to those left behind.
We must stop euthanasia from becoming the next Roe v. Wade. These suggested actions may be small and won’t take much of your time, but they go a long way toward teaching you and your children to see the dignity of every human person, especially in the sick and dying.
Mary Kizior is the product development and marketing manager for the Culture of Life Studies Program. Her work has appeared on LifeSiteNews.com, Christ Is Our Hope magazine, Celebrate Life Magazine, Defend Life magazine, the Peanut Butter and Grace blog, and other blogs.
This article has been reprinted with permission and can be found at cultureoflifestudies.com/blog/how-to-fight-euthanasia.