Going Too Far
Issue 26, November 2008
At a recent public forum on End-of-Life choices sponsored by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society in Auckland, Jack Jones, the national president of that society suggested that "directives, right to refuse treatment and palliative care, especially as provided by the hospice movement, do not cover all situations where people have reached the stage of life when it has lost all quality". He went on in his address to the forum to suggest that those with dementia should perhaps consider seeking voluntary euthanasia. The Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand [VES] has as its object "a change to the law to allow terminally ill patients, or those whose quality of life has diminished to an unacceptable extent, the right to a peaceful death with dignity at a time of their own choosing". What was alarming about this statement was not just that it was made, but also that that many of the society's members, speaking from the floor, seemed to support that notion, that people with dementia should consider voluntary euthanasia as a way of reducing health service costs so enabling more to be spent on children and younger people.
Editorial - Aging with Grace: Mercy and Bioethics
Issue 28, August 2009
At different points in ministry, since those halcyon days of seminary life at Holy Cross College, I have been reminded of an adage from the Rector, Monsignor Tom Liddy, who often said that, "One does not grow old. Rather one becomes old by not growing!" While every age and culture presents unique and fresh challenges for giving flesh to the gospel every life and all ministry contains a recurring theme of the need for growth in Christ.
From the Heart – A Relative's Perspective
Issue 29, November 2009
The following speech was the opening address at the "Changing Minds Conference" in Lower Hutt on August 28, 2009. The Conference explored the needs of the chronically ill and their transition to palliative care.
From the Heart - A Physician's Perspective
Issue 29, November 2009
The following speech was the closing address at the "Changing Minds Conference" in Lower Hutt on August 28, 2009.
"I have just heard Michael McCabe's beautiful paper "From the Heart - A Relative's Perspective". I am crying. I can hear the love beating its way out of the page, not just flowing, not unfolding, not just emerging. The grace of love beats itself wildly out of the page, leaps into my heart, cries out to my eyes and snuggles down. I am touched by his family story.