“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Although I have faced cancer and nearly three decades of disease that has steadily and irrevocable stripped me of physical function and disabled me, it's nothing compared to the grief being endured by the parents of murdered children and loved-ones in Newtown, CT.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember and pray for the good people of Newtown who lost loved-ones. President Obama's address on Sunday evening began with the 2 Corinthians 4.16-5.1:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far  more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things that are not seen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 

This Scripture has been a comfort and consolation to me. I hope it provides similar solace to grievers of Newtown. The solace and promise of the Apostle Paul's words are found a few verses earlier: "Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up with Jesus" (verse 14).

There, dear people of Newtown, this is this griever's hope and joy (even in the midst of pain and sorrow): To know I will be with Christ in eternity. You too will see your little ones again. Jesus himself said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19.14). Remember you were reminded of this at the memorial for your children?

Please do not despair. Follow Christ. You will see them again in glory.

Mark Davis Pickup

Monday, December 10, 2012


Although this blog deals with Life and bioethical issues, I want to take thsi opportunity to recommed a book that is critically important to anyone who is wondering how and why  North American culture got into such moral shambles. The book is THE MARKETING OF EVIL: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom, by David Kupelian. I you cannot find it at your local bookstore, it can be purchased through Amazon.

Put this insightful book at the top of your reading list for 2013! For American Christians who visit this blog (the majority of the readership), I recommend you begin with Chapter 10 then read the rest of the book. It explains so much about how North America got into our current moral quagmire. Canadians will benefit too. David Kupelian's words of wisdom are equally applicable to Canada.

Mark Davis Pickup

Saturday, December 8, 2012


It seems so long ago. It was a long time ago -- over a quarter of a century in fact. I co-founded a crisis pregnancy centre in the Canadian city of Edmonton. It was a church-based ministry for women in crisis pregnancies to offer life affirming alternatives instead of abortion. Initially we called the ministry Outreach for Life.

By 1987, my own struggle with aggressive multiple sclerosis forced me to step down from the board and leave the ministry in the capable hands of others. Boy are they capable! 

The ministry has grown. It is now called the Pregnancy Care Centre.  Today, they not only serve women in crisis pregnancies and their babies, the Pregnancy Care Centre counsels post-abortive women (and men) and have an active community education program. God has brought such vibrant and committed Christians to the ministry to serve as volunteers and staff at the Centre or at a board level. Edmonton's evangelical community has rallied behind them in support. You can learn more by visiting www.pregnancycarecentre.ca and www.abortionrecovery.ca 
I can only admire them from afar and marvel at where God has brought this ministry from its humble beginnings in the living rooms of its first President, Marg Ferchoff, and the first Vice President: me.

The Pregnancy Care Centre has served literally thousands of women over the years. The Centre's director, Nora, has occasionally let me know how things are going. (I addressed their tenth and twentieth anniversary banquets.)

 Every year I receive the Centre's Christmas card naming the infants born during the year as a result of outreach and service to their mothers. This year was no different. The card came with the names of 99 children and a Christmas message: "Now all glory to God, Who is able through His mighty power at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we ask o think." Indeed!

Because of another Child born 2,000 years ago, we have hope today and welcome other babies into our world. See link below.

Friday, November 9, 2012


3-D ultrasound of an unborn baby
A short video can be seen at the link below showing a computer depiction of a child's birth, courtesy of TheVisualMD.com. The video is called BeautifulBirth. Excellent! It is particularly important for those who ascribe to the ridiculous legal fiction that the unborn child is only a human being once fully born.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


And if you try to offer life affirming alternatives to the mother of this unborn baby, you  may face this (see below). What happened to our civilized society in North America? What kind of barbarians have we become!

(NB: In Canada, every abortion is paid for by taxpayers. It has been this way for decades.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012



Me with granddaughter Grace
Above is a link to another article about my granddaughter, Grace, winning the title of Little Miss Calgary 2013. It is in this week's local newspaper City View for the city of Airdrie (a bedroom community of the Canadian city, Calgary, Alberta).* The article appears under the title "Airdrie girl awarded title of Little Miss Calgary 2013."

As you will read, Grace has a heart for people with disabilities. It comes natural. We have often talked about the natural human dignity of every human life. She has grown up riding on the back of my electric wheelchair or scooter -- as have her siblings. My grandchildren are not poorer because of my disability, they are richer because of it. You will detect from the article at the link above that even at the tender age of eight years, Grace has the heart of an advocate. She's not alone in this attribute.

Grandson Graham and "W"
Grace's little brother Graham (6) is friends with a blind classmate. I will call him W.** They are "buds".  W is one of Graham's circle of friends and is included as a normal part of his days. Graham leads W around the classroom activity centers and the playground and W makes Graham laugh. W is a funny guy!


* Calgary (population 1,100,000) is the corporate hub of Canada's massive oil and gas industry which are second only to Saudi Arabia.  Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics Games -- officially known as the XV Olympic Winter Games. The city is home of the world famous Calgary Stampede.
** I do not have clearance from W's parents to use his name.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


The U.S. election is just days away. Most of the readers of this blog are American and I want to encourage them all to take this opportunity to exercise their right to vote.


I want evangelical readers to take some time to listen to Dr. David Jeremiah, Pastor and broadcaster, speak about the momentous decision that lies before evangelical Americans this election. I urge you to put aside half an hour to listen to Dr. Jeremiah's message. Click here: http://vimeo.com/52163082


I urge Catholic readers of this blog to listen to Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life speak about what should be a paramount consideration when deciding who to vote for on election day. Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC1-6j3-V-8&feature=youtu.be
Which candidate is more likely to support the fundamental right to life?

If Barack Obama gets a second term it may prove pivitol to the direction of abortion in America for decades to come with dire consequences to millions more preborn children. (I believe it will be disastrous for the character of America on a number of fronts.) In an emailer under the title, "Election Could Decide Fate of Abortion for 40 More Years", LifeNews editor Steven Ertelt reports:

The average age of Justices on the United States Supreme Court is 71. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 79, Justice Antonin Scalia is 76, Justice Anthony Kennedy is 76, Justice Stephen Breyer is 74.

The next President's may potentially appoint some or all their replacements. We know that Obama is radically pro-abortion. (This is the man who supported partial birth abortion while an Illinois state legislator.) Do you think he will appoint Justices who respect all human life? Not likely. Obama will appoint pro-abortion Judges who will ensure the status quo of Roe v. Wade remains in Tlace: the abortion holocaust in America will continue.

I ask American readers of this blog to vote for the candidate who is most likely to make decisions that will be more supportive to the right to life cause. I believe it is likely to be Mitt Romney.

Neither Presidential candidate is ideal: the question is which one is better? You must decide. I have stated my opinion.

Mark Davis Pickup

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012


Today's Wall Street Journal has an excellent Op-Ed article about assisted suicide, written by Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.. [1] It appears under the title "Please Step Back From the Assisted-Suicide Ledge". Read it here:

Father Pacholczyk's Op-Ed is particularly timely because Massachusetts may be the next American state to legalize assisted suicide in a vote expected in early November.[2] I would have missed the article had it not been for Dr. Eric Chevlen sending me an email this morning saying that Fr. Tad mentioned my case at the end of his Op-Ed.  
[1] Reverend Tadeusz Pacholczyk is an American Roman Catholic priest. He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Father Pacholczyk is the Director of Education and Ethics for the National Catholic Bioethics Centre, Philadelphia, PA..
[2] The issue of assisted suicide is like a bad penny. Its advocates do not give up. In 1997 I was invired to appear be a Massachusetts state senate judiciary committee as the studied a euthanasia bill before the legislature. It was unsuccessful then. The latest attempt may succeed.  I urge all citizens of good will to reject assisted suicide on November 6th

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

HumanLifeMatters Blog Exceeds 100,000 Hits!

The HumanLifeMatters blog has surpassed 100,000 hits!

When I started this blog, I had no idea it would be so successful. The audience is truly international.  Although the majority of visitors are American and Canadian, several thousands have come from the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, France, China, the Netherlands, France, Australia. There has even been interest in the HLM blog from places like Pakistan, Bulgaria and even a few from Saudi Arabia. (?)

If anybody would like to publish on the HumanLifeMatters blog on topics pertaining to bioethical or Life issues such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, stem cell research, cloning, or other end of life issues, submit your articlea query to me under the title "Article for blog publication" to HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca . I cannot afford to pay for articles but as you can see the audience is vast and international. Your views will be heard.*

Mark Davis Pickup
* I reserve the right to edit or decline inappropriate material.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Wesley J. Smith
My good friend Wesley J. Smith is one of America's top bioethical thinkers. He has started a new blog for the National Review online. His blog is called Human Exceptionalism. See http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism

I encourage you to visit Wesley's blog often. His wisdom and profound insights into trends so heavily influenced by the Brave New World of bioethics. Wesley J. Smith's insights are almost prophetic. He understands the implications of new trends in thought and philosophy that denigrate the perception and status of vulnerable humanity. 

It's well worth your time to visit Wesley's blog often called Human Exceptionalism on the National Review website. I highly recommend it.

Mark Davis Pickup

Monday, October 1, 2012


The clip below includes snippets of an interview with me by veteran Canadian broadcaster, Lorna Dueck, for her national show called CONTEXT. She dealt with assisted suicide and euthanasia and asked me to address suffering from a Christian perspective. FYI.  -- MDP.

Sunday, September 30, 2012



During this 2012 election season in America, I want to post a commercial produced by the Susan B. Anthony list called Barack Obama, Abortion radical. (You may have to wait for a few seconds for the image and link to appear above.) Pro-Life Americans and citizens concerned about the universality of human rights, human equality  and full human inclusion should view this commercial. Barack Obama is wrong for America and must not be given a 2nd term as President.  Click on the image above. Thank you


Monday, September 24, 2012


Mark Davis Pickup
The goal of disability inclusion into mainstream society has made major strides forward. But make no mistake, it has been a long and difficult road toward equality and inclusion for people with disabilities. A reluctant public was unaccustomed to seeing people with profound disabilities in their midst. Remember, for centuries people with serious disabilities were shut away, institutionalize or worse. Even during the 1950s and 1960s, when I was a boy, one rarely saw the severely disabled in public.

It was through relentless lobbying by disability advocates that things began to slowly change. Even when Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms was being drafted in 1980 and '81, then Justice Minister Jean Chretien resisted including Canadians with mental or physical disabilities in the Charter's equality provisions (Section 15.1). It was only after a barrage of letters and phone calls from Canadians with disabilities, their advocates. families and other allies did the justice minister finally relent and include Canada's disabled in the Charter. Section 15.1 in its final accepted form read:

" Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."

It was celebrated as a great victory for Canadians with disabilities, and it was! Some significant advances toward inclusion have been accomplished over the past 30 years due to the Charter's influence, certainly when compared to the past. 

But those early advocates of disability rights and inclusion, 30 years ago, could not have imagined that assisted suicide would one day be touted as a right for the terminally and chronically ill and the severely disabled. How could they? The idea was beyond the pale of civilized thought. They had no idea how perverse things would become or that the same Charter that gave equality rights to Canada's disabled citizens would eventually be twisted to perversely advocate assisting their suicides.

In America,  a major victory was won with the Americans with Disabilities Act. But as various states across America cave to the idea of assisted suicide for the disabled and incurably ill (while at the same time promoting suicide prevention programs for the healthy and able-bodied population) the destructive contradiction to the concept equality, the corruption of law and threats to vulnerable human life will continue and worsen.

Be clear: All the wonderful advances to include and protect the rights of people with disabilities are threatened by assisted suicide (and euthanasia). 

The first and highest human right is the right to life. All other rights become arbitrary and uncertain if the right to life is not guaranteed and protected -- for everyone. If assisted suicide and euthanasia are accepted in North America, all the great strides for disability equality and inclusion will topple by the exclusion of the tomb. Mark my words.

That is why it is necessary for governments and citizens of good will to vehemently resist pressures to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. Protection of the most vulnerable human life is the hallmark of a civilized society. Inclusion of disabled citizens is a hallmark of a progressive society. Work toward a society where life with dignity (especially for those who do not have it) and full inclusion are a reality.


Thursday, September 13, 2012


Read Mark Davis Pickup's blog for 13 September 2012 at http://markpickup.org promoting the "Last Ounce of Courage".


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012


So much of this blog deals with serious matters. I thought I would change pace and bring a little humour to the HumanLifeMatters' blog. See http://nation.foxnews.com/obamacare/2012/09/10/doctor-diagnoses-obama-one-sentence , courtesy of Fox News and thanks to Frank Munda of Freeport, Illinois. who brought it to my attention.


Thursday, September 6, 2012


Premier Redford
The main newspaper in the city near where I live is the Edmonton Journal. The September 3rd 2012 edition carried an short entry under the title PRIDE PARADE PREMIER. It was accompanied by a photograph of Alberta's Premier Allison Redford wearing the rainbow sash.

The entry said:

"Premier Allison Redford attends the Calgary Pride Parade on Sunday told a crowd of thousands it was a "privilege" to be asked to join the event -- the first time a sitting premier has participated. In June, she made the opening remarks for Edmonton's Pride Parade."


Is it a selective display acceptance and inclusion?  Is a similar recognition demonstrated by the Premier to include people of different views ? I don't see it. A hallmark of pluralism and tolerance is a willingness to include views with which that one may not agree.

Pro-Life Albertans at Legislature, May 2012
This past May, organizers of the 5th annual Alberta March for Life would have been thrilled if Premier Redford addressed their crowd of 1,400 pro-Life Albertans gathered in front of the legislature. They were there to show support for the pro-Life clause. Redford stayed squirreled away in the legislature. Apparently she's not as affirming tolerant of people who believe in the sanctity of human life.  If Premier Redford is truly interested in inclusion everyone in Alberta's cultural mosaic, she would have been willing to address their pro-Life concerns and speak to the crowd. After all, those pro-Life Albertans advocate equal inclusion and protection all human life from conception to natural death and every state and stage between those two points. Now that's inclusion!

Premier Redford says she's pro-choice when it comes to abortion. Really? If she is truly in favour of "choice" she would use the power given to her to create a neutral environment in which making such a serious "choice" is as neutral as possible. She has not and I doubt she will.

The Alberta government pays for every abortion in the province through the health department, using taxpayer dollars (an estimated $6-8 million dollars annually.) Does the government provide similar funding to create environments for women in crisis pregnancies to carry their babies to term and encourage life-affirming choices? I'm not aware of any such funding. That is not pro-choice -- that is pro-abortion. It stacks the deck in favour of abortion.

Here's another question: In the spirit of pluralism and inclusion of people with various beliefs would the Premier be "privileged" to speak to conservative Christians who believe in the traditional family? It's a curious question but I'd wager the Premier would be show up to encourage them or ensure their views are protected and affirmed tolerated allowed to thrive in Alberta society. 

On the contrary, if the past is any indication, [1] the Alberta Human Rights Commission (with full government backing) may intimidate traditionalists into silence. And for those who are resistant to intimidation, the AHRC may try to prosecute them into bankruptcy as an object lesson to others.

[1] For more information on bullying tactics of the thought police at Alberta's Human Rights Commission and their national counterpart the Canadian Human Rights Commission, see Ezra Levant's book SHAKEDOWN (McClelland and Stewart, 2009)

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Mark Davis Pickup
My latest blog does not deal with bioethical issues and that is why I put it on my personal blog. Having acknowledged this point, I want to draw readers of HumanLifeMatters blog to my personal blog posting under the title AMERICA AT A CRISIS POINT. I am convinced that a second term for Barack Obama will be disastrous for the United States and that will extend to bioethical issues of abortion and partial birth abortion (AKA infanticide) -- Mark Davis Pickup. See http://markpickup.org

"He (Barack Obama) wants to fundamentally change the essence of America and the national character/ethos. The startling fullness of that change will come into full view during Obama's second term. It is critically important he not get it." (America At A Crisis Point.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

STAIRWAY OF LIFE (Part 3) by Ron Panzer

Ron Panzer
Below is the third and final part in Ron Panzer's essay Stairway of Life. I trust you will find it as enlightening and thought-provoking as I did.


Stairway of Life
Part 3

What happens when you are denied procedures, treatments or medications that you really need? Your health which normally is supposed to be supported, is destabilized, your health declines, you acquire acute symptoms of the disease you suffer from, and because those things you need are denied, you will be referred to? ... hospice. And in most cases, it will be a culture of death hospice. How do we know that it will be a culture of death hospice? Because the hospices around the country, their management, top administrators and staff are being guided by the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization which is the legal and corporate successor to? Yes, the former Euthanasia Society of America!

Now it makes sense when health care professionals do things that seem incomprehensible and cause death at any point, any step on their stairway downward to death.

Many people today, certainly the younger generation, have not even experienced a society where the accepted "norm" was life-affirming care. They see the professional-looking physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals working in the hospitals, nursing homes and elsewhere. The staff have the same degrees, but the training is different. The mission is different. The motivation is different. The staff have the same intelligence and reasoning power as before, but it is wielded to a different end. "Professional," means something different today than it did years ago.

There was a time when the scientific spirit did not imply materialism, scientism or humanism. There was a time when the wonders of science were seen as revealing the wonders of the universe, revealing an ever-more detailed view of the genius of the Creator, who created an infinitely-complex universe that in every detail obeys the laws of nature He created.

There are still many scientists who acknowledge and believe in God, just as there are many physicians and nurses who believe in and acknowledge God. But the dominant force in modern health care and society is decidedly anti-God, anti-faith, anti-traditional values.

What about the culture of life? What about those who still practice reverence for life in the health care setting? How do they operate? What motivates them? And what difference does it make?

When we recognize God as the Creator of all life, we understand where our human rights come from. If human rights come from any government or any person or society, then they can be taken away should that government, person or society change its position. But when our human rights come from God, they can never change, because God is "... the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." [Hebrews 13:8]

The only reliable, unchanging source of human rights is God Himself. As we have seen, the founders of the United States of America recognized these rights as being "self-evident" and coming from the Creator when they wrote that Declaration of Independence. "Self-evident" to those of faith in a Creator. Not "self-evident" to those who are materialists or humanists of the many varieties out there.

There are groups who are pro-life who assert the right-to-life based on various logical and quite sound arguments. The problem with these arguments in changing lives, or convincing others, is that those who use reason to "justify" preconceived notions leading to a culture of death position do not start with logic or objective facts. They start with the conclusion they already have accepted, because it "feels" right, because it is "what they want to do now and nobody is going to stop them," and then they find arguments that appear to justify their position (as we have seen above in the stairway to death). They are not receptive to logical argument and are not convinced by logical argument.

It is wonderful to use logic and reason to arrive at an affirmation of the human right to life, but it is not effective in the long run to use these as the foundation for right-to-life efforts. Reason alone can be used to argue for the ethics of death, and it can be used to argue for the ethics of life. Just as a house built on sand can not stand, a pro-life effort founded solely on "human rights" that are not derived from faith in the Creator God, cannot last. Establishing the pro-life effort on the recognition and love for the Creator God is establishing this work on a rock, the unchanging foundation of the dear Lord. [Matthew 7:24]

Once we reverently acknowledge God as the source of all that is, even all of our lives, we know that we have a "right to life," because He created our lives and has expressed His concern that we live, that life be protected and served:

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him,
He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory.
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.

"Then the King will say to those on His right, `Come, you who are blessed by My Father;
take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me,
I was in prison and you came to visit Me.'

"Then the righteous will answer Him, `Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You,
or thirsty and give You something to drink?
When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You?
When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?'

"The King will reply, `I tell you the truth,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'" [Matthew 25:31-40]

The dear Lord has shown us that when we do these things, we will be blessed by His Father God. In revealing how we serve Him, He also showed us our duty to serve others. With every right comes a duty or responsibility, and our responsibility is to life, to revere the life He gives and to serve Him through those who are here with us, the "least of these" with us, who are those in need. He shows us that looking after those who are ill is a service done for His sake, that health care is above all a spiritual mission!

So, the human rights He mentions: to food, fluid, housing for those without shelter, clothing, care for the sick, visits for those imprisoned ... these are known through His divine revelation and confirmed by our right use of our reasoning ability. We use science, technology and all skills and knowledge for the betterment of mankind acknowledging the source of our abilities.

We don't deny scientific inquiry or achievement. We applaud their achievements when rightly used in service to mankind. We simply require that scientific inquiry be honestly and ethically performed, and be objectively carried out, as science is intended to be and is defined. There is nothing that science can discover, or has discovered, that "proves" God does not exist or that He is likely not to exist. Everything science discovers only reveals the nature of the universe and that which is being studied. Whatever we learn, that we can understand some of what is happening in the universe does not mean there was no Creator.

In fact, the more we learn about this wondrous and exquisitely intricate and organized world of ours, the more infinitely unlikely it is that it all came together, perfectly organized, due to random chance occurrences over time. Order can never come consistently from disorder or chance. Never. What that source of order is that allowed for the ordered "laws of nature" is, can be thought of in many ways, but "the Creator" is how those of us with faith call Him.

The odds that the conditions for our life here on Earth occurring in precisely the exact way required for our existence have been calculated. The odds are infinitely against the chance that these conditions were created out of random occurrences. Just as the chances of your car having assembled itself are zero, the chances of perfectly organized, living, intelligent and self-replicating animals and human beings arising out of a "primordial soup" is zero, no matter how many people believe such nonsense. Order does not come from disorder.

Albert Schweitzer, MD, the medical missionary and humanitarian, was given a Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for actually giving his life in service to humanity. The Time Magazine cover from that time has a picture of Dr. Schweitzer and below that caption is written: "He who loses his life shall find it." It comes from the book of Matthew 10:39, but it is intentionally misquoted. The dear Lord told us that:

"... whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." [emphasis added]

Time magazine's version, "He who loses his life shall find it," may or may not be true. But, whoever loses his life for God's sake will find it, ... that is a completely different statement and is true! Leaving out the reference to God makes the statement of wisdom found in Matthew 10:39 unwise. Leaving it as it is shows us that self-sacrifice and a spirit of service to God will be rewarded by God, that we will find our real life, that such self-sacrifice will lead to blessings in our lives and afterward in heaven.

In a spirit of sacrifice, filled with love for the dear Lord and his fellow human beings, Dr. Schweitzer dedicated his life to the cause of service to others. Dr. Schweitzer spent decades of his life helping those desperately in need of medical care in Africa and gave up a life of comfort in Europe in order to serve, but he found what life and health care is really about: love.

He demonstrated for all the world to see, the stairway of life. In his work as a medical missionary, in creating a hospital for his patients, he practiced and taught reverence for life. At every step in caring, treating, feeding, housing or simply "being with" his patients, he affirmed life and promoted the well-being of the people he served, his patients.

Just as every step on the stairway to death is a point where death can and is imposed, every step along the stairway of life is a point where life continues to be supported and protected, revered, and loved. We do not choose to determine when death occurs, so, the stairway of life is about the patient's living and continued living, from life now, to life now, to life now, in the ever-renewing moment that is life itself. This is our mission as those who work to promote life and care for our patients. This is the pro-life mission.

There is no place for the imposition of death or manipulation of death in a culture of life health care system. There is no place for deception and no place for re-defining the obvious meaning of terms like "life," "death," "killing," "person," "baby" "basic care," or "care" in the culture of life health care system. There is no place for casually riding roughshod over the patient's wishes. Schweitzer recognized that all living things have a will to live and stated that the appropriate ethical response is to practice reverence for life.

Schweitzer said:

"... life is extraordinary. Every scientific advance tells us this. We now know the billion to one chances ever since the Big Bang that have enabled life to develop and then to survive on this planet, and the extreme rarity of it in the universe. More than ever, we have good reason to feel reverence for it."

The Discovery & the Meaning of Reverence for Life" - Albert Schweitzer; Emphasis added]

Dame Cicely Saunders, the Christian physician who founded the modern hospice movement demonstrated the same reverence for life in her work, telling us,

"Anything which says to the ill that they are a burden to their family and that they are better off dead is unacceptable. What sort of society could let its old folk die because they are in the way?"


"You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die."

Is there any doubt about the life-affirming message of this pro-life leader who sought to incorporate the very best of modern medical science into the care for those who are approaching closer to the end-of-life? Her mission, and the mission of caring for those approaching the end-of-life, or caring for those at any stage of life, is based upon a fervent faith in God and a desire to express that faith through loving-kindness toward all our fellow human beings.

The right to life is based upon the Creator. He has forbidden imposed death in the Ten Commandments as just about everyone knows, "Thou shalt not kill!" He would not forbid killing if there were no right to life. Killing is forbidden precisely because the life He gives is to be revered, protected and served.

The dear Lord told us,

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. [John 15:12-13]

Each step of the stairway of life is composed of love. When we "love each other," we protect, serve and care for each other. If we "lay down ... [our] life for ... [our] friends," we would do it that they live, never that they die or to kill them. He told us:

"... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." [John 10:11]

It is certain that He cares about our lives, that it is His will that we live, that we have a right to life. In fact, He said, "... I am the way, the truth, and the life ...." [John 14:6] It is inconceivable for anyone filled with faith to intend to kill or impose death within a health care or any other setting.

Those of us who are of faith, must be "missionaries for life," advocates for life, filled with the reverence for life that the Lord demonstrated on so many occasions when He healed the sick, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind or helped those who were disabled to walk.

While the culture of death employs principles such as "autonomy, beneficence, and justice" in a constantly shifting "shell game" to assure death when the patient is no longer valued as a "worthwhile" life, the culture of life employs principles such as reverence for life, charity, humility, kindness, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, justice, mercy and faithfulness. There is a world of difference between the stairway to death and the stairway of life!

There is a world of difference in motivation between those who serve life and those who casually impose death. There is a world of difference between the "human rights" logically arrived at starting from the recognition that a wondrous, loving, infinite God exists, and the "human rights" logically arrived at starting from a belief that no God and no spiritual purpose exists, that we simply by chance "happened" for no ultimate purpose.

There can only be a very perverse type of "love" within a culture of death health care setting, no matter how "professional" those who work there appear, and no matter how well-educated or technically-gifted they may be. If one is willing to kill the object of your "service," your "love" is the equivalent of what would arise from one who hated, or what would arise from one who was tragically misguided and blind to the terrible harm and evil being done. Can we call killing the patient "love?" Is this where the culture of death would lead us?

Communicating the reverence for God and life in the pro-life work we do, we affirm the culture of life and the right to life of each patient we serve, who are given to us that we serve them, who are our brothers and sisters on this Earth. Those who tell us not to use words like "God," even if we are pro-life, would force us to discard the most powerful tool we have in this battle that is waged by the culture of death against the culture of life, by darkness against the light. That "tool?" God, Himself!

When people stand outside an abortion clinic and simply pray that the women entering there will have their eyes opened, that their hearts will be melted and that the Spirit of God will wake them out of their blind slumber, something powerful happens. Lives are saved. Right reason and conscience are awakened and used correctly to see the life of the unborn as precious. Mothers who had decided to kill their children in an abortion clinic suddenly walk out and their lives are changed. People are brought into this world who would have died. That is the method of the 40 Days for Life prayer ministry that has been so very effective in saving unborn lives.

The dear Lord walked this Earth about 2000 years ago, in a culture that was dominated by the Roman Empire. It was a different culture, but it was a culture of death, much death. He was concerned about "human rights" of all sorts. He gave us an example of how men and women could respect each other, how precious children were and are, how much life matters. He cried when He heard that His friend Lazarus had died. He wept for the disaster He knew would come to Jerusalem and the people there in days to come. He healed the sick and showed a way that man could live a blessed life. Do you know anyone who would say that Jesus was not "pro-life," or that He did not care about "human rights?." If anyone was "pro-life," it was Jesus.

One day

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.
Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked Him,
'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?'

'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this:
'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no commandment greater than these." - Mark 12:28-31

If the dear Lord with His infinite wisdom, being the perfect pro-life advocate, and living within one of the most lethal culture of death environments imaginable, never hesitated in mentioning God, in fact, mentioned Him wherever He went, ... why shouldn't we?

If the dear Lord told us that the greatest commandment, the most important thing of all things to do, was to acknowledge that "the Lord our God, the Lord is one" and that we should "Love the Lord" our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength," we must acknowledge that the Lord our God is one, that He exists.

Many people think the first greatest commandment is just about loving God with all we are. They leave out the first part, which the dear Lord mentioned first of all, and is supremely important: the acknowledgement, the witness, the testimony that God is, and that He is one, that He is our God. He is my God!

I have no doubt that basing the pro-life mission on God, the Creator, and loving Him with all we are, is the first step toward a successful mission to promote a culture of life and true "human rights." I know that the second step in the pro-life mission is accomplished when we "love our neighbor as ourselves," whether at the end-of-life, the beginning of life, or any stage of life. He told us what we need to say and do!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


LaRee & Mark Pickup
This past weekend my wife LaRee and I spoke to Centre Street Church in Calgary, Alberta (Canada). It's one of the largest and most active evangelical churches in the city and have a wonderful special needs community outreach.
Over a 24 hours period, we spoke four times to their various congregations. Our presentations were simulcast to each of their six affiliate churches throughout the Calgary area.
You can see one of our presentations at  
LaRee has endured so much over many years. As you can see from the video, she has a transparent honesty, a tender heart and a disarming vulnerability. This resonated deeply with the people. From the best we can determine, somewhere between 6,000 and 7,500 people were addressed over the four services and feedback was most encouraging.
Many post-abortive women* and families of people with profound disabilities came to us after each service. (They were particularly interested in speaking to LaRee.) We pray that her willingness to meet them at their need, pain and sorrow -- even for a short time -- helped them to take the first steps toward spiritual and emotional healing and tap the formidable counselling resources available at this very fine church.

If you feel we can serve your community or church in a similar way, feel free to contact me by email at humanlifematters@shaw.ca or mpickup@shaw.ca


Mark Davis Pickup

Beaumont, AB., Canada

(*Abortion is so pervasive in North American culture. We know that the unfortunate statistical reality indicates that a large church such as Centre Street Church has many people directly affected by abortion.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

STAIRWAY OF LIFE (Part 2) - by Ron Panzer

Ron Panzer
Ron Panzer is the founder and head of the U.S. based Hospice Patients Alliance.  Below is Part 2 of Mr. Panzer's excellent essay Stairway of Life.


Stairway of Life (part 2)
by Ron Panzer

Have you lived under communist, totalitarian rule such as existed in the former Soviet Union, in Romania not too long ago, or exists in communist China, N. Korea, Cuba or Vietnam today? If you say the wrong thing, challenge what the government does or criticize its political leaders, you can end up in jail for a year, ten years, or even the rest of your life.

The stated goal of those who have made changes to Western societies and its nations, and who plan to make even more changes here, is the removal of the religious viewpoint from government policy.

It is the same style of absolute intolerance for the expression of authentic faith, as imposed in the totalitarian, communist nations! What kind of goals do they openly advocate? Here's an example: "The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values." and, "an end to the influence that religion and pseudoscience have on public policy," and "an end to the privileged position that religion and pseudoscience continue to enjoy in many societies." [see: Center for Inquirywww.centerforinquiry.net/about]

With their own words, they tell us that the religious view of life is simply "superstition" and unscientific. Yet, we who are of faith have no problem with the objective pursuit of knowledge through science. We have a problem with scientists or physicians, or others, making conclusions that have nothing to do with science or technology or medicine, and then imposing those conclusions on the rest of us, as if they have a superior insight into what is moral, ethical or "right." In other words, the materialism and rejection of God by the secular humanists, modernists, or post-modernists, is not "proved" by science, ... it is assumed out of hubris and rebellion against the Spirit of God, and sought-to-be imposed on the rest of us, through government mandate, technological imposition or health-care tyranny. Lip service is given to "freedom of religion" by those who hate religion, simply in order to lull us all to sleep while they seize power and push forward their culture of death agenda.

They don't call it a culture of death. They call it "progress," the control of humanity's destiny by man, something great and wonderful, without the need for a "god" or "God" in any sense at all. For them, "man can do everything for himself." There is no gratitude for the gifts the dear Lord gives to each man or society as a whole. Not only is there no acknowledgement that God exists, there is a denial that He exists. As one physician told me, "there is zero percent chance that God exists!" That is the secular humanist position.

When there is an actual denial that God exists, what happens to the idea of "human rights?" Without the faith or knowledge of God, the human being is seen merely as a material thing, devoid of ultimate meaning and certainly devoid of a "soul." The life of that human being is not seen as anything special and should conditions materially decline, should they not be able to function physically or cognitively, the value of that material life is thought to be worthless. The ending of that life is then seen as "doing good." In other words, the "ethics" of this culture of death now considers killing to be "good" in some cases. That is absolutely and so shockingly what has changed in our society.

Both the materialist humanists and those of faith agree that man is capable of reason and rational thought, but how it is used is quite different. Just as in logical argument, you begin with a "premise" (which can be "assumptions" about what is true) and then reason from there to a "conclusion."

The culture of death uses premises, and comes to conclusions like:

"No God exists."
"The human being has no 'soul.'"
"We have no duty to serve God.
We have no duty to serve each other based upon a common source of life or God, since He does not exist."
"We may serve each other if it benefits ourselves or the "state,"
i.e., the government we live under."
"Life has no ultimate meaning beyond what happens in this world."
"Whatever "human rights" a man may have
depend upon what the government decides to give him.
"What man does is solely his own accomplishment and
God has nothing to do with giving man his abilities or knowledge."
"Killing can be good should a patient be suffering much
or be unable to function physically or mentally."
"There is no heaven, no spiritual purpose to life, and no saving grace
that can lift us out from our condition in this world."

The culture of life uses premises, and comes to conclusions like:

"God exists."
"God is the giver of life, all that is, and the source of our abilities and wisdom."
"The human being has a soul."
"Life has an ultimate purpose and meaning, and that is
to fulfill the will of God and find ultimate happiness in Him."
"The source of our 'human rights' as man are God-given,
not given by government or any other man or society."
"We owe a duty to God to live a life of service to glorify Him
and to reverence the lives He gives, to love, to serve, and to care for others."
"Killing is not good. If a patient is suffering or is disabled,
we should care for him or her to the best of our ability."
"Even if we suffer, there is a spiritual purpose in life,
and we can grow spiritually and serve others as well as the dear Lord."
"There is a heaven and a grace freely given to us by the dear Lord,
so that we may be saved and transformed."

You see, the starting points for the culture of death and the culture of life are completely different. Because the proponents of the culture of death believe that in many cases, life is not worth living, they do actually end lives in those circumstances. When those in charge of the health care facilities, institutions, educational facilities and staff, are aligned with the culture of death, the outcome is certain: death will often be intended and imposed, and that is what we see in many facilities and health care settings today.

When those in charge of the health care system, its educational facilities and staff, are aligned with the culture of life, intending death or imposing death is forbidden. Reverence for life is practiced based upon the value given human life ... it is considered a gift from God and is sacred, thus we call it, the "sanctity of life ethic." "Do no harm" is practiced throughout the system, to the best of our ability.

How do the culture of death proponents reason that they are doing "good" to "justify" when they end lives? There are hundreds of ways, but the main methods are:

They re-define what is "right." They suggest that our free will gives us the right to kill ourselves through the principle called "autonomy" or patient self-determination. The idea of having our own wishes, our "free will," honored sounds good, but when the patient is not able to make his or her own decisions, a surrogate decides for the patient that he or she would "want" to be killed. So much for patient "self"-determination! And even if killing ourselves, suicide, is our wish, it was recognized as a grave sin by most in society for thousands of years and still is regarded in this way by many. Why not provide support, love, counseling and treatment to help that person to a more positive outlook? That is not done. If you wish to kill yourself in a fully-implemented culture of death health care system, they will be eager to help you do it!

They suggest that the burden of caring for the patient is "too much" economically, or in terms of the time and energy needed to care for that patient. Therefore, they say that the patient's life should be ended for the "greater good" of society or the principle of "benevolence." This was done in National Socialist ("Nazi") Germany.

They suggest that because the patient is not worth much, no longer actively contributing to society, and is very old or disabled, interventions such as surgery or treatment or medications should not be given. They say that they are not "just" expenditures of resources since another younger, more able patient would better use those scarce health care resources. "Justice" under the culture of death will often mean denying care to the elderly, disabled and vulnerable, even if as a direct consequence of that decision, death is certain to occur.

If one of these principles successfully can be argued as a "reason" to end life, that one principle will be used, even if the other principles do not fit and cannot be used to "make the argument." For example, the patient wants the surgery, treatment or medication. In that case, the principle of "autonomy" is thrown out the window and the patient's wishes are trampled casually as if "autonomy" had no importance at all. Only the principle that allows the imposition of death is relied upon.

What else do the proponents of the culture of death use on their "stairway to death" to "justify" their killing of patients and the vulnerable?

They redefine "human life." For the culture of death proponents, babies are not "babies." For the culture of death proponents, human beings, who are known scientifically to begin at the very beginning of the developmental process, stage 1a of the Carnegie Stages of Embryonic development, at twinning or in artificial IVF or other settings, are not considered to be "human beings." They may say life begins when those "cells" implant in the womb, or when they are developed completely and "whatever that is" is given birth to as a suddenly "human being." It is logically incomprehensible that they consider the human being in the embryonic or fetal stage not to be a "human being," for example, yet if that same human being at the fetal stage or embryonic stage were to be delivered prematurely (and survived somehow), it is then considered "a human being!"
They also redefine "person." They say that a human being is not a "person" if they have cognitive impairments, are developmentally-disabled or brain-injured. 

Some like Peter Singer of Princeton University, do not even consider newborn babies to be "persons," because it is assumed that an infant does not have fully-functioning cognitive abilities, and so, according to them, these "nonpersons" can be killed "ethically." This is the ethics of death.

They also redefine "death." They say that a human being is not a "live" human being or "live person," if they are "brain dead," and then, because they are "brain dead," they are actually "dead" legally, and their organs can be seized for the purpose of transplantation to other patients. It matters not that the patient considered "brain dead," i.e., "dead," has fully functioning heart and lungs and cellular respiration. Patient advocate and pro-life physician, Paul A. Byrne, MD, was asked in an interview if:

Randy Engel: " 'brain dead' people will often respond to surgical incisions. ... referred to as 'the Lazarus effect?' "

Dr. Byrne: "Yes. That is why during the excision of vital organs, doctors find the need to use anesthesia and paralyzing drugs to control muscle spasms, blood pressure and heart rate changes, and other bodily protective mechanisms common in living patients."
All other metabolic signs of extreme pain are manifested exactly the same as those patients who are not "brain dead" and are experiencing extreme pain. In other words, it matters not that to get the unpaired major organs like a heart or liver, the patient is killed in actuality.

They redefine "killing." They say that when a patient is being killed, they are not killing the patient. They call it "abortion." They call it "letting go." Or, they say, the patient's "comfort is being assured." What they mean by "letting go," or "comfort being assured," is something quite other than the ordinary person would even begin to imagine when they use these terms. But it's "wink, wink," not "killing."

They redefine "basic care." Anybody, even many children, would know that food, water and even oxygen is basic to life. But for the culture of death proponents, these are not "ordinary" care, they are "medical" care or treatment, and when the moment is right, they call it "extraordinary" care, allowing them legally to withhold it, and thereby impose death, i.e. kill the patient. And yes, patients who used to get supplementary oxygen for respiratory difficulties, sometimes do not get oxygen, ... they get sedated and drugged with opioids, and, they die.

They redefine "help you breathe." This is a popular teaching in culture of death hospices today. The pharmaceutical inserts from the manufacturers all say that opioids like morphine or fentanyl, in some conditions or dosages, may cause respiratory depression, slowed breathing, stopped breathing and death. Yet, hospice staff all over will often tell the family or patient who was benefiting from supplementary oxygen or nebulizer, i.e., breathing, treatments, that they will no longer be giving the patient oxygen, and will no longer be giving respiratory treatments like albuterol, and that they are now "giving morphine to help the breathing."

When a COPD or emphysema patient is given opioids and not given some oxygen to increase their blood oxygen saturation level and not given nebulizer treatments to open up their airways, they are very susceptible to that opioid medication. Even with the oxygen and nebulizer treatments, they are very sensitive to opioid medications and may as a result have their respiratory effort completely shut down, causing death. We know it as "killing." They call it, "helping you breathe." Yes, it relaxes you! ... to death!
What else do the culture of death proponents do as they keep trying to impose death one way or another, and move patients down their "stairway to death?" Well, when they can't convince you or fool you with the above methods, they simply ride roughshod over your wishes and kill you anyway. How do they do that?

When they can't convince you, they form "futile care protocol" or "ethics" committees to impose the unethical. They call it "ethical" to take actions to cause the patient's death. For example, an 80 year-old woman needs a pacemaker or other surgery, or a 50 year-old cerebral palsy patient needs that pacemaker.... They are stable and the surgeon has determined that they are strong enough to undergo the surgery, and need the pacemaker. What happens?

The hospital ethics committee, composed of culture of death physicians, social workers and the hospital attorney, and maybe a token "patient advocate" or family member, meet together and decide that the patient would not "benefit" from the treatment or surgery, or that that treatment would be better allocated to a younger or more able patient (using any of the above-discussed principles of "autonomy," "beneficence" or "greater good of society," or "justice"). The result? The treatment is denied. Should you object, you are given a day or two to arrange for transfer to another hospital that might give you the treatment. Good luck doing that since the other hospital staff are taught in the same culture of death educational facilities and are guided by the same ethics of death!

When they can't convince you, they fill out "Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment." Otherwise known as P.O.L.S.T. forms. You know you've been lectured about making out your "Living Will," "Advanced Directive," "Power of Attorney for Health-Care Decision-making," and so on. Well, those can all be disobeyed now, or overridden in the blink of an eye! That hasn't been well-publicized, but that's the reality! A physician or practitioner who honors patients' wishes will fill in the POLST forms indicating the patient's wishes, but it isn't being used that way in many cases. These POLST forms arose out of the same state that gave the United States its first legalized assisted-suicide, Oregon.

A physician, or other health care professional, or even some bureaucrat, could fill in the POLST forms determining what care or treatment you will not get, the physician may sign or may not sign them, but they are entered into the medical chart and become medical orders even without a physician's signature in some cases. Or, with a physician's signature. The point is, you don't have to agree with it, want it, or approve what is written in the POLST forms. It supercedes everything you've written or voiced as your wishes regarding your medical treatment. You see: it's the perfect answer to those stubborn patients and families who just won't be convinced and simply don't accept the culture of death agenda.

There are few more tricks up their sleeves. When they can't convince you, they don't have to! Whether it's Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, or any other nation's health care system, they can simply reduce the rates of reimbursement to the hospitals for certain procedures, treatments or medications, or they can simply deny approval for those procedures, treatments or medications based upon your age. The "Complete Lives System" is beginning to be implemented as a guiding principle of the culture of death. The gist of it is: "you've lived a 'complete' life if you're over 50, 60, 70 or whatever arbitrary number they pick." After that age, you, and everyone else at that age, can be denied procedures, treatments or medications and it's not "discrimination" since all of you are being treated equally among your peers. It matters not that you are being discriminated against compared to all other younger citizen patients.

(End of Part 2.)