“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

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.)

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