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The Word on the Week

To Be or Not to Be

To Be or Not to Be              Word on the Week                 23rd March 2024.

On 20 March 2024, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Assisted Dying recommended the introduction of legalisation regulating assisted suicide and euthanasia in its majority report.   The spirit of our age, so fond of death, commended we follow Holland, Belgium and Canada on the downward path.

Once introduced, it expands like a business opportunity, removing limitations such as age or competency in its way.   Assisted suicide as a concept elevates ordinary suicide to the position of a worthwhile goal, fostering despair and banishing hope.

The very notion of euthanasia plays into the near universal feeling of the elderly that they become a burden to others.   It is a pernicious thing which feeds on the evil idea that if you were removed others would be happier.   It also diverts attention from the excellent palliative care provided by the hospice movement and others.

Co-incidentally I visited the St Bridgit’s Hospice in the Curragh on Thursday.  I was able to spend an hour with my friend who recently went there.   The experience was entirely positive.   The love and care shown by the staff as they went about their duties made the occasion a very pleasant experience for us both.

Jesus famously waited till his friend was dead before demonstrating indelibly that He was the resurrection and the life beyond the grave.   Lazarus had an experience of life on both sides of the grave proving the reality of Jesus’ power over death.  

He challenged Martha with the words; “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.   Do you believe this?” (John 11 verses 25/26).

Do you believe this?   Then tell someone.   Do not keep it to yourself!

Isaac Watt the hymn writer certainly believed it when he wrote “I’ll Praise my maker while I’ve breath” the last verse of which is; –

I’ll praise Him while He lends me breath; 

And when my voice is lost in death,

Praise shall employ my nobler powers: 

My days of praise shall ne’er be past, 

While life, and thought, and being last, 

Or immortality endures.