Friday, April 01, 2005

Three Expert Opinions

1) One of the guests on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight newscast last night was the Reverend John Paris, professor of bioethics at Boston College. Dobbs asked Father Paris for his take on the ethics involved in the Schiavo case. Father Paris said the American public had shown they could cut through the media hype and understand several things: “That we are mortal, that an end time comes for us all. And when that time comes, we can learn to accept it.“ He went on to say, “We also learned that modern medical technology can prolong that process for an incredibly long time. Some people might elect to have it, others might decide they wouldn't want their lives prolonged, either in the dying process or in an irreversible comatose situation. And it's perfectly legitimate to say I wouldn't want it, and to please stop it. And I think that when we see the polls indicating 80 percent or so would accept it--the American public understanding it.” Dobbs mentioned a recent Vatican statement that stated that Terri Schiavo's death “was arbitrarily hastened, because feeding a person can never be considered excessive therapy." He asked Father Paris for his reaction. Father Paris said, “Well, it's very difficult to understand that situation --- statement rather, because the official statement of the American Catholic bishops--the National Conference of Catholic Bishops--says the following in their directives to Catholic hospitals -- there should be, of course a presumption in favor of nutrition and hydration, including those who require artificial nutrition and hydration, as long as there is sufficient benefit to outweigh the burdens involved to the patient…The Vatican's official declaration in 1980 on euthanasia says, of course, you can remove treatments that are excessively burdensome, and that's not suicide, but the acceptance of the human condition. And somehow in this politicization of this case, the longstanding Catholic tradition is being overshadowed and outshouted.” 2) Judge Stanley Birch of the Circuit Court of Appeals denied a rehearing of the Schiavo case last week. Judge Birch is considered to be a “conservative” judge. In his ruling, he said: “In resolving the Schiavo controversy it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people - our Constitution. Since I have sworn, as have they, to uphold and defend that Covenant, I must respectfully concur in the denial of the request for rehearing en banc. I conclude that Pub. L.109-3 (“the Act”) is unconstitutional and, therefore, this court and the district court are without jurisdiction in this case under that 1 special Act and should refuse to exercise any jurisdiction that we may otherwise have in this case.” 3) Cornell's Law library obtained the copyright to a rare 1943 document by Dr. Henry A. Murray. Murray was a pre-World War II director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic. During the war he served in the Office of Strategic Services. He wrote a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler and predicted that Hitler would commit suicide. Folowing are ten of Hitler's attributes as outlined by Dr. Murray. They remind me of someone…hmmm…who could that be? Hitler believed he was doing the Lord's work. Revenge and resentment were his prime motivations. He had delusions of omnipotence. He had frequent emotional collapses in which he yelled and wept. He was a sexual masochist. He had a classic Oedipus complex--loved his mother, hated his father. He condemned in others his own personality traits: lying, treachery, corruption and war-mongering. He had all the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. He reacted to opposition with a period of emotional outbursts, inertia, exhaustion and dejection, which was followed by a period of confidence and resolute decision. He was a nonentity with nothing to lose who chose a path of fanaticism.

No comments: