Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New movie for Dr. Death

A new movie starring Al Pacino is a biopic for Jack Kevorkian. The movie glamourises the actions of this man who helped kill about 120 patients. Many of these patients were not terminally ill and just wanted to end their lives. Many were divorced or never married. Of course, the movie portrays Kevorkian as a loving doctor.

The only proper reaction to someone who is suffering is to help that individual. Not help them die. It's like if a friend called and said he was about to jump out of his building to commit suicide, and instead of helping him in his distress, worry, fear, etc. you encouraged him. That's what Jack is doing when he helps people die.

Jack is an avowed atheist, yet feels it's a good thing to let people be killed even though he believes there is no afterlife. This is all part of the culture of death. A culture which rejects anyone who is not a very productive part of the economy. We are burning the candle on both ends, for the very young and the elderly. This is a terrible travesty which must end.

One thing that struck me is that when the actors who played various people in Jack Kevorkian's life were interviewed, they did not have a single negative thing to say. Perhaps they felt it would be unpopular to criticize someone like that. They said a lot of the standard "he's misunderstood", "he's helping people die with dignity", etc. but no one voiced any concern.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:


2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.


  1. "Many of these patients were not terminally ill and just wanted to end their lives. Many were divorced or never married." [Citation Needed]

  2. I agree, citation needed. I am pretty sure marital status has no bearing on terminal illness either.