The real complaint against the Church-run hospital, stripped of ideological armor, is that the institution does base its policies on medical concerns, prompted by the time-honored, common-sense understanding that “medical concerns” involve eliminating diseased tissues and organs, and helping healthy tissues and organs to function as they should.
The actual problem is that Catholic hospitals are not operating in accordance to atheistic assumptions.
These three odd and disturbing stories [In sum: refusal to sterilize a woman, euthanize the old/sick, and don’t allow an abortionist in your town] illustrate the steps being taken to change the understanding of medical care, and thereby break down resistance to the Culture of Death. First we are asked to accept the notion that non-medical procedures—procedures that “first of all, do harm”—qualify as medical treatments. Once that notion is accepted, it seems to follow that insurers and taxpayers should subsidize those treatments.
Secularists has always stressed The Need To Conform, rather than the Need to Live Righteously. It’s easier for a centralized authority to manage, you see.
One step further, and pundits will inveigh against doctors and nurses who will not offer those treatments. Next that new definition of medicine is stretched to the maximum, to include the efficient termination of life: killing quietly, in sterile surroundings. American society has accepted legal abortion; the battle on the euthanasia front is only now beginning. Third—and in some ways most ominously—the pockets of resistance are broken down.
OBEY! OBEY! OBEY!
Even if there are plenty of doctors willing to perform abortions and sterilizations and “mercy” killings, steadily mounting pressure is applied to those who opt out. It doesn’t matter, really, whether the doctors’ services are required; this is the lesson to be learned from the Ave Maria example. What matters, from the ideologues’ perspective, is that these doctors are resisting the redefinition of medical services.
OBEY! CONFORM! SUBMIT!
With their appeals to conscience, they are reminding the world that some people consider these procedures immoral. They are fanning the dying embers of the belief that medicine should only heal and help: a belief that must be extirpated if the new, utilitarian view of medical services is to reign unchallenged.
Make no mistake: this is a battle to the death. It will continue until one side or the other is eliminated.
Oddly enough, one side is very comfortable with killing their own children; despises family; insist that there is no meaning to life (other than what the State says); hates the idea of liberty and the self-governing man; and loves the idea of debt, bankruptcy, and dependence. The other side does not.
I wonder which side will win…
Proponents of the Brave New World approach to medicine will keep up the political pressure until all resistance, Catholic and otherwise, is crushed. When they allow “conscience clauses,” they will do so only as a temporary measure, to neutralize opposition; eventually those clauses will be narrowed, then closed.
For Catholics, the fight for a “conscience clause” is at best a strategic retreat, never an acceptable long-term strategy. A “conscience clause” only preserves some people—for a while—against an immoral policy; it does not challenge the policy itself. Catholics cannot rest at ease until the proper understanding of medicine is recovered. We are fighting for medicine, because we are fighting for life.
In happier times, ordinarily people might have found the preceding sentence puzzling, because to them the practice of medicine was the fight for life. That’s the understanding that we must restore.
Hilariously, people once claimed that a secular government would be “a neutral referee”, where everyone could work according to their own conscience.
Lesson learned, once again: “Christians must rule themselves, or be ground under the heel of their enemies.”
“Well OK, a morally and financially bankrupt secularistic state, being shaped by decentralizating economic and cultural forces, is not long for this world. But by what standard should Christians rule themselves, when – not if – they get their freedom from these deluded, tyrannical, and self-destructive secularists?”
“You want to know By What Standard we should live? Strangely enough, I have an interesting set of answers right here… and, as proven by the failure of both Catholic natural law and secularistic positive law, there are no other standards possible, if you want a living nation rather than a dying one.”