Aborting the Rest of Us

  Chuck Colson: Abortion's primary victim is the very, very young. But life issues go beyond abortion when the victim is old or very sick. Stay tuned to BreakPoint as my colleague, bioethicist Dr. Nigel Cameron talks about abortion for the rest of us.   Nigel Cameron: One of my favorite cities is Amsterdam: tulips, windmills, and a great Christian heritage that includes Abraham Kuyper, the worldview theologian of a hundred years ago who founded a national newspaper and became Dutch prime minister. But sadly in recent years, things have changed there. The Dutch have legalized all kinds of vice, and Amsterdam is as famous for its "red light" district as it is for its canals. Yet the worst legalized vice isn't drugs or prostitution. It's killing. Amsterdam is the euthanasia capital of the world.   Although it was only last year that the Dutch parliament made euthanasia legal, it has been widely practiced and condoned by the courts for the past twenty years. Who would have dreamt that the Dutch medical profession, which gained worldwide fame for its heroic stand against Nazi euthanasia during the Second World War, should now be the leading practitioner of euthanasia?   And I'm not talking about pulling out tubes or switching off ventilators. I'm talking about the kind of euthanasia that my family may need one day for our beloved 15-year-old black Lab -- the veterinarian kind: Elderly people, sick people, some not sick at all, visiting their doctor and in the office being put to death, thousands of them, and in a disturbing number of cases doctors killing patients without their consent.   Ten years ago I met a lady at a bioethics conference here in D.C. who shared this harrowing story with me. While living in Amsterdam, she gave birth to a little girl. The baby was sick, very sick, and might not live long. But her mom took her home from the hospital and cared for her. She didn't trust her doctors -- for good reason. When she had to bring her in for special treatment, she sat by her bedside.   But one day, when the little girl was back in the hospital, mom had to step out. She hurried back. And when she returned, she discovered that her baby had died. She knew because the physician met her with these words: "I didn't do it."   I don't know if he did it or not. I don't think she does either. But any society in which a physician feels he must greet the relatives of the sick by denying that he has killed his patient is in a sorry state. Belgium has just decided to follow the Dutch lead. And, of course, in Oregon we now have our own euthanasia lab.   And so we applaud Attorney General John Ashcroft for his use of federal law to seek to stop the misuse of controlled drugs in Oregon for euthanasia. He has taken a heroic stand for life.   And as we look back at Roe nearly thirty years ago, we can see that one reason for legalized abortion was that many, many Christians were asleep at the wheel. Let's make sure in the current bioethics debates this never happens again.   Chuck Colson: That's right, Nigel. Christians can't sit idly by when the old and the ill -- that is, the weak, the very people the Bible tells us to care for -- are killed for no crime except their weakness. Christians, this is our challenge. We must defend human life.       For further reading: Dr. Nigel M. de S. Cameron, The New Medicine (Crossway, 1992).   Charles Colson, "Can We Prevent the Abolition of Man?", an address to U.S. Congress members and staff.   Learn more about the Wilberforce Forum's newest initiative, the Council for Biotechnology Policy.  


Chuck Colson


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