Fighting For the Culture Of Life

The Slippery Slope Continues

Dear Friends for Life:   During the past month, the media has bombarded us with the sympathetic story of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old newlywed with aggressive brain cancer. Lots of emotions floating around between pros and cons. What’s next?

In “assisted suicide” someone provides the means and/or information for another person to commit suicide. If the assisting person is a physician who prescribes a lethal dose, the term is “physician-assisted suicide.”

A closer look reveals that “assisted suicide” puts vulnerable people in mortal danger. There are many hidden dangers which do not surface when emotional reasoning is used. Let me center on one which affects most countries.

“Elderly abuse” and exploitation are spreading here in Asia and throughout the world. Seniors who need assistance to do everyday tasks is one example of those being abused. In fact, ‘elderly abuse’ can be recognized as a current epidemic. One specific cause stems from the family: (1) not all families are loving; (2) many reduce late-life care in the name of cost containment; (3) and family emotional relief creates motive for steering someone toward death.

Another cause is the failure of elderly to report the abuse. For example, a mother being abused by her son might not want him to go to jail. She might also be humiliated, ashamed or embarrassed about what’s happening. She might be legitimately afraid that if she reveals the abuse, she will be put under guardianship.

Society places a high value on physical appearance and the ability ‘to produce which result in stigmatizing physically impaired people and non-productive elderly. This leads to the notion that these people would be better off dead.

To my knowledge, there is nothing in any law that prevents an abusive caregiver or greedy heir from coercing a family member to “choose” assisted suicide. They can even administer the lethal dose – no witness is required, so who would know?

“Elderly abuse” takes many forms, but the ultimate “elderly abuse” is the act of killing a vulnerable dependent person. This ultimate abuse will appear as merciful but will often be cold, calculated killing, just like the many studies are beginning to show is true today.


God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI



(The Difference is LIFE)  “Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy.” –Pope Paul VI





Websites by Fr. Jerry
Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in English) (in Japanese)
Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in Japanese)