January 2017 Meeting

Dignity of Life, from Conception until Natural Death

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach us to pray:
“Our Father…”

The Reading
(To be read by the Leader)

“God created humanity in His image and likeness, in His divine image He created him; male and female He created them….God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good, (Gen. 1, 27, 31)”

Brothers, last month we concluded that although a legal distinction is made between euthanasia and assisted suicide, there is no ethical difference. We as Catholics believe life is a gift of God’s love for us and we are stewards, not owners of our lives. Therefore the time and circumstances of our birth are not ours to choose, they are the Lords. This month we ask the question; what are the consequences that would result from allowing euthanasia and as we know, the already legal assisted suicide? First and foremost the elderly, the poor, the

First and foremost the elderly, the poor, the marginalized, those who lack a voice of their own could end up at the mercy of third parties. Third parties whether family, medical or others could create a pressure on them that they may seek an earlier death as an option. This could stem from limited resources of their own, inadequate health insurance and even the desire not to be a burden on their families etc. If doctors were to become part of these conversations, perception of health care, the Hippocratic Oath and even the
concept of palliative care would be dramatically compromised. “If assisted suicide or euthanasia were permitted for the sick, whether terminally ill or not, because they request it on the basis of their unmanaged suffering, their autonomy or their individual self determination over life itself, how could it be denied to others?” What is the next step my friends? If we permit assisted suicide for someone to manage seemingly unmanageable suffering, how could we deny assisted suicide to those who are depressed, disabled, or otherwise frail in mental or physical health? It is indeed a slippery slope once you open the door. Killing is not a treatment, it is an irreversible action or response, which is final and eliminates any future for the patient. Never mind the collateral damage it does to a loving family and friends.

The Reflection
(To be read by the Leader)

So the question that arises out of this medical, ethical, moral quagmire. 1. What are our obligations to the dying person? What are we to do? How can we know what is appropriate and proper. This is perhaps one of

our biggest concerns. Am I doing the right thing and am I doing enough or too much for my loved one? In “Life Matters” our point of reference published by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, (COLF) we are offered the following guidelines for walking with our loved ones who are preparing to meet the Lord. “Persons who are dying should be provided with care, compassion and comfort, including:
• Appropriate medical care capable of providing comfort;
• Pain and symptom management;
• Social, emotional, spiritual and religious support;
• Full information about their condition;
• The opportunity to freely discuss their desires with health care personnel
• Full disclosure to any family member or any person authorized by the dying person to receive
information; and
• A degree of privacy that ensures death with dignity and peace.”

We only want the best for our loved ones. Brothers, these are good moral and ethical guidelines to assist us in walking with our loved ones through the inevitable and necessary doors of death to the eternal life made possible for us through the death and resurrection of our Lord. Next month, obligations for seeking and providing treatment. Euthanasia and the difference in withdrawing and withholding treatment.

“God created humanity in His image and likeness, in His divine image He created him;  Male and female He created them….God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good, (Gen. 1, 27, 31)”

Meditation Period

(The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)

Fraternal Sharing

(The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)

Closing Prayer
(Recited by all)

Let us pray:
“Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”