Thaddeus Baklinski

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Euthanasia is inevitable, time to move on: Canadian Medical Association Journal article

Thaddeus Baklinski

OTTAWA, April 10, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada is “obsolete” and the deadly practices are inevitable, so it’s time to move on, argues a commentary this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“Physician-assisted death is going to become legal in Canada in the very near future by one means or another and crucial questions need to be answered,” wrote Dr. James Downar, an assistant professor in the division of critical care and palliative care medicine at the University of Toronto, in a piece titled, "Physician-assisted death: time to move beyond Yes or No." 

Downar argues that the debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide has become irrelevant and that physicians could soon be left in a legal vacuum if the Supreme Court of Canada rules later this year that laws banning doctor-assisted suicide violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The case before the high court is an appeal of the recent British Columbia Court of Appeal ruling in Carter v. Canada that upheld the nation’s ban on assisted suicide.

The case was launched by the family of Kay Carter, who died by assisted suicide in Switzerland in 2010. The family claims Carter was denied the "right" to die with dignity in Canada and her family was forced to break the law by assisting her travel to Switzerland for suicide. The BC Civil Liberties Association represented the Carters.

Downar said Canada could end up in a similar position on euthanasia as it has been on abortion since the 1988 Morgentaler ruling.

“Abortion was never legalized by statute in Canada — the laws limiting it or restricting it were simply struck down,” Downar stated. “That left physicians in a legal vacuum. Physicians were left scrambling to come up with rules, policies and guidelines to follow.”

“There is a very distinct possibility that could happen” with physician-assisted death, Downar wrote.

Downar also noted that legalizing doctor-assisted killing may come about by legislation, citing the assisted suicide private member’s bill recently introduced by Manitoba Conservative MP Steven Fletcher.

“Through either route, physician assisted-death may become legal in Canada, and our well-rehearsed debates about whether sanctity of life is more valuable than personal autonomy or whether people can experience intolerable suffering despite receiving optimal palliative care may become obsolete,” Dr. Downar wrote in the CMAJ.

However, the Canadian Medical Association, which has no editorial control over the opinions expressed in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, was quick to state that Dr. Downar put “the cart well before the horse” by focusing his commentary on doctor-assisted death over better access to palliative care.

In a letter to the CMAJ editor, CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti said that while Downar's commentary presents "a very detailed examination of many of the issues involved in our growing national examination of how Canadians expect to manage their care at the end-of-life they unfortunately get the cart well before the horse by focusing solely on physician-assisted death.”

"Addressing the dire need for improved access to palliative care services … and Canada's lack of a national pain strategy would be much better places to start," Francescutti wrote.

Dr. Francescutti noted that "contrary to the author's assertion" there is little support for doctor-assisted death among Canadian physicians, as shown  by the vote at the CMA annual general meeting last August where delegates made it clear the doctors' association will not change its formal position against euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Dr. Francescutti added that the CMA is gathering input from Canadians online and is holding public town-hall meetings on end-of-life care to sound out society's position on the issue.

"While physicians may indeed need to be prepared for the challenges of physician-assisted death, we are hearing from Canadians that there is an even greater need for our society to ensure we provide high quality palliative care to everyone who would need it as well as a better understanding among the public about advance care directives," Dr. Francescutti wrote.

In his commentary, Dr. Downar argued that data from other jurisdictions where doctor-assisted death is legal show that vulnerable groups, including the institutionalized, “are actually less likely than non-vulnerable groups to receive assisted death.”

However, Alex Schadenberg, president of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, points out that abuses that contravene the law and put vulnerable people at risk are rampant in countries with legal assisted death.

"In Belgium, where euthanasia was legalized in 2002, studies published in the CMAJ and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) indicate that as many as 32% of the assisted deaths are done without request and many of the assisted deaths are not reported," Schadenberg said.

"In January, Belgian euthanasia doctor, Marc Cosyns admitted that he does not report the euthanasia deaths that he does, even though reporting is a requirement of the euthanasia law. Recently Belgium extended euthanasia to children," he said. "The former leader of the euthanasia lobby in the Netherlands stated in January that the Netherlands euthanasia law has derailed and doctor-assisted death is out of control."

"The fact is that legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is lethal and not safe," Schadenberg concluded.



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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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