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I wish to respond to Pam Frampton’s column, “Fighting for the right to die” of Aug. 25.

Ms. Frampton, you are not fighting for the right to die.

As Alexander Deane, barrister, author and former chief of staff to David Cameron has said, “The debate about euthanasia isn’t about letting people die.”

It is about doctors actively taking part in killing them.

In an euthanasia society, the state is asked as to who should continue to live and who should not.

How frightening and reminiscent of what Hitler, Lenin and Mao built without God — tyrannies that phased out the invalids, bedridden cripples and the unproductive aged by programs of euthanasia.

Murder and suicide bring about death in this world and, most likely, death of the soul in the next.

Whom, may I ask, has had more experience with the dying elderly than the late Mother Theresa? She repeatedly said, “Death with dignity is to die with grace.”

Her formula was to make the person happy — to create an atmosphere of God’s presence in the individual’s surroundings.

No matter what the thinking of sentimentalists, God alone created and owns human life.

Those humans who wish to play God and practice euthanasia are committing the serious sins of murder and/or suicide.

Euthanasia is a vicious killer that preys on the weak and vulnerable. Pope Benedict has declared, “Freedom to kill is not a true freedom but a tyranny that reduces the human being into slavery.”

If we don’t reverse course, the recent popes have warned us, the culture of death, euthanasia and abortion will destroy our civilization. The Pope recently told Scottish bishops that euthanasia “strikes at the very heart of Christianity.”

Recently, Pope Benedict stated, “The cross of Christ will be the demon’s ruin and this is why Jesus does not cease to teach his disciples that in order to enter into his glory he must suffer much, be rejected, condemned, and crucified. Suffering is an integral part of his mission.”

Suffering for Orthodox Christians is an opportunity to unite their sufferings with those of Jesus Christ — it is an opportunity to make atonement for their sins and enter eternal life.

Your column, Ms. Frampton, is a dangerous negation of the truth.

George McIsaac

St. John’s

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  • Colin Burke
    September 13, 2012 - 08:47

    Even prosecuting murderers after they've murdered is also "just a tad late.C'est la mort aussi, non?" But the purpose of the state is not to do justice in the first place -- that is the duty of the individual person -- but to redress injustice by punishing it as it deserves. Murderers deserve to be killed because people deserve the effects of what they do and murder is an effect of what murderers do. That is not refuted by pointing out that people who are not murderers can be killed without deserving it. But in fact my argument means that all who kill deserve death, with the murderer and his executioner both deserving it. That means that where murderers oppose capital punishment in principle, they have a right to fight fairly any who would authorize their being killed in punishment for murder: since both deserve it, their fighting fairly ought to determine which contender, or whether both, will in fact be killed: Justice, like Mother Nature, can be severe with us. The alternative is to say public safety is more worth defending, by almost any means, than justice itself. Some seem to say that. I deny it. By the way, Mr. Power, you are either a very respectable typist or a better proofreader than I.

  • Ed Power
    September 12, 2012 - 20:57

    Whether one is jailed - or executed - as the result of a "wrongful conviction" or by "punishment following logically upon conviction" (which they all do), the end result is the same, one is either in a jail or a cemetery. Prosecuting the people who "culpably convict wrongfully" is just a tad late. C'est la mort.....

  • Colin Burke
    September 12, 2012 - 08:27

    Mr. Power, I believe that wrongful conviction, rather than a punishment following logically upon conviction, is the real injustice, and that people who culpably convict wrongfully ought also to be punished. A medical condition or the medication I take for it keeps me from feeling as strongly as you do, or feeling much at all, about anything; I am just strongly convinced, which is a matter somewhat different.

  • Ed Power
    September 11, 2012 - 19:57

    There is certainly no confusion on my part, Mr. Burke. I feel as strongly about allowing any person who is suffering from the effects of a terminal illness - and who has made the free and conscious decision to end their life a few months earlier than their illness inevitably will - as you do about executing people you deem to be deserving of it. The former is a compassionate act, the latter is one of vengance. One is an act of mercy, the other is the blood lust of revenge. The fact that many people "deserving" of execution in the past were later cleared - for a variety of reasons including new forensic evidence, DNA, faulty witness statements, police or prosecutorial misconduct - still leaves them, unfortunately, quite dead. I guess the chap in Texas who was convicted of murder and executed even though his inebriated court appointed lawyer slept through his trial also "deserved" it. (You may be entitled to a lawyer, but no one says it has to be a good one, right?) If we were blessed with the benefit of such a "deserving" punishment here in Canada the list of innocent dead people would be quite a lengthy one, and include Donald Marshall, David Milgard, Guy Paul Morin, James Driskell, Thomas Sophonow, Steven Truscott, and many others. Here, in Newfoundland and Labrador, we could have added Ronald Dalton, Gregory Parsons and Randy Druken to list of "deserving" dead people. They wouldn't even had had Rueben "Hurricane" Carter to speak up on their behalf - he would have been executed decades earlier for the murders that he also never committed. Your position reminds me of the famous answer attributed to Arnaud-Amaury, the Cistercian bishop-commander of Albigensian Crusade who, when asked how his troops would be able to tell the Catholic citizens of the city of Beziers from the Cathar heretics replied, "Kill them all, the Lord will recognize His own". Personally, I would agree with Maimonides that "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death".

  • Colin Burke
    September 10, 2012 - 08:42

    Mr. Power, you seem to me to have been a little confused to begin with. The truth that persons deserve the effects of what they do cannot be smelled or seen by a dog or cat; it is accessible soley to the faculty called reason. For all their highly developed sensiblity -- which is not reason -- I have never heard of a whale or an elephant or a crow appeal to that truth as a defence against a human's killing them; I have never heard of any other animal species discuss that truth at all. And merely suggesting that a living death is worse than a "real one" -- apt choice of phrase, that -- does not amount to the kind of rational argument I have made for mercy killing's being murder, which is the only kind of argument I admit to justify capital punishment: murderers deserve it. Saying capital punishment serves no "useful" purpose makes me wonder how many murders the opponents of capital punishment might find it in their hearts to condone if they discovered that murder served what society agreed were "useful purposes."

  • Ed Power
    September 09, 2012 - 21:55

    Mr. Burke, you have me confused. On the one hand you readily sanction death by Capital Punishment for people who "deserve to be killed when they try to kill someone else, or when they try to do something which others may kill them to prevent" - a rather subjective criterion by any standard - and yet state that life is so very precious a person suffering from terminal cancer, ALS, Huntingtons or any of myriad other diseases and genetic maladies that would rob them of their intellect, quality of life or ability to even breathe on their own cannot with foresight and using their own judgement, choose to end their own life. They must rot from the inside out, limbs wither to useless stalks or brains atrophy to the point that they are unaware that they even exist - fed by tubes and kept alive by machines -so that they might understand "that greatest reality of the known material universe...death is worse than pain". I would suggest that a living death is far worse than the real one. To conflate a personal decision to end ones life - to prevent or end uneccessary pain and suffering - to the decision by a state to deliberately execute someone for criminal activity is disingenuous. One is motivated by mercy and compassion, the other by public rage, political cowardice - or political gain - and the need for revenge. I, for one, oppose Capital Punishment, as it serves no useful function in a civilized society. It has no effect on crime rates, nor does it serve as a deterent to other potential criminals. If it did, the countries with the highest execution rates would have the lowest crime rates, and they do not. It does, however, serve to appease those who clamour for revenge in a Biblical "eye for an eye" sort of way. I would also suggest that your opening statement, "Human are beings made of of matter who can see realities not made of matter..." might need a rethink. My dog is made of matter and can smell 'realities' and hear things in the audio spectrum that I cannot. My cat, also made of matter, can see realities far beyond the limted capabilities of my own eyes. Elephants, whales, crows, most primates and other animals - all made of matter - are all self-aware, feel pain and mourn their dead. We are not the only species that "can see realities not made of matter".

  • Colin Burke
    September 08, 2012 - 11:50

    Mr. Power, thank you for summing up the way you see my position. I view it otherwise: Humans are being made of matter who can see realities not made of matter, like the truth that persons deserve the effects of what they do. Death breaks down that greatest reality in the known material universe; pain, however, intolerable, does not thus break down the nature of that reality; therefore, death is worse than pain. Since people deserve their deeds' effects, people deserve to be killed when they try to kill someone else or when they try to do something which others may kill them to prevent. People do not otherwise deserve to be killed, and espcially they don't deserve that punishment just because they are suffering. When people feel that people ought to be killed for that reason, that is a result of their reasoning's being clouded by emotion or pain. That reason can be thus clouded by "mere" feelings is, when viewed clearly in the light of pure reason, another of the misfortunes to which humanity unfortunately is subject. Murder, as I understand it, consists in killing someone who does not deserve it, or in the killing of a human by someone other than a public authority established to impose punishment which is deserved. By that definition, killing someone who wants to commit suicide is murder if my previous reasoning is correct. If it is not, please correct it.

  • Ed Power
    September 07, 2012 - 17:19

    I will simplfy it for you, Mr. Burke, you are wrong in deeming it "murder".Your arguement , in brief is, "I deem it to be murder, therefore anyone who chooses this option is imposing upon my moral convictions. Another person's desire to end the pain and suffering caused by a terminal illness, or from catastrophic injuries received in an accident, and die with dignity at a time and place of their own choosing is entirely irrelevant. It offends me." I believe that about sums up your position. You also claim that people in such a position would somehow be unable to euthananize themselves, or be able to make their wishes known to family or medical professionals, and would possibly be subject to state sanctioned terminations - sort of like the Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and the other Tea Party loonies raving about how Heatlh Care Reform in the US would result in " Obama killing your granny with Death Panels". Many people suffering from terminal illnesses are sound of mind and therefore able to make their wishes known in their will, via letter, in a Living Will, video statement or notarized document. People who have a genetic predisposition for a terminal illness could make arrangements well before the disease enters its terminal stages. Many people would be able to exercise the option themselves, but what of those who could not? I have no issue with the concept of euthanasia/assisted suicide, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. Even if legislation were in place, how would it be administered? Would medical professionals balk at having to provide this "service". Would this service attract people with personality disorders or even complete sociopaths? The survival instinct being one of our most primal motivators, would there even be enough demand for it? This will only be determined through frank and open debates like this one.

  • Colin Burke
    September 07, 2012 - 09:06

    "If you do not wish to use the option -- don't." But if I even allow that particular option, I am consenting to what I deem murder. Do you deny wanting to impose that on me, or can you establish that I must be wrong in deeming it murder? You are overlooking the fact that no one can simply "use the option" by himself; the whole point is that he needs help with everything including that. What if no one immediately available who was able to help wanted to "use the option" of killing him? Is that supposed then to remain optional? A "right to die with assistance" must be, if it is really a right, a right of which one can command the exercise. And people who need help even to die are in no position to command anything. What the state could command on their behalf it could command even of those who deem it gravely wrong. But that is not, in your view, an imposition unless it be the justifiable imposition of compassion and mercy ignoring justice? For justice renders what is deserved: how does suffering one misfortune occurring by chance deserve that a worse one be deliberately inflicted?

  • Ed Power
    September 06, 2012 - 22:37

    You are being just a tad disingenuous, Mr Burke. The only people trying to impose their moral viewpoint on others are the ones who believe that not allowing people to suffer long and agonizing deaths is an affront to their particular deity. Again, if you do not wish to use the option - don't. Simple soulution. There is no imposition of morals here, unless it is the imposition of mercy and compassion for someone in terminal pain.

  • Clin Burke
    September 06, 2012 - 07:57

    My writing "If that were so," in reference to injustice's being worse than hardship, in my previous post, was a typical graphic error: I meant to write "If that were not so, etc." Sorry.

  • Petertwo
    September 06, 2012 - 07:57

    I think the science of medicine has the dilemna of being ahead of itself. People today are being kept alive where in the past they would have succumbed naturally. For example some injuries leave some people physically alive through life support systems but with no functioning brain. Or perhaps victims of diseases who suffer terribly painfully, torturously, with no hope of any sort of recovery, know they are slowly dying, and would just as soon get it over with, not everybody but some. No one lives forever. Medecine, it may be said, in some ways is just too good today. Some babies cannot get born, while at the other end some folks cannot get dead. As for the religious they can always opt out, but in the end it would make no difference, they will be just as dead as anyone else in the same circumstances. If they are going to heaven then they could get there a little earlier, their choice. God gave man a brain, I doubt He would penalise anyone for using it.

  • Colin Burke
    September 05, 2012 - 12:11

    Mr. Power, your demanding one law for everyone would impose your personal moral viewpoint on all who disagree with it, while you object to my imposing my moral standards on yourself. If you can point to an argument I have made in this discussion which was based on any religious authority whatever, go to it. My argument is simply this: Doing anything that is unjust is worse than any hardship (except where the hardship is unjustly inflicted). If that were so, then "injustice" would be only hardship under another name. If injustice is worse than hardship, then there are two praiseworthy attitudes which might -- I do not say they must -- help people endure hardship which otherwise would be intolerable. One might accept such hardship as a just punishment for having been unjust, or one might glory in the fact that, however bad the hardship is, one has not been bad enough to deserve it. That would require, I admit, utterly heroic courage, but then again, heroic courage is a virtue, not a vice. I admit, too, that I can imagine other people being heroically courageous more readily than I can imagine myself being so. But a person's being unfortunate to the point of despair does not warrant his being punished with death. And my agreeing to one law for us all which would allow assisted suicide would entail my consenting to punish a great misfortune by inflicting a worse.

  • Doug Smith
    September 04, 2012 - 20:49

    Mr. Burke, in summary, your effete views on assisted suicide make you an anachronism and therefore your views can only be viewed as “without merit”. Doug Smith Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Ed Power
    September 04, 2012 - 18:17

    No one is asking for different law or laws for you, Mr. Burke, but one law for all citizens. One law which is not based on the religious beliefs of any particular religious group or faith system. If you do not wish to use the option of medical relief from a terminal illness, don't use it. If you feel that you would like to suffer through a terminal illness or chronic condition in the manner of Christian martyrs so that you might purify yourself for your god, then you are certainly free to do so. I would remind you that many people "martyred" through no fault of their own - at the hands of Christian Inquisitors, mad Mullahs, priests, preachers and shaman; by starvation, burnings, stonings and torture; by pogroms, Crusades and extermination; and by being torn to pieces by shrieking mobs of religiously "inspired" zealots - would likely have appreciated the "mercy" option they were denied. The problem with your argument is that you seek to impose your religious code upon the general population, a diverse population that is made up of people who honour different gods, different versions of the same gods or, increasingly, people who have chosen to leave the mythical gods of our ancient ancestors back in the Bronze Age where they belong. I would suggest that you dig out your Concise Oxford Dictionary and review the definition for the words "Democracy" and "Theocracy". It took us the better part of two millennia to achieve the former and I, for one, have no desire to return to the dark days of the latter.

  • Colin Burke
    September 04, 2012 - 09:49

    Mr. Morrison, I consider no one beneath me, who also am most certainly a mere mortal. I just thank God for giving me the patience to respond more or less rationally to arguments I deem more or less irrational without indulging in personal attacks or even the "gentle" gibing, more or less humorous, with which I used to enjoy "getting the goat" of people easily aggravated. Meanwhile I have some questions for any "Chris Hitchens wannabes" who may be following this discussion: Is lacking the compassion to allow assisted suicide also only an "imaginary" failing or is it evidence that some failings can be real failings -- which God, but apparently not yourselves, might be willing to forgive and for which he might be inclined to induce repentance? Which are the arguments for God's existence that you have considered and how have you refuted them? Have you even heard of Mortimer Adler's little book "How to Think about God: A Guide for the Twentieth Century Heathen"? As for the "experiment" I am invited to try, I am willing to admit that even a lesser horror would probably overwhelm me. What I do say, though, is that such horrors do seem to beat us down to accepting death submissively, which is what I think they would do to me, instead of raising us up, as Christianity has done with many martyrs, to endure death defiantly, and that the former effect is not good for us. People who really wanted to endure death defiantly rather than be beaten down to it could commit suicide before they needed help with it. Death is the worst of misfortunes and inflicting it undeserved is the worst of crimes. People who suffer lesser misfortunes which appear to be far greater than death do not deserve to be punished with death because they suffer greatly. A further question: Why is it that people who approve of giving in to weakness are entitled to the laws they want but people who disapprove of giving in are not entitled to their own laws? Or am I mistaken about this and would you really allow people like me to live under a law different from yours?

  • Herb Morrison
    September 03, 2012 - 11:56

    Mr. Burke, you credit the Almighty with granting you the patience to reason with mere mortals, who you appear to consider to be beneath you. Might I be so brazenas to enquire to whom you attribute what appears to be your badly over-inflated ego

  • Ed Power
    September 02, 2012 - 01:48

    Mr Burke: You seem to think that since you "knowing my own weakness...don't want the law to allow me to give up that way" are incapable of determining your own course in life - and death - that this option should not be available to others. Again, the belief of some people in the wishes of a mythical "Creator" or "God" are supposed to outweigh the wishes of those of us who do not believe in magical creatures. I will choose to control my own life, thank you very much, and, when it comes to it, my death as well. I suggest that you do the same. If you feel that your deity would like you to suffer in agony as an incurable cancer eats away at your body, or ALS traps you in a failing one, or Alzheimers destroys your brain and consciousness and leaves a barely animated corpse behind - as it did with my own mother - then by all means honour your deities wishes, just don't insist that I must do the same. Why you would think that a non-believer, those of us who dwell in the rational realm, would want or desire your prayers, or would want to subject ourselves to the "mercy" of your particular deity - such mercy as determined by your deities eartly intercessors - is hubris. The moral and ethical concerns surrounding the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide are issues that require considerable debate - rational debate that must be based on sound science, medical ethics and legal concerns - not the perceived desires of some amorphous creature from the Great Beyond.

  • Doug Smith
    September 01, 2012 - 18:37

    Mr. Burke, your position on assisted suicide is theoretically unsound based, as it is, on a wish that God exists. I propose an experiment that will demonstrate to you in a real physical way, not just theoretically, the truth of my position on assisted suicide. You remember Tony Nicklinson, that Ms.Frampton wrote about. You know, the guy paralysed from the neck down. For this experiment, I propose that you spend, two weeks only, living the life Tony lived. Remember, you will be in a chair for 6 hours without moving, being fed like a baby, taking a dump in a sling over a commode, dribbling in your clothes, and sleeping with your mouth open. Now of course you won’t do this experiment because the thought of spending even one day like Tony horrifies you . But then again you and your kind have no trouble letting Tony spend the rest of his life like that. Now have I got that right. Doug Smith Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Colin Burke
    September 01, 2012 - 14:04

    Mr. Smith, I get the idea that my God is merciful partly from his granting me the grace to reason more or less patiently with people like yourself and partly from his own patience with me and you. You remind me of Gordon Sinclair, who kept abusing God for letting other people be unfortunate -- apparently Sinclair himself throve rather well in the strictly temporal sense -- without asking what the truly unfortunate thought about God: not how they felt but what they thought is what really matters. OK, you're not "promoting" assisted suicide, so you're not encouraging people to give up on being human, you just don't want the law to discourage giving up. But I, knowing my own weakness, which in fact I have (though not recently) experienced in desiring relief from pain though deeming the means of relief to be gravely wrong unjust, do not want the law to allow me to give up that way. If you could have the kind of law you seem convinced you ought to have without denying me the aid of law to which I am convinced I ought to be subject, I should be glad to allow it you while praying only that the surprise you will receive at your life's ending will be a pleasant one. Meanwhile, if you can convince me that the argument against suicide itself, as opposed to "promoting" it, which I presented in my posting immediately previous, must be invalid, I should think that many who want assisted available and legal would be grateful for your contribution to the cause. For if suicide can indeed be morally acceptable, I myself might turn out someday to be grateful for that; one never knows.

  • Doug Smith
    September 01, 2012 - 12:23

    Mr. Burke, you need to get your facts straight, no one is “promoting” assisted suicide. We ( the sensible, reasonable, compassionate people) just want it readily available and legal. Where did you ever get the idea your God was merciful? Doug Smith Grand Falls -Windsor

  • Colin Burke
    September 01, 2012 - 10:43

    The case against assisted suicide, for those with no belief in God, may be stated briefly thus: Promoting assisted suicide, or any suicide, since death destroys the matter in a human, "encourages" humans to stop being human, which is matter capable of reasoning, the highest level material creation can attain. Another way of putting it is that promoting suicide, assisted or not, tries to persuade man to give up on being a man. Some will see this as an argument for assisted suicide rather than against it. Others may not see its point at all. May God have mercy on both their kinds.

  • Ed Power
    August 31, 2012 - 18:41

    Thank you, Mr. McGrath, for so forcefully proving my point. The hypocrisy is stunning, but certainly not unexpected. After all, it is a practice that has been perfected by religions and cults over many, many centuries. Strange, how the wording of my comment is "an insult to any Christian and Roman Catholic person in this country", but the unwanted and outrageous proselytizing by Mr. McIssac on behalf of his particular deity - or rather, what he believes to be the wishes of his particular deity as revealed to him by prophets, popes and priests (all of whom have, shall we say, a vested intererst in maintaining the family business) - is not an insult to the non-religious people of this country. In fact, it seems that you consider it perfectly acceptable. The fact that many people don't believe in your particular deity - or , as in my case, don't believe in deities, demons, ghosts, vampires, leprechauns, orcs or any other type of magical or mythical creatures - is, to you and your fellow believers, completely irrelevant. You insist upon entering the secular forum to lecture and criticize us - in extreme cases, insisting that Biblical Creation mythology be taught in public schools as scientifically valid - but scream "persecution" when challenged. Sorry, you can't have it both ways. You have the right to your religious beliefs, and you have the right to practice your beliefs inside your own church or house of worship, where you can debate the religious philosophy of your faith to your hearts content. Should you, however, emerge from the confines of your church and attempt to impose your particular version of "Truth" upon me, then expect to have your prohibitions and pronouncements debated and criticized. As the late Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", and that evidence would be something more substantial than a book of barbarian mythology. The days of Churches and clerics dictating to the cowering and ignorant masses has long since passed.

  • Doug Smith
    August 31, 2012 - 09:25

    Mr. McGrath, you need to write a letter of apology to Ms. Frampton right away. You called her a hussy. Ms. Frampton showed by her concerned, empathetic column that needless suffering should be put to a stop. How you could think Ms. Frampton was anything but a good and well intentioned person is beyond me. Mr. McGrath, you also accused Mr. Power of “… hateful trash talk…” and that he was, “… sick and fouled mouth.” I can’t see how any of these accusations against Mr. Power are true. I thought his comments were accurate and showed Mr. Power to be a thoughtful and serious person. Obviously , Mr McGrath, you are upset and probably wrote things you are now sorry for , so a good idea for you would be to write only positive comments from now on as your negative comments really didn’t add anything to the conversation. Doug Smith Grand Falls-Windsor

    • Joseph McGrath
      August 31, 2012 - 15:48

      I now see that ."Common sense is not so common." Voltaire

  • Joseph McGrath
    August 31, 2012 - 06:20

    Once upon a time the tely was fair and balanced in what it allowed to be published in its newspaper.The wording below from a poster Power is an insult to any Christan and Roman Catholic person in this country.He states" And, please spare us "moral" dictates from the former Hitler Youth poster child and long-time protector of paedophile priests He lacks credibility"Such ignorant bias hateful trash talk deserves no spave in a daily newspaper and exhibits the low state of poor journalism the tely now adheres too.Mr.Power has his hate speweled oponions gleefully published but surely he has no right to be given space in a local newspaper to spew such hatred..I personally think the poster is really sick and fowl mouthed.A pox on the tely for allowing such trash postings by such bigoted hateful person.I don't think the tely will publish this post but I would never expect it to do so as it would respect freedom of speach.It is also time for the Tely to take a closer look at some of its column writers such as Ms Frampton who is really coming into her own as a hate writer.We have grown to tolerate the grumblings of BOB who long ago crossed the line of good journalism but now you have this new hussy Frampton deciding to come play in the pig pen.I do not buy your paper and notice the large stacks of unsold copies in retail store outlets.Just a maatter of time before your operations are shut down and the sooner the better!!!!!!

    • Tom
      August 31, 2012 - 08:47

      You claim the Telegram is some how in the wrong for not censoring Mr. Power and then go on to claim they have no respect for freedom of speech having just cited in your post an example of the Telegram respecting freedom of speech! What kind of psychological gymnastics did you have to go before writing that beauty? You disparage Mr. Power for being 'ignorant bias hateful' within your own ignorant, bias and hateful post! I believe that's called hypocrisy among other things. Personally I'm very glad the Telegram has this 'hussy'(hahahahahah) Pam Frampton. It seems fitting to say to me she's a voice in the wilderness. Topics like assisted suicide and abortion don't seem like difficult topics to me. We should be allowed to do whatever we want to ourselves as long as it isn't hurting other people. I don't see how morality can come into it when we are dealing with decisions made by individuals about their own bodies. We always hear what Jesus or Jehovah or Elohim has to say about these topics but I've been waiting to hear what Baal has to say. He has been unusually quiet the last couple thousand years. Did he retire or something? Did he just give up the ghost when El showed up?

    • Pam Frampton
      August 31, 2012 - 10:57

      Get your facts straight, Mr. McGrath. I'm neither a hate writer, nor a hussy. And I'm not new, either. I have been a columnist for more than a decade.

  • Doug Smith
    August 30, 2012 - 18:35

    Mr. Burke, sad to say you are stumbling and bumbling about with your comments . First of all, it is not all right for Mr. McIsaac to use the public press to remind his fellow believers of beliefs to which they are committed. Now, he has a legal right to do so but morally he doesn’t . These beliefs are Catholic religious beliefs and invariably they end up creating pain and suffering for innocent people. It is best for all, if Mr. McIsaac kept his religious beliefs to himself. If you can’t say something good don’t say anything. Mr. Burke , you said I was illogical, but it turns out you are. If we accept your weird meaning of mercy, “something to which one is not entitled”. Then extending mercy ( your definition) to one who wants to commit assisted suicide, which is not legal in Canada, we end his pain and suffering. When assisted suicide becomes legal we won’t be able to extend mercy for assisted suicide because it will be his right to have assisted suicide . What the 130 instances of God killing innocent children as well as others shows, is that God is no standard by which to judge whether a person’s life should end since God takes life whether you deserve it or not. Mr. Burke you complain that , “… you lot of unbelievers , who give no rational arguments to justify your rejection of belief…” but that is not the topic under consideration, assisted suicide is. It is enough to say we don’t believe and therefore reject any appeal others make to a deity. Since there is no evidence that a divine being exists how could we believe in one? Mr. Burke why not offer something positive in your comments, you don’t want to be known as Mr. Negative do you? Doug Smith Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Ed Power
    August 30, 2012 - 16:29

    Perhaps you should read my reply twice, Mr. McGrath, as you appear to have missed the clearly stated point. You have, however, certainly succeeded in confusing me. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to why a disbelief in deities, demons and other magical creatures must therefore equate with a belief "in nothing"? And why do those who believe in fairytale creatures feel compelled to lecture - and lecture endlessly - those of us who choose not to? Why should I, or any one else, cede authority over my body and mind - especially my mind - to the mythical god of illiterate Bronze Age goatherds, and that gods modern day followers? You are partially right, sir, "Not much has change over the years". Churches and religions still insist on imposing their own peculiar belief systems upon people who don't want them, or need them. They still cry "foul" and claim persecution when those same people oppose or challenge their impostion upon them. What has changed, is that we are no longer afraid stand up to them.

    • Joseph McGrath
      August 31, 2012 - 08:50

      Same old same old,Power"The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

  • Frank
    August 30, 2012 - 15:03

    And what if you don't believe in God? I for one, don't want some pope speaking for me. They should clean up their house and leave other people alone. Far be it for them to take the moral high ground. "Euthanasia is a vicious killer that preys on the weak and vulnerable." Isn't that what the catholic church has been doing for centuries?

  • Joseph McGrath
    August 30, 2012 - 13:51

    Confusing reply Mr.Power.Seems like you believe in nothing yet crap all over those who differ.Not much change over the years!!!!

  • Colin Burke
    August 30, 2012 - 09:46

    So, fellows, isn't it all right for Mr. McIsaac to use the public press to remind his fellow believers of beliefs to which they are committed? Unless Ms. Frampton was not trying to alter the attitudes of Christian believers but meant only to preach to you lot of unbelievers, who give no rational arguments to justify your rejection of belief and who are often illogical when you try to do that: Mr. Smith, for example, wants the law changed because assisting suicide is "mercy"; but mercy by definition is something to which one is not entitled and the purpose of law is to protect our right to that to which we are entitled, which is life -- once we have it. Mr. Smith also says there are 130 instances in the Bible of God's having "killed or murdered," which does not begin to rebut Mr. McIsaac's belief that only God may decide when life should end: all it shows is that if God has such authority he has chosen to exercise it, not that he has no such authority; accusing him of murder does not establish that he lacks authority, but only assumes in the first place what Mr. Smith was, presumably, trying to establish through that accusation. That is very faulty reasoning.

  • Ed Power
    August 29, 2012 - 19:15

    "Suffering for Orthodox Christians is an opportunity to unite their suffering with those of Jesus Christ- it is an opportunity to make atonement for their sins and enter eternal life." Exactly, Mr. McIssac. So you and your religiously inclined brethern can suffer to your hearts content as you purge yourselves of your moral failings and imaginary sins, and you can leave those of us who don't believe in imaginary deities and demons to exercise control of our own lives - and deaths. Forcing people suffering from cancers and other terminal illnesses to endure horrific pain to appease a mythical god and his cabal of clerics is Bronze Age barbarity at its worst. So much for Christian compassion. And, please spare us "moral" dictates from the former Hitler Youth poster child and long-time protector of paedophile priests. He lacks credibility.

    • The Atheist
      August 30, 2012 - 07:54

      Whoa there, no need to spew hate.

  • Anon
    August 29, 2012 - 18:52

    Our laws are not written by the vatican, the pope is not the prime minister and the citizens of this country are not 100 percent christian. Not everyone wants mother theresa to be with them when they die. Some would rather hang or shoot themselves. Some however would like to be put to sleep. And if a human being wants to be put to sleep then we shouldn't stop another human being from helping them if it is mutually consensual. The right to freedom religion also includes the right to not have a religion. Perhaps death may not be ruled as a right by the courts but the right to die with dignity should be and it should be a very separate thing from the bible. Catholics and Christians can choose not to partake in this but there's no need for them to ram their beliefs down everyone else's throats and impede them from dying with dignity and medical professionalism.

  • Red
    August 29, 2012 - 16:50

    George there is no soul, there is no god and there is no afterlife. We die are buried and make fertilizer for everything else to feed off of. Just like any other living creature we are subject to the same fate. I suggest you stop your fearmongering and enjoy your life for what it is. That is the whole point of religion to scare people into not thinking rationally, and looks like they've got you hook line and sinker. There are people suffering in this world as no man or woman should, if there was such a god why would he/she/it allow this? You waste time going to church on Sunday I'll be on the couch with a beer.

  • Anna
    August 29, 2012 - 14:21

    I agree with Pam, why should someone have to do through that indignity and suffering when a needle would take care of you? I firmly believe when one has ni quality of life then you have no life and it should be your choice to end it. Why would someone put their family through this when they know it is never going to get better. Mr. McIsaac, you scare tactics are unreal.

  • Doug Smith
    August 29, 2012 - 13:26

    Mr. McIsaac, when a person makes it known that he or she would like to end their life but are physically unable to accomplish the task , someone else doing it for them , is an act of mercy not murder. Who are you or anyone else to say when a person can end their life. To equate the modern concept of assisted suicide or euthanasia with the killing machines of Hitler, Mao, Lenin ( did you mean Stalin) is a devious deception. The two are completely different. Your appeal to the Christian God as some kind of guide in this matter is delusional. There are over 130 instances in the Bible where God killed and murdered people with the great Flood the high point. Likewise your appeal to the recent popes as some kind of guide is without merit. Have you forgotten their roles in the priest child sex cover ups? Perhaps, if you would work on developing your own personal traits of empathy and mercy maybe then you will be able to write a letter worth reading. Doug Smith Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Too Funny
    August 29, 2012 - 10:06

    "Euthanasia is a vicious killer that preys on the weak and vulnerable." and "... a dangerous negation of the truth." Two descriptions that apply just as well to the god myth.