I’ve had to stop talking about this because people have stopped listening and I don’t want to create stress where none is needed. The problem is, the facts have always been there if you look beyond the fear- and hype-driven media coverage. Shutting the world’s economy down was the wrong call. The interesting thing will be how long it takes for anyone to admit it. I suspect it’s going to take a few generations so that those responsible have expired from natural causes. The same way that apologies for Vietnam came after the politicians were largely dead and apologies for Iraq will still take a while to come.
As humans, we take risks every day. We get in cars. We get on planes. We go boating, skydiving, tramping, bungy-jumping, cycling, swimming… all of which have an inherently increased risk. If you don’t do anything you are less likely to die of it.
The true shame is the invisible death rate. People that could have lived with a medical intervention that could not see a doctor. Or could not get scheduled for surgery, radiation treatment, etc. Then are the suicides from all the failing income streams, unemployment, broken relationships due to the stresses caused by this.
In the real world, we have supposedly returned to Level 3. I can tell you from direct observation that at street-level, apart from the purse-clutchers, people have by and large restarted their lives. Traffic is indistinguishable from pre-lockdown days. And thank God that people are pushing this Level 3 as they are. The only thing I am theoretically allowed to do that is extra over Level 4 is that I can drive to a nearby park and park there, and that I can buy contactless food.
My son will be in uniform representing 29 Squadron Air Training Corps. Had Corona not popped in, he would have been standing on a corner of the cenotaph at Rotorua’s Civic Service this year. Last year he lowered the flag for #LastPost. Very proud father.
In his media conference Dr Bloomfield said there had been 291 breaches of the CDEM Act or the Health Act and that 16 people have been prosecuted with 263 warnings and 10 youth referrals.
Police in Dunedin are continuing to spot surfers at the city’s beaches despite orders last week that made it clear such activity was prohibited. The message was simple – stay at home, save lives, a police spokesperson said.
It is plain and simple. Our society does not value babies’ lives as it does those of older people.
Another thing that has become very obvious is the amount of birdsong you hear around the garden and neighbourhood. It is significantly more than pre-lockdown. My working theory is that the amount of traffic is to credit for this. After all, there are so many more people outside actually walking. Perhaps also some air traffic can be credited.
Most major faith groups, including the Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jews and Southern Baptists, have published their opposition to medically assisted suicide, arguing that the timing of death is a choice only God can make [my emphasis], according to Pew Research Center. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that assisted suicide violates God’s commandments, but that “members should not feel obligated to extend mortal life by means that are unreasonable.”
Most religious leaders say that supporting terminally ill patients means accompanying them through their pain and fear, not allowing them to actively choose death. They also believe that even suffering holds valuable lessons for patients and survivors.
“Some members of religious communities would argue that there is something blessed about having a dying person as part of the group,” Bregman said. It’s meaningful not just to “be able to care for that person, but also to recognize, in that person’s condition, what all of us will face at the end of life.”
This is a 180-degree turn from what I would have believed a year ago. But the thing is, once you become a Christian, you can’t just pick and choose the bits of the rules you want to follow.
And yes, it is deeply relevant that pain and suffering are formative parts of life itself. Not just for the person facing a drawn-out death, but especially for those that surround them.
When we kill an animal that suffers, we call it humane. We tend to reverse-anthropomorphise this onto humans and think we are doing someone a good turn by taking the pain away. And on the surface that seems an unassailably moral stance.
What that viewpoint fails to take into account is that there is a much larger and more complicated context to the potential death and current suffering which includes family, friends, medical staff and other people.
In the end, the manner of our deaths is as much part of our lives as the life that led to it. And it isn’t to be minimised, rushed, or made to end before its time.
We abhor murder. We abhor suicide. Assisted dying is nothing more than fooling yourself that it is neither of those.
I will vote No.*
*) The consequences for Christians that choose this way to end life is to throw away the next life that God has in place for people. There really is no wiggle-room for this. If you want to be part of the Kingdom, the absolute worst thing you can do is throw it all away at the very last hurdle. I suspect God weeps over each and every one he loses to the enemy.