TO KILL OR TREAT?
Too many parliamentarians have maintained the attitude of Pilate – they are washing their hands of the problem, considering themselves as guardians of a compromise, approving of the so-called smaller evil
The contemporary science has cut discussions whether the conceived and unborn baby is a human. The Polish constitution also defends human life, but it was not possible to add the words: ‘from the conception to the natural death’. Is it possible to change the law now to enable to defend the human life more, and more specifically, so that the inability would not be a cause of killing babies in the wombs of mothers?
Last week the Seym was debating over the project of the club of Solidary Poland to remove one exception in the current Act about family planning, protection of the human fetus and conditions of accessibility of abortion – eugenic abortion, that is, the one allowing for killing a baby in the case of a serious incurable illness or a development defect. It was justified by the fact that if the current medical progress allows for rescuing 22-week-old preborn babies, we should not allow for abortion for eugenic reasons. What’s more, prenatal examinations should be profiled for diagnosing and curing illnesses but not be a result of death.
According to the report of the Council of Ministers, in 2010 in Poland 641 illegal abortions were committed. But 614 babies lost their life because a genetic disease had been suspected among them, or – as one wishes – ‘irreversible defects of the fetus’. One can be sure that in fact, due to the eugenic message in the majesty of law babies are killed who can and should count on specialist medical help after birth. Therefore there were right words in the Seym that killing the weakest babies, still unborn, suspected of diseases, is a perfect realisation of the vision of Adolf Hitler who, aiming at creating the clear human race, did not hesitate to kill weak, old and ill people.
According to the binding Act, one can commit a legal abortion of a mature fetus with the Down syndrome in the 24th week of its life. Who is for maintaining this record in the Act, he should be courageous and tell parents of living children with the Down syndrome. These children in medicine are called God’s children. All of them, without an exception, are loved with infinite and pure love by parents and their siblings. This love cannot be killed by anybody or anything.
And how can one take away the fundamental right for life from the defenceless baby because of his disease? But in contrary – one should give the baby much care. One can be sure that if we do not respect the fundamental right for life, other rights will not have any significance.
To kill or cure? – Polish parliamentarians, most of whom declare to be Catholics, have faced this question. They will not have to vote for the complete prohibition of abortion this time, but only for setting aside the record which is inhuman. As I heard, in the club of the Civic Platform, on which the fate of the Act depends, there will not be discipline of the party. Its parliamentarians will vote according to their conscience. Therefore I want to remind that Blessed John Paul II advise parliamentarians in practice: ‘If it was not possible to reject or abolish the Act of abortion completely, the parliamentarian whose personal opposition against abortion was clear and known to everybody, he would behave in the right way, supporting the propositions whose purpose is to limit the harmful nature of this Act and in this way aiming at reducing its negative results on the field of culture and public morality. For, by behaving so, one does not accomplish illegally in introducing the unjust law but one is rather undertaking a righteous attempt of reducing its harmful aspects’ (‘Evangelium vitae’, 73).
Unfortunately, too many Catholic parliamentarians take on the attitude of the Pilate -washing their hands of the problem, considering themselves as guardians of a compromise, approving of the so-called smaller evil, but, in fact sentencing the defenceless, suspected of disease unborn babies to death. Suspected – this word should be emphasized because today medicine is performing complicated heart operations on babies in the wombs of mothers, is treating inborn defects and serious diseases. Moreover, our joy about disabled Olympics players, who gave us loads of medals, looks insincere! But as it is seen, many parliamentarians find disability a pass to the disabled Olympic games but also to death.
What is more important, this parliamentary voting will also influence the acceptance of other bioethical Acts, including in vitro. And the starting point to a discussion about in vitro is just eugenics, that is, an artificial selection of human embryos. Will the parliamentarians vote for the rotten compromise also in this case?
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Czesław Ryszka a writer and politician, columnist for "Sunday", Member of AWS in the1997 - 2001,in 2005-2011 the Senator of Polish Republic; www.ryszka.com