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Medical Ethics

By Editorial Staff
Published April 1, 2008

by Garry J. Moes

“The great law of the living world,” philosopher Frederick Nymeyer wrote some 20 years ago, “is to survive.”

Today the great law is being broken. In our increasingly lawless age, the survival instinct is dying.

We have coursing among us like a poison vapor a pervasive death wish – the ultimate lust of a society which has given itself over to its base desires. The stubborn will to survive, once so admired in a dying individual, is being replaced by a will to die. Where once it was a sign of spiritual maturity to endure and overcome suffering, it is now “dignified” to wish death upon oneself in the midst of suffering. “Death with Dignity” legislation is thus, expectedly, being proposed in many quarters.

The phenomenon is being even further institutionalized. Organizations with names like Concern for Dying and America’s Society for the Right to Die are forming to promote it. Movements are underway not only to legalize suicide but to have it declared a fundamental right of man.

In California, America’s seedbed of social phenomena, there exists a “Hemlock Society,” with a name aptly reflecting the revival of ancient Greece’s glorification of death, as embodied in the demise of Socrates. In the Netherlands, Europe’s leading laboratory for experimentation in moral decay, such venerable institutions as the Royal Society for Medicine and the Synod of the Reformed Church have pleaded for “involuntary active euthanasia”- a euphemism translatable in no other way but murder of the weak and distressed.

Back when we called it “mercy killing,” at least our language recognized it as killing. Now, perhaps to mask our guilt feelings, we use terms like “Americans Against Human Suffering,” to cite a name associated with a ballot initiative collecting signatures for the November 1988 election in California. (The initiative, whose promotional campaign has a $2 million warchest, would legalize “assisted suicide” for those expected to die within six months.)

The New Jersey Supreme Court has now allowed the starvation of persons in a vegetative or comatose state even if they have never expressed a desire to die. According to this court’s decisions, third parties may take such actions and nursing facilities may not refuse to participate.

The Wall Street Journal (August 21, 1987) reported in sickening detail the wide practice of “voluntary” euthanasia in The Netherlands, where an estimated 1,000 to 7,000 individuals are put to death by euthanasia annually, despite the fact that the practice is still officially illegal.

The report prompted one Dutch doctor, Richard Fenigsen of Willem-Alexander Hospital in Hertogenbosch, to disclose that “involuntary” euthanasia – often without the knowledge of either patient or families – is also widespread in Holland. Citing documented cases, Fenigsen told the Wall Street Journal (August 29, 1987),“Perpetrators enjoy strong public support and total judicial leniency.” He said the practice is so widespread that many elderly are afraid to enter hospitals for fear they may never escape alive.

Such reports make it difficult to believe that only two decades ago it could be stated with accuracy and credibility, as Nymeyer did, that “Survival as an individual is universally accepted as being ‘the first law of life.’ “

If we are to save our instinct to survive, we will have to recall and implement Nymeyer’s further observations concerning the role of God’s moral law in our survival. Calling the great law of survival a “natural” law, he said: “Natural law and moral law, both, are designed to promote individual survival and welfare … God has not given a natural law and a moral law different in purpose and character. Both are for survival of the individual and the species.” (Origin of Damnation and Sin is Not by Inheritance but is Cosmological, Libertarian Press, 1967).

Our lusts and desires, including the urge for physical comfort, will have to be subordinated to the moral law of God. Only then will we recapture our will to survive and begin to protect ourselves from threats to survival. “Wants … are overwhelmingly powerful,” Nymeyer observed. “Wants should be looked upon as so irresistible that they control conduct … When wants are determinative whether life will be retained or lost, customary restraints on conduct – all laws – are in jeopardy.”

Used by permission of Chalcedon Report, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251.


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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

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Running Time: 28 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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