A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Thursday, March 31, 2005 :::
Concerning Clint Eastwood's justly praised--but also overly praised--Million Dollar Baby, the ending has drawn considerable attention, particularly as it seems to be the main point of the movie. In it, the character played by Hilary Swank is permanently paralyzed, requiring a respirator. She has all her faculties, however, and so never loses legal control over her care. Clint Eastwood's character, who has been personally at war with the Church for a very long time, consults a priest, who tells him that he will be committing a very grave sin if he "does this." "This" turns out to be removing her from the respirator.

In fact, the only things the Church has an objection to are the illegality of it (Eastwood pulls the plug under cloak of darkness, without a doctor's supervision), and the injection of adrenaline, which will actively kill her. The respirator is by definition a "heroic measure," and so not required under Church teaching, and if the shot had been morphine, to ease the pain, that would have been fine, even if the levels of morphine passed into the lethal range, as long as lethality was not the intent.

This misrepresentation of Church teaching, and the similar misrepresentation on the debate over the recently deceased Terri Schiavo, come to mind with the news that the Holy Father now has a urinary infection, resulting in a dangerously high fever and requiring antibiotic treatment. Any student of the remarkable life of Karol Wojtyla will understand the comment that he must be thinking that, given the strides modern medecine has made in prolonging life and the frequency of such situations, it is now his part in life to teach us how to pass on to the next world.

Our prayers should be for his comfort, and not ours. He has given us quite enough.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 4:48 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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