It takes courage to face death, be it yours or another’s
To the editor:
There is no dignity in cowardice.
Those who apply the term “death with dignity” to assisted suicide or euthanasia diminish the extraordinary dignity of every soldier, police officer, or firefighter who has ever laid down his or her own life for another. The concept invalidates the valiant effort of a handicapped child to take a meaningful part in life, the struggle of a disabled veteran or accident survivor to achieve the dreams that seem to have slipped out of reach. It voids the exquisite bravery of the tortured prisoner of war and the inextinguishable will to live of the Holocaust survivor. It makes moot the unquenchable faith of the martyr. It does so because it cheapens the value of life.
To our shame, our acceptance of assisted suicide and euthanasia would make fools of the truly courageous. You see, it takes courage to face death, whether your own or that of another, and it takes immense courage to live when living is very hard.
Having been there to the very end of another’s long struggle to live, I can shout to the world that there is dignity in suffering. I’ve seen it in the growing, visible brightness of the spirit as the physical body is passing away. It is there because the Son of God Himself embraced suffering. In fact, it was His suffering, and only His suffering, that gives dignity to death.
Those who promote “death with dignity” claim compassion as their motivation, failing to realize that in its Latin origin the word compassion means “to suffer with” another, not eliminate him or her. Fear is the motivation of many in the “death with dignity” movement, and sadly, for others it is selfishness or even money. Underlying these motivations is the failure to recognize that there is nothing in all the earth to equal the value of a God-breathed human life, even to its very last breath.
The One who breathed life into us claims the authority to withdraw it. I do not wish to disparage “do not resuscitate orders,” and I hope not to add to the burden of those who must make the heartbreaking decision to remove a loved one from life support. For help in making these decisions for yourself or others, you may contact the Patients Rights Council at P.O. Box 760, Steubenville, OH 43952, call 1-800-958-5678 or go to www.patientsrightscouncil.org.
Lane’s column made two things very clear
To the editor:
The recent column by Joe Lane (no relation) about the Washington County Commissioners giving CHIEF a sweet deal made two things very clear: Why he should have been elected county commissioner and why he wasn’t.
Exchange Club thanks Italian Festa attendees
To the editor:
The membership of the Antietam Exchange Club of Hagerstown would like to thank everyone who attended our 39th Annual Italian Festa spaghetti dinner that was held on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012.
The Festa was again held at the Williamsport Fire Co.’s Social Hall, Leiters’ Fine Catering. Many thanks to Dave and Teri Leiter for their great hospitality and delicious spaghetti sauce.
This year’s event again proved to be a very successful fundraiser for the many local charities we support in Washington County.
The winner of our 50/50 raffle was Russ Marks of Hagerstown. He graciously donated $150 back to the club.
Frit Hill, project chairperson
Antietam Exchange Club
Keystone pipeline just the tip of the iceberg
To the editor:
Over the past few months, Americans have learned a lot about the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — the oil industry’s scheme to pad their profits and expand development in Canada’s pristine northern forests.
Recently, President Obama announced that his administration will expedite pipeline permits, including the southern leg of Keystone XL, which runs from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast.
The decision is both incredibly frustrating, considering Keystone’s huge threat to wildlife and public health, and confusing — as it comes after months of White House promises to thoroughly review the project before making any decisions.
Tar sands pipelines are dirty, dangerous and inadequately regulated, as proven by catastrophic spills in the Kalamazoo and Yellowstone rivers. Cleanup crews are still struggling to restore those ecosystems.
Keystone XL is just the tip of the iceberg and Big Oil has big plans for more tar sands pipelines and more exports. President Obama’s wrong turn on pipeline safety will have big consequences for Americans and does nothing to address gas prices or employment.