The Human Life Review

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 1, Winter

A Cup of Cold Water
To feed or not? In the case of an incompetent, unconscious or comatose patient, that is the often vexing question. Who shall speak for him, and on what basis are decisions on life and death, food and fluids, to be made? If a patient cannot eat on his...
Address of John Paul II to the Participants in the International Congress on "Life Sustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas"
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,1.1 cordially greet all of you who took part in the international congress "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas." I wish to extend a special greeting to Bishop EHo...
A Duty to Die?
The culture of death is to society as water is to fish: It constitutes the substance of our environment; it permeates every nook and cranny of our world. In such a milieu, without even realizing it, to one degree or another, we may unconsciously accept...
A Question That Begs for Moral Illumination
I take this occasion to speak out loud thoughts I don't doubt many of you have had, but perhaps not so many have expressed.We need, I think, at a dinner at which Catholic Christianity is especially prominent, to inquire into several questions.I begin...
"A Time to Be Born; a Time to Die."
On CS. Lewis's gravestone is the Shakespearean quote, "Men must endure their going hence as their coming hither; Ripeness is all."Ironically, the quote dates from the untimely death of his mother when he was a young child-it was on the calendar on his...
Bearing Witness
I grew up reading and listening to William F. Buckley Jr., and I was always in awe. As a teenager and young adult, I loved the deft way he sliced and diced his debate opponents, never losing his own cool. Since I was a New Deal Democrat I often disagreed...
Caring for the Dying
Friday afternoon at the hospice center. I punch in and eye the "white board," looking for empty white strips and unfamiliar names, quickly piecing together who has died, who is still living in this eighteen-bed facility. I start at the bottom of the...
Condom Nations
There are a lot of street kids in the Philippines. Nicaragua is a macho country. Poor people live on railroad tracks and garbage dumps. Women are treated violently. Cities are overcrowded. AIDS is killing millions. Some men tell their girlfriends they...
For the Record
In his October 17,2003 remarks at a dinner held in honor of the Human Life Review, William F. Buckley invited those in attendance to "ventilate" about life's ending. Certainly, it is important to call for discussion about vital issues of the day.However,...
Hearing Women
You know the famous blob of tissue that Americans have been arguing about for more than 30 years? Well, it turns out that the women who have abortions have about as much standing as that "product of conception."Last week, Senator Sam Brownback (R., Kan.)...
Her Mother's Glory
I promised myself that I would not be the stereotypical father of the bride, like Spencer Tracy, who hates to give away his little girl. But as I walked her down the aisle, and approached the moment she would become a full-grown, married lady, I felt...
Introduction
WE BEGIN OUR THIRTIETH straight year of publishing with the signature straighttalk of our esteemed Senior Editor William Murchison, who describes the assault on the senses of an election year: "I am talking about junk and nonsense and equivocations repeated...
Killing or Letting Die
As a preliminary remark, let me say that the line between killing and letting die is not always obvious. More importantly, it is not always susceptible to neat, clear-cut, yes-or-no answers. But we live in an age in which multitudes want such answers:...
Kissing Up to Kate
The challenges of a presidential election year-this one, for instance-are many and varied, such as the likelihood of being prodded by that pesky old conscience to tune in a televised presidential debate. Maybe good old morbid curiosity does the job....
No Abortion Left Behind
How much is worldwide access to abortion worth? What price are the international activists who cluster around the United Nations willing to pay to achieve the ability of any woman-at any place, for any reason-to have an abortion?We might start with the...
Ordinary Duties, Extraordinary Means
Within morality, there are things a person must do but also many things that it would be beyond a person's moral obligation to do. There are heroic acts, acts that we call "above and beyond the call of duty," acts that are admirable but not strictly...
Our Sister Terri
When will the bitch die?" is the question asked by the husband as reported in a sworn statement of a nurse who cared for Terri Schindler Schiavo in the early days of her hospitalization. She has tenaciously clung to a life others have judged as worthless...
Ronald Reagan's Clarion Call
In 1982, "Baby Doe" was born in Bloomington, Indiana. The baby had Down's syndrome and a defect of his esophagus that needed corrective surgery before he could drink from a bottle. The surgical procedure was considered routine for children born with...
Saving Terri Schiavo
At exactly 3:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on October 21, 2003, wild screams were heard in a quiet suburban town in central New Jersey and, simultaneously, in a quiet desert community in southern California. Two women were yelling, "We did it; we actually...
Twenty Propositions
IntroductionThe patient who is persistently unresponsive (sometimes referred to as "vegetative" or "comatose") poses particular ethical difficulties in relation to whether to continue feeding, particularly when the evidence indicates that the state is...
Whose Lives Are Worth Continuing?
On October 17, at the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the death of J.P. McFadden, William Buckley Jr. challenged the Human Life Review-and presumably its readers as well as its editors-to consider whether the lives of "insensate persons" should...