This reflection is contributed by Larry Peterson and republished from the Catholic Writers Guild blog.
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Her name is Laura and she is 24 years old. She is a healthy woman who lives in Belgium. She wants to die. Why does she want to die? Because, as she says, “Life, that’s not for me.”
My initial thoughts were that this young woman is severely depressed or on drugs. She is only 24 years old and healthy. She has a whole life ahead of her. Why would she want to die? Plus, this story is all over the print and broadcast media. Why isn’t someone helping her?
Isn’t there anyone who has offered to give her the necessary counseling, spiritual guidance, or antidepressants to help her see that her own “life” is not her enemy? Is there no one who might convince her that her life is a one-of-a-kind, precious gift? Is there no one to prevail upon her that her life is rarer than the rarest diamond and more valuable than all the world’s riches combined? Cannot someone show her that she is the only one in the history of the world who is SHE or will ever be SHE? Well, my friends, Laura lives in Belgium and apparently in that country not too many people give a damn about the value or sanctity of life.
In February of 2014, Belgium approved legalized euthanasia for children. I believe this supposedly sophisticated, civilized, and pompous nation has earned the title “The Great Nation of Self-Annihilators.” In Belgium you are witnessing Nihilism in all of its twisted “splendor.” This is encapsulated in the total rejection of the value of life as witnessed in the upcoming assisted suicide of Laura.
How sad, how disgraceful, how blatantly sinful. Doctors have given Laura the go-ahead to kill herself. They will help her to be “successful.” Why would doctors do this? In Belgium many of them feel that life and death are really not such a big deal in the first place. Laura says that she has been considering suicide since the age of six. Are you kidding me? She says that she was ONLY six when she started thinking that she “didn’t want to live at all.” It is hard to even fathom such thoughts bouncing around inside the head of a six-year-old who has not even reached the age of reason.
Laura has had psychological problems her entire life. In high school she was a “cutter,” self-mutilating her arms. Her father had been an abusive drunk and her mother left when Laura was a toddler. She grew up with her grandparents who loved her dearly, but maybe the trauma of her parents’ behavior was too much for her and drove her into depression. It does not matter. What matters is that this child had problems and no one gave a damn. She was left to grow with a festering and debilitating sense of “nothingness.” Now they want to help her kill herself. This is Nihilism run amok.
Laura has told doctors that she needs to kill herself because, as she says, “life, that’s not for me.” They readily agreed and Laura has now set a date for her death injection to be administered in her apartment. The actual date has not been publicized. She is planning her funeral and writing final words to be read. Doctors and mental health professionals are happily helping her along on her death journey. I cannot get it out of my head that she is only 24 years old and healthy and doctors are gladly helping her to kill herself simply because she asked them to help her do it. Whatever has happened to the moral fiber of people around the world?
Secularism has infested the entire world with its self-fulfilling message of false happiness. Belgium, a country that is 75% Catholic, voted 2 to 1 to pass the child-euthanasia law. The bishops in the country begged them not to vote for it. It did not matter. The attitude of many people is: what do God’s representatives know about real life? For that matter, what does God know about real life? If poor Laura wants to kill herself to be happy, why not. And then they go to church. WHATEVER!
Well now, if you do not have God in your life and believe that death leads to nothing then you probably find comfort in believing that “nothing” cannot hurt you. It follows that being dead will make you happy. How sad and perverse is this? But it proves one thing. While the secular world fights to eliminate God from our lives, it is God who is desperately needed back in their lives. For with God comes Hope and Love and when a person has that Faith in their lives they are not asking compliant strangers with fancy diplomas to help them die. Especially when they are only 24 and filled with life.