Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Reverend Death" Coming to North Carolina?



 If You Think It Can't Happen In Your State...Think Again!

There is a news story from The Charlotte Observer, regarding a Unitarian Universalist “minister”, who purchased a piece of property in Gastonia, NC in 2007.

The headline for the story reads as follows: "Reverend wants to open assisted suicide facility in Gastonia".

Reverend George Exoo said at first, he wanted to use the property as a rental property, but then said he always envisioned using the smaller house on the back of the property as a "hospice" for terminally ill people.

It seems according to Jon Ronson, in regard to his documentary, Reverend Death (that was shown on Channel 4 a British public-service television broadcaster), that many, if not most of Exoo's clients seem to be suffering from depression and are not terminally ill. Exoo claims to have assisted over 100 people in committing suicide.

In January 2002, it was reported in the Irish news that a woman's body was found in a house in Dublin, Ireland. The police said that the woman had been suffering from depression. The suicide might have gone unnoticed except that she had been seen the day before at Dublin Airport picking up two Americans at arrivals. The three were later seen drinking Jack Daniels and coke at a hotel in County Mayo. Other drinkers said that when the woman got up to go to the restroom she danced a little jig at the table. The next day she was dead, and that night the two Americans left Dublin.

The next day, the Irish police released the names of their suspects, the Reverend George Exoo and his partner Thomas McGurrin of Beckley, West Virginia. The Irish police were seeking the arrest and extradition of Exoo and his partner for the crime of assisting a suicide which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years under Irish law.

In 2004 the Irish police formally instigated extradition proceedings against Exoo, and asked the FBI to arrest him, which they did in 2007. On October 25, 2007, a federal judge in Charleston, West Virginia freed Exoo on the grounds that he could not allow an Irish prosecutor to try Exoo in Dublin, since assisted suicide is not a crime in 25 of the 50 states.

The thing is, here in North Carolina there is in reality, not much in the way of the local governments having any authority or power. They receive their authority and power from the state. If the state so chooses, it can render a local government totally impotent over any or all particular city or county affairs. So, with that in mind, what happens in one community, can in theory, and many times in practice within North Carolina, happen in all.

One of the reasons Exoo said he was considering Gastonia, North Carolina is that he likes the location of the property because "of its proximity to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and laws in North Carolina". Exoo said he thinks renovating the house and turning it into a "hospice" where terminally ill patients can end their lives is only a year away, and that is only if he gets enough "funding" for his "project".

You can  read what Jon Ronson wrote about his meetings with Reverend Death, as well as see a short  video clip from the piece, by clicking here, and you can read The Charlotte Observer story here.

Assisted suicide or euthanasia, just as abortion in all of its forms are grave mortal sins that should never be condoned or assisted by anyone for any reason.

In February 2009 in regard to euthanasia, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The true answer cannot be putting someone to death, however 'kindly,' but to bear witness to the love that helps us to face pain and agony in a human way. We are certain: No tear, whether it be of those who suffer or those who stand by them, goes unnoticed before God.”

In May 2005 Pope Benedict also stated, "Freedom to kill is not a true freedom but a tyranny that reduces the human being into slavery."

The Catholic Catechism states in the following excerpts from paragraphs 2277–2279 on euthanasia and paragraphs 2280–2281 on suicide:

#2277 ...Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator....

#2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over–zealous" treatment....

#2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable. Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

#2280....It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

#2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

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