Friday, March 4, 2005

'Million Dollar Baby' and Moral Law

Commenter Mpav writes in response to "Catholic Bishops Help 'Million Dollar Baby' Make a Killing":

I like "Million Dollar Baby," was saddened by the ending, and I too, was upset by the assisted suicide idea. Yesterday's NY Sun however, had an article (can't link because I don't subscribe online) by a doctor, who pointed out that the real problem with "Million Dollar Baby" was the mistaken notion that Maggie could not have had her request honored by the hospital. Unlike the Schiavo case, which involves a feeding tube, Maggie was on a respirator (ventilator?), which constitutes extraordinary means. Extraordinary means are not required, by law, or by the Church....

Anyway, I think more kindly of M$B since the article. I rely on the doctor's apparent superior knowledge of the law regarding these issues. if he is wrong, then I'm wrong.

I do think he's right about the position of the Church. Thus, Frank violated neither U.S., CA or RC moral law in granting Maggie's request. If I am wrong in any particular (or general way)I'd be interested in further guidance.
Would anyone knowledgeable about Roman Catholic moral law care to respond? Extraordinary means or no, I don't think there's anything in Roman Catholic moral law, or any Judao-Christian moral law, that allows one to kill a defenseless person via lethal injection, which is how the murder's done in the movie. In real life, a patient such as "Million Dollar Baby"'s Maggie would have the right to refuse a respirator—but that wouldn't have allowed Clint Eastwood to glorify assisted suicide.

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