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While the other scenarios varied, what they did have in common was the desire for control and autonomy. They imagined departing this life at a time and place of their own choosing, assuming that would mean dying in peace.

TRADITIONAL PRINCIPLES OF MEDICAL ETHICS

But this kind of control is, to use an appropriately Buddhist word, an illusion. This chasm between us and our ancestors is a large part of what it means to live under secularism. And choice becomes the chief virtue of this modern age. And secularism also cannot answer the question of what constitutes a good death.

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Set adrift from these anchors, many moderns are left to their own devices. And the many options people are presented do not include a way of making sense of their passing, or any insight into how their lives up to that point relate to their departure. And of course, the modern secularist has no real answer to the fear of dying, other than medical sedation.

As my friend, theologian T. Moore pointed out to me recently, St. Augustine had no such problem. Those who must inevitably die ought not to worry overmuch about what … will cause their death, but about their destination after dying.

Why then should those who have lived well be dismayed by the terrors of death in any form? That which follows death, of course, is ultimately the resurrection from the dead without which, as Paul told the Corinthians, our faith is in vain, and because of which, every holy death is a good one. See also. WikiBook: Catholic Church and abortion.

Additional Resources

Main article: Christianity and abortion. Catholicism portal.

Life's Living toward Dying: A Theological and Medical-Ethical Study

Is Life Sacred? Lancaster Theological Seminary. Green In Edmund D. Pellegrino ; Alan I.

ISBN 13: 9780802841902

Faden eds. Georgetown University Press. Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium. Cambridge University Press. Kelly; Gerard Magill; Henk ten Have Contemporary Catholic Health Care Ethics. Oriental Institute of Religious Studies India.