POLL ALERT: Justification of “mercy killing”

There is a poll on the site of the New York Daily News attached to a story about an 88 year old man who shot his wife in the head to end her suffering.

As of now.

UPDATE 24 Nov 1755 GMT:

I am amazed.

UPDATE 25 Nov 1512 GMT:

I am even more amazed!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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37 Responses to POLL ALERT: Justification of “mercy killing”

  1. boko fittleworth says:

    The intention of ending his wife’s suffering could be a first step toward greater moral responsibility. Same if she had shot him for the same reason. Or if a transexual shot them both.

  2. Microtouch says:

    I am bewildered. Too many want to play God. They will get quite an education eventually.

  3. lucy says:

    It’s scary to think that most people think this is okay. The poll shows 70% voted yes. We deserve this kind of thinking. Many of us who claim to be Christian do not act Christian, therefore, our beliefs in the public square are not heard.

  4. MJ says:

    I voted in the poll! Let’s see if we can swing the results!

  5. Sacristymaiden says:

    I voted!
    As of the moment the poll is:
    8%-Not sure

  6. Do you believe that euthanasia should be legal if a Catholic supports abortion?

  7. On a side note,

    Why father?!!! WHY???

    You don’t need a mac. Don’t go over to the dark side. Just get a nice PC and install Linux into it. Don’t give that protestant who runs Apple any money. PLEASE. I will build you a computer is you want.

  8. This is because people do not understand what “compassion” is, and so they have false compassion. They refuse to “suffer with” (com- + passio). They prefer to “enjoy without”.

    They use phrases like “put him out of his misery” (“out of his suffering”) again forgetting that “misery” demands misericordia. So perhaps that’s the problem: they have no cor.

  9. Esther says:

    What a horrible story. :(

    This isn’t even “she asked me to hel her kill herself, so I did.” This is “I unilaterally decided she was better off dead, when she was in a state o not being able to communicate her wishes.”

    Of course, even the former would be bad.

    I do feel sorry for this man. He probaby believed he was doing a kind thing. But he WASN’T.

  10. Dr. Eric says:

    The baby boomers tried to kill off generation x with abortion and generation x will try to kill off the baby boomers with euthanasia.

  11. “The baby boomers tried to kill off generation x with abortion and generation x will try to kill off the baby boomers with euthanasia.”

    A succinct and accurate assessment.

  12. Jordanes says:

    The current poll numbers show 61% in favor of murdering those who are suffering, 32% opposed. At least it’s heading in the right direction.

  13. J Kusske says:

    I like the push poll technique of equating being able to off a loved one with “loved ones having a say.”

  14. Dof says:

    Do it, Father. You’ll never regret it. Once you go in for a Mac, there is no turning back. Never. Not ever. Numquam. Everything else is a poor imitation. (I’m sorry, quomodocumque :-S )

  15. Maltese says:

    What’s wrong with people? Murder is murder!

  16. Joan M says:

    I voted (n0, of course)! The results now are:

    Yes. 56%
    No. 37%
    I’m not sure. 7%

    “Laird apparently decided that his wife had suffered enough”. Apparently he had suffered enough.

    My oldest sister is in the depths of Alzheimer’s and living in a nursing home. My oldest brother (retired priest) visits her regularly. Each visit he sits and tells her all the news since his last visit, reads to her, prays for her, and – as her conditions progresses – anoints her. My sister is not in pain and she most likely has no consciousness of her condition, so she is probably not suffering at all. The ones who suffer are her relations who see her condition.

    Quite possibly God is communicating with her soul in a way that was not possible in her once busy life….

  17. Mariana says:

    55% Yes, now. Slowly improving.

  18. Father, if you must get a mac try to find a way to get one where apple doesn’t get any money from you. We Catholics need to draw a line and let the tech companies know that we will not give them Catholic money as long as they support abortion.

  19. Sid says:

    I respectfully ask:

    Are the remarks at 23 November 2010 at 8:00 pm sarcastic? Do these remarks belittle Holy Father? There may be a place of sarcasm in sharp polemic; I’ve used it myself on websites of polemic when dealing with evil and gross presumption. And I’ve used it when I ought not have done so, mea culpa. Yet isn’t this a website striving not for sarcasm or polemics but for thoughtful opinion? And isn’t this a website of affection for and faithfulness to Holy Father – to whom all of us in the Traditionalist Movement owe a debt of gratitude?

  20. LarryD says:

    Just voted – now it’s 55% yes and 39% no.

  21. Jordanes says:

    Now it’s 54% murder to 40% morality.

  22. LaudemGloriae says:

    Sid, the Pope’s interview was in no way under the umbrella of infallibility, therefore the statements given can contain error and there is no sin or disrespect in disagreeing with them. I think boko’s comments did an excellent job of highlighting the absurdities of the situation. Also, these sorts of constructs “the intent of doing xyz … could be a first step …” will be used by all sorts of academics, students, etc in coming days to defend all sorts of nonsense because the Pope has opened that door. This is a real concern.

  23. irishgirl says:

    This is so sad.
    Dr. Eric-what you said!
    My father had Alzheimer’s in the early 1980s. He was at home most of the time, except for two months in a nursing home so that my mother, the primary caregiver, could get a rest. I wouldn’t wish Alzheimer’s and dementia on my worst enemy. It was a horrible and depressing time for me and my family.
    But I would not condone shooting anyone who is terminally ill; that’s totally wrong!

  24. Sid says:

    With respect to the remarks at 24 November 2010 at 9:48 am, Holy Father’s statement in this matter is not unclear, has no error, and is not absurd. Fr. Z has himself proven this by posts. To say otherwise is to join the very Cultural Marxist press in its spreading a twisted and mendacious report. And so what if “academics, students, etc” misuse what he said? Will they not do this regardless? Are not remarks at 23 November 2010 at 8:00 pm sarcasm, literally in Greek “to tear the flesh”, and thus hurtful, disrespectful, and inviting others to do the same? This is to be expect in Chick Comics or from our current crop of village atheists. Yet by a writebacker at WDTPRS?

    And are the remarks at 24 November 2010 at 9:48 am suggesting that when Holy Father’s words are not a teaching of the Magisterium, faithful Catholics are free to belittle, mock, scoff, scorn, and otherwise denigrate him? — especially about the man who made the TLM more available? Were (note the unreal subjunctive) Holy Father wrong in this matter, would not reasoned and respectful argument be the appropriate approach?

    Am I seeing suddenly a disturbing, if not alarming, trend: some now counting Holy Father with Kueng and Bugnini, with Modernism and Liberalism? So to count is risible when not defamatory, and defamatory when not risible.

  25. Supertradmum says:

    This morning, the poll was more like 55% for and 46% against. Keep spreading the word. But, morality is not a democratic movement, which sadly some think it is in this age of relativism.

    Those who commit murder in order to supposedly stop the suffering of others are merely being selfish and trying to stop their own suffering in not being able to cope with the problems of a loved one being ill.

    Sickening and scary for the future. I have already had cancer and I can imagine a health system which one day just states “too bad, so sad” but you are too expensive to keep alive.

  26. Andrew Mason says:


    Actually, such a system of healthcare already exists and it’s called the private healthcare system. It recently happened in my parish, to a child named Kyler Van Nocker who died of neuroblastoma because his parents’ health insurance company refused to pay for treatment. It happens when insurance companies institute a maximum lifetime coverage limit, which I think is usually around $1 million, and cut off a person’s treatment when they reach that level of expense. It happens when insurance companies add riders to policies excluding certain ailments from coverage or deny payment for “pre-existing conditions,” although if the Obama health care reform law survives the new Republican House leadership it will prohibit insurance companies doing these last two things.

    This is what I’ve never understood about opposition to health reform, there are a lot of things to oppose in how the bill turned out (backdoor funding for abortion, too expensive, doesn’t cover enough people, doesn’t give insurance companies any incentive to lower rates, etc.) but a lot of the things like “death panels” and crushing bureaucracy that people fear already exist in the private insurance industry and already kill people every year.

  27. ghp95134 says:

    As of 9:40 PST:

    Yes. 49%
    No. 45%
    I’m not sure. 6%

  28. Wow. Look at the change in the poll.

  29. TotusTuus90 says:

    I voted! Wow, a vast improvement in the past few hours.

  30. TJerome says:

    I just voted, no. The poll now reads 48% yes, 47% no, and 5% not sure. At least, 48% is in the minority, albeit, barely.

  31. Harper MacDonald says:

    I just voted (of course) no. The poll stands at 47% yes, 47% no, and 6% not sure.

  32. mjd07 says:

    It’s now 47% for 47% against

  33. Thomas S says:

    I just voted and No is at 48%, overtaking Yes at 47%.

    I’ll pretend my vote was the one that turned the tide and accept your praise and adulation now.

    C’mon. Start adulating!

  34. Phil Steinacker says:

    I don’t know when it occurred, but now we lead 50% to 45%, with 5% not sure.

    How can one be not sure?

    Anyway, this community has once again pulled a great achievement out of a fiery mess. Nice going!

  35. Jerry says:

    @Sid – “And are the remarks at 24 November 2010 at 9:48 am suggesting that when Holy Father’s words are not a teaching of the Magisterium, faithful Catholics are free to belittle, mock, scoff, scorn, and otherwise denigrate him? — especially about the man who made the TLM more available? Were (note the unreal subjunctive) Holy Father wrong in this matter, would not reasoned and respectful argument be the appropriate approach?”

    Contrary to what one might surmise after reading some Catholic blogs, faithful Catholics are not “free to belittle, mock, scoff, scorn, and otherwise denigrate” anyone — regardless of who they are or what their beliefs or actions are.