Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What Happened to Compassion?

There is an old saying when it comes to laws:

"You either follow the letter of the law or the spirit of the law."

Much to my regret, some in the US feel that euthanasia is immoral and make a fuss when it's good play for the media. But I have a lot of issues with the fact that our pets are treated more compassionalty than our people.

If someone has no hope for recovery and the pain is either so intense or their days are numbered, they should and deserve to have the right to make their own decision if enough is enough.

This issue becomes even more challenging for those that are dealing with loved ones that don't have all their senses about them. What a horrible situation to be in to watch someone you care about slowly drift away.

Who are we benefiting by allowing this to happen?

Some say that only God has the right to take a life. Well what do you do when man has made it so that a human being can last for years in a non-functioning manner? There are machines and medications to handle almost anything just for the sake of keeping a human ticking a little longer. If it HAD been left up to God, in most cases these people would no longer be suffering and neither would their loved ones.

And now we have James & Mary Roberson. Married for 60 years, lived in the same pretty little house for 50 years and raised 2 kids there. He fought for our country in World War II. He spent his career as a telephone repairman. No one recalls him raising his voice. Everyone remembers him as a compassionate, happy man who went out of his way to help people.

When Mary had a series of strokes that left her unable to care for herself, James stepped in and handled everything because she didn't react favorably in a nursing home. Bathing her, feeding her, loving her. And then he was hit with brain & lung cancer and only given a few weeks to live.

So this proud, elderly man is left with an agonizing decision - his wife hated the nursing home but he was dying. So what option was there? He chose to end their lives. I can only imagine how agonzing it must have been for him. And of course, fate steps in and prevents him from killing himself by having the gun jam.

James Roberson died 23 days after his wife. Before dying he made one final request to the family's priest according to his daughter. "Dad said, 'Can I be forgiven?'" Roberson said. "And Father Poole said, 'James, all you have to do is ask and he said, 'Oh, I have done that. I certainly asked.' And he said, 'You are forgiven.'"

And now the Dallas-Ft Worth National Cemetary refuses to allow him his military funeral due to the "Timothy McVeigh Law" that prevents persons from having a military funeral that are charged with a crime that could result in life imprisonment or the death penalty. And this is where we have the "letter of the law v. spirit of the law".

James Roberson didn't kill hundreds of his fellow citizens. He was an elderly man that knew he was soon going to die and was trying to not be a burden to anyone. He was trying to do the best in an impossible situation.

Take the time to let U.S. Representative Pete Sessions know that this man deserves his military funeral if you are in the Dallas area.

For those outside the area, please contact your local US Representative to let them know your thoughts: http://www.house.gov/.

All stores regarding this situation can be found here.

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