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(Note: This post discusses abortion in the second half for illustrative purposes. This post is not intended to reflect the entire compendium of my beliefs about abortion, or to reflect the LDS view about it either. If you have questions about it, you can consult your bishop. In general, abortion is wrong. In general, killing another person in a premeditated fashion is wrong, but it was OK for Nephi to lop off Laban’s head. That’s why God is the final judge.)

From merry olde England comes this story.

It is reported in The Telegraph that a hospice run by a nun, “after taking advice from a solicitor, the clergy and health care professionals” and with the approval of the parents, helped a dying 22 year old man born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy to have his dying wish.

It was something he had wanted to do for several years but due to his physical limitations and the nature of his terminal illness, he was unable to successfully pursue his desire. So in his weakened state and with his own money, the hospice staff helped this young man to procure the services of a prostitute while his parents were out of the house. The parents knew what was scheduled to happen in their absence.

It was not the specific desire of this young man to have sex with a prostitute, but just to have sex. After the event in his own words: “[i]t was not emotionally fulfilling, but the lady was very pleasant and very understanding. I do not know whether I would do it again. I would much rather find a girlfriend, but I have to be realistic.”


He said he did not discuss his decision directly with Sister Frances, who founded the two hospices. “But I know she gave me her support.”

Sister Frances described Mr Wallis as “(sic)delightful, intelligent and aware young man”.

“I know that some people will say ‘You are a Christian foundation. What are you thinking about?’. But we are here for all faiths and none,” she said.

“It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests. We came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety.”

I understand that to be Christian requires service to others, regardless of their bad decisions in the past. As a medical professional professing to be Christian, it is appropriate to provide medical assistance to people who are ill. Whether they be ill from cancer, muscular dystrophy, leukemia, AIDS, Syphilis, or other STD’s contracted from sinful behavior. As a Christian, I am not there to judge people based on their illnesses and then selectively withhold medical treatment, care, or comfort.

As a Christian you are prohibited from aiding and supporting sinful behavior. What these hospice workers, the nun in charge of the hospice, the clergy and the parents did definitely crossed the line.

The title of the article is “Hospice helped dying man lose his virginity”. The article is not clear what role the hospice played in helping him because he contacted and paid for the prostitute on his own. The title of the article and the part about ensuring his physical safety implies that they were providing medical support of some kind for the event. Sexual activity can be stressful, medically speaking. The specific risks from this disease include suffocation and heart problems. According to WebMD: “Most boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy need a wheelchair by age 12 and die before age 20 of a lung infection or heart problems.”

This encounter with a prostitute was a sin that may not have been possible without the aid of trained medical professionals. The nun, clergy, and parents chose to enable this sinful behavior and I am sure it was out of heartfelt concern for their dying patient and son.

What is worse is that the Nun described this man as “delightful” who had as his dying wish to have sex at essentially any cost. What a colossal failure of judgment on several levels.

This is a very sympathetic case but sin is still sin. And God will ultimately judge all of the people involved (and me too). This was still a poor and sinful decision on the parts of many of the parties involved.

This situation reminds me of The Cider House Rules (CHR). [This portion of the post will contain sarcasm, I am tired of ‘bent’ movies and stories showing evil as good. I hope it shows.]

CHR is a movie about abortion. It takes place in New England and has a heroic orphanage doctor that performs abortions when they were still illegal. His assistant is a young man that grew up in the orphanage and believes abortion is wrong. The assistant’s job also includes taking the fetal remains to the incinerator to be destroyed. The young assistant eventually goes off to a different part of New England to get away from the orphanage and to experience more of the world.

While off experiencing life, the young man gets a job harvesting apples. He is staying with a group of black folk (a family if I remember correctly) and sleeping in “the cider house” where the apples were juiced after the harvest. On the wall was a list of rules (“the Cider House Rules”!) that were written for people too dumb to remember to breathe if respiration were not already an autonomic function, much like outdated laws that prohibited abortion and sodomy.

As the young idealistic (and as the movie shows, misguided) medical assistant works through the harvest season, he comes to find out that the teenage daughter of the family is pregnant, cannot afford medical care for her pregnancy, will not be able to work (causing severe financial hardship on the rest of the family), and was also raped by her father who they both continue to work with each day in the orchard.

Instead of doing the right thing and going to the authorities to have the father arrested and finding a maternity home run by nuns or some other facility to care for pregnant and unmarried women and then giving the kid up for adoption, the young assistant sees the error of his outdated and morally incorrect ways and performs an abortion on the young woman.

Yes, back in the dark ages before the glorious liberation of legalized abortion, there were charitable organizations that took care of young mothers with nowhere else to go so that they could receive medical care and the put the kid up for adoption. Oh, the humanity!!! People taking care of people without government intervention or assistance!!!

The wise, heroic doctor makes arrangements for the young assistant to eventually take his place at the orphanage when the doctor is getting ready to retire. Unfortunately, the doctor has become addicted to falling asleep with the aid of ether and in an accident o.d.’s on the ether and the young assistant returns to take the place of the old and wise doctor. The wise old heroic doctor had faked the medical records of the young assistant to help the assistant avoid the draft. The wise old heroic doctor also forged documents to make the assistant “qualified” to work at the orphanage. Yet he is still painted as the morally superior of the two because he also does abortions, I guess.

The message from CHR: because there are some people who are raped and are the most sympathetic characters ever, aborti
on in all other cases should be OK too. Oh, and people are smart enough to make their own decisions so outdated laws that offer commonsensical advice and perhaps even make value judgments were written by people who are so out of touch that those rules shouldn’t even be there anymore.

While both stories contain sympathetic characters (e.g. a young man dying of a terminal illness, an essentially powerless black girl in 1940’s New England) the subjects of the stories are turned into mere tools to be used by the story tellers to justify a sinful act.

We need to not be confused or misled by our feelings for sympathetic cases. We can have all the compassion in the world for the people, but not be confused or think that evil acts are justified in this one case.

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July 2018
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