The Right to Die-It's What Jesus Would Do
  by Fr. Mushroom

 Funny how the GOP is always in favor of "states' rights," except when
 the state in question is giving people the right to die comfortably or to use
 marijuana medicinally. There are "good states' rights" according to the
 GOP-segregation, creationism, Jim Crow laws-and "bad states' rights,"
 which is almost anything that benefits humankind.

 And of course, Attorney Generalisimo John Ashkkkroft and is pals are
 cloaking themselves with Jesus and Scripture to fight a patient's right to
 die or to use medical marijuana. And as usual, they are wrong.
 It's the same, tired old rant from the Right-"We're pro-life, we're
 pro-life"-when they scream about physician assisted suicide or a
 patient's right to die. "We respect ALL life."
 All life?

 The party that loves to execute mentally retarded petty criminals respects
 all life?  The party that wants to end things like welfare, Headstart, and
 school lunch respects all life? The party that considers national health care
 coverage a pariah respects all life? If it wasn't so sickening, it would be
 laughable. They're pro-fetus, period. After your mother delivers you,
 you're on your own brother, from that day to the grave. But now they
 want a piece of you before you die, too.
 My mother passed away peacefully and in comfort thanks to morphine.
 She was in the end stages of heart failure, the heart's ability to pump
 became weaker and weaker, and the lungs began to fill with fluid.
 Without morphine, she would have struggled to breathe, gasping, her
 lungs literally drowning in fluids. Instead, the morphine lowered her
 respiration rate, and she drifted in and out of consciousness as she
 prepared herself to die.
 It's amazing how the body and soul work at the end of life. God visits
 and prepares us, taking away our anxiety.we are visited by friends and
 relatives that have passed.our family visits with us, holds our hand,
 talks to us. When we know "it's okay to die," we begin to let go.
 The organs shut down in order, and soon we are in "the next place,"
 pain-free, disease-free, in the arms of the loving Creator.
 How nice that medicine is able to do its part in helping us on this
 journey. Medicine and its practitioners are gifts from God. Morphine
 exists for our use, to use as Jesus would use-for radical healing.
 Healing doesn't just mean "making well." It means providing comfort,
 too. My mother's doctors, nurses, chaplains, and hospice practitioners
 did "what Jesus would do." Jesus would have made her as comfortable
 as possible to help her prepare for the next place. He would not have
 let her drown in her own fluids, panic-stricken, in agony, so that people
 like John Ashkkkroft can give lip service to their narrow, pro-fetus agenda.
 If we see healing as giving comfort as well as curing, it's hard to argue
 against the use of medical marijuana as well. Would Jesus let the cancer
 patient writhe in agonizing pain, vomiting, unable to keep food down?
 Or would he offer the patient a joint (another gift from God-the marijuana
 plant. "Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow.") that would relax
 their pain and help them keep a bowl of soup in their stomach, thus
 allowing them to live another day? Of course he would offer them a joint.
 We need to demand that John Ashkkkroft stay out of our bedrooms,
 our hospice rooms, and our doctors' offices. "Beware of the hypocrites,"
 Jesus said, speaking of the GOP. Let people die peacefully, with dignity,
 in comfort, and let them treat their cancer as they see fit.
 Don't denigrate the dying and the sick with your puritanical aversion to
 "drugs." Jesus said, "Before you worry about the speck in your
 neighbor's eye, worry about the beam in your own." Let me put this
 another way-"Mr. Ashkkkroft, before you worry about the morphine in
 my mother's veins, worry about the Jim Beam in your president's hand!"
 Fr. Mushroom

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