Everyone dreads getting older and losing their youthful looks and vitality. There are billions of dollars spent each year by those who will try just about anything to look younger. It was once said, however, that if you put a bright new dress on an old lady, she will still be an old lady!” Another thought is, “You are only as old as you think and feel!” That is an interesting one. Many seniors are finding today that they can only really begin to live after retirement when they are released from the stress of “making a living” and finally get to trade it in for “living a life!”
Society seems to have only one thing in mind for you; making money, earning your living, and then having to share it with those who do not work. And now some are advocating that when you are no longer making money, you are in the way and expendable.
We have heard a lot about the “right to life” in connection to the pre-born expounding on the fact that life begins at conception and that the life of the pre-born should receive the same treatment, rights, and freedom of those already born.
But there is another group of people who also should be given every right and the opportunity to a full and respected “right to life.” Wayne DeBois, Media Relations Adviser of the Georgia Right to Life recently wrote an article entitled, “What Good are Old People?”
In his article, he brings about a lot of eye opening information regarding the older citizens in our nation. Many nations and ethnic groups revere those who came before and hold them in high esteem because of their experience and wisdom. However, here in America this is not always a manifested tradition. Others are seeking ways to eliminate them from society.
Some older folks dread the day when they are no longer self-sufficient and able to care for themselves fearing they will be thrown to the back of the closet like an old worn out pair of shoes. You know those you keep around thinking – you just might need them again but probably not – but just in case you keep them “just in case” – you need an old pair of shoes for something.
With better medical treatment, nutrition, and overall better living conditions the rate of the population of those over 65 is expected to rise from 13 percent in 2010 – which was up 4.1 percent from 1900 to as high as 20.9 percent by the year 2050.
Many of the younger generation (and those in government) have come to view seniors as a burden on society and seen as an economic drain. It seems that if you are pre-born or elderly you could face similar threats against your life. Like the old pair of shoes, sadly some seniors are cast aside, ignored, and denied proper medical care and the love they deserve.
There was a time when family history was important and the ancestors remembered long after they were gone. Each generation, down the line, chose life for each of us to be here. Scary as it may seem, there are those in some states and many other countries who have come to believe that oldsters are no more than “useless eaters.” They encourage euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Wayne DeBois of Georgia Right to Life writes, “Belgium and The Netherlands (Holland) are the most aggressive of the European six countries in actively promoting such practices. The trend is also spreading in the United States, with California recently becoming the fifth state to allow doctor-assisted death. The practice is outlawed in Georgia.”
He further states, “At best, the elderly are viewed as comical, “past their prime” misfits. At worst, they are portrayed as sickly, helpless victims, unattractive, unproductive, cranky, miserable, less intelligent, and forgetful. Our culture worships youth and encourages us to do everything possible to prevent—or even reverse—the inevitable results of aging. It’s hard to watch television very long without seeing a cosmetic commercial offering ways to “take 10 years off your life.”
The way that the elderly are treated often becomes a reality in their lives as they buy into the genre of the young who think the oldsters should just move out of the way and make room for them. Depression is more likely in those who are treated as if they no longer have any worth which in turn makes them feel they have no self-worth. Such attitudes about the elderly are both unbiblical and untrue. Job 12:12 says: “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.”
There are many scriptures in the Bible that indicates that it was the older people who were most used by God. Moses was more than eighty-years old when God called him to lead the Hebrew children out of Egypt. The Rev Billy Graham will turn 97 this week and was still in ministry until just a few years ago. He continues to pray for America.
Daniel Callahan, co-founder and professor emeritus of the Hastings Center has implied that older folks have the responsibility to get out of the way because the future belongs to the young who bring life and new vitality to the human species.
In his book, “Setting limits: Medical Goals in an Aging Society” he states, “The elderly, definable more readily nowadays as the post-70 generation, must understand that medical technology does not create a right, in and of itself, to treatments which are no longer life-saving, but life-prolonging.”
He goes on to say, “The elderly must prepare themselves for the realization that resource allocation necessitates that they step aside for life-prolonging treatment when other members of society require the same care that would prolong a life that is much younger. The elderly have lived full and extensive lives and should now refocus on sacrifices, as well as obligations, which they can provide society.” He fails to tell how is it that people who do live long enough to grow old and how their wisdom and experiences are intended to be handed down to the younger generation.
Daily, there are relatives all across this nation who have to make the heart-wrenching decision as to whether or not to take a loved one off of life support. The key words here are “life support.” That indicates that a person cannot live without it. That could also be deemed “artificial” life. Only decades ago, without all the technology, many people died prematurely when such knowledge could have prolonged their lives long enough for them to recover to normal living.
What family would not want this for someone they loved, if it meant their life could be spared for more years to come? Many families find that when a loved one is on life support, it gives them the hope of recovery; but when that is not inevitable, it gives them the time to adjust to having to say goodbye to the one they loved so dearly.
But what if… what if…. this attitude of denying the elderly life-saving treatments would cause them to suffer and die prematurely when there are treatments, procedures, and medications that could allow them to have a relatively normal life for years to come… but finds that because of government regulations, it is no longer available to those who are aged.? Already, it has been indicated that under the Obama health program it could lead to those who worked hard all of their lives, gave their all, paid their insurance, and cared for countless others will be denied the benefits of needed healthcare?
The United States has been looking into whether or not women over the age of 70 should have a yearly mammogram. They report from a study done in the Netherlands – a nation that advocates euthanasia – that says that mammograms may do more harm than good for these women. Many women are living well into their nineties and suppose at age 70, their lives are cut short with massive suffering because they were denied a tried and proven method of detection in the early stages? Read more on this at WebMD.
Many great achievements have been accomplished by people who were well into their twilight years in the fields of literature, medicine, science, and society. What a loss if they had been denied life in their earlier years for lack of proper care?
Maybe you think that the abortion issue is not very important to you but what about health care rationing? Would that affect your thinking about how everyone has a right to live? Knowing the end of your life will be cut short unnecessarily and you will not get to live out the retirement you worked so hard for all of your life certainly is an eye-opening thought as well.