Cardinal: Cuts to aged deny right-to-life

May 17, 2012 at 11:49 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 17 (UPI) -- A British cardinal said political decisions to cut back on food and care for the elderly amount to denying older people's fundamental right to life.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, retired as Archbishop of Westminster, said in a lecture at Leicester's Anglican Cathedral there is a "subtle and silent" process of "dehumanizing" older people via common attitudes -- such as age as an expensive inconvenience and a threat to resources and lifestyles -- the Daily Telegraph reported.

The cardinal said a loss of reverence for humanity meant some of the most vulnerable people in society were routinely viewed as a "problem" or "threat."

"A symptom of this is the violence against the vulnerable elderly now documented in a number of independent studies and reports and the neglect which many have to endure -- you do not care for what you do not cherish," the cardinal said.

"If we load the elderly with fears -- the fear of dementia and Alzheimer's, the fear of growing dependence and the loss of autonomy, the fear of exhausting resources -- you sanction violence against them," he said. "This need not only be physical, it can take other forms: it can be cultural in the way in which we dismiss their views or blame them; it can be political in the ways in which we justify withdrawal of vital services or quietly and privately deny their right to life."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
India asks Pepsi to cut down on sugar in its soft drinks
Child vaccination rates are high, CDC says
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
NIH to test safety of Ebola vaccine candidate
Trending News