The Value of Life Regardless of Capacity or Ability


Hi all = )
God love you! This is great!
This is my first post. Here goes.
I'm a social worker (currently working for Catholic Charities & due to graduate with an MSW in June, Lord willing) and come across gray moral issues all the time with my peers & colleagues.
As of late, a classmate approached me looking for articles that might bring comfort or understanding to a client ("Jake" for simplicity's sake) whose father has become completely incapacitated (cannot speak, move on his own, etc) by a stroke. Jake is so distraught because he knows his father would have never wanted to live like this. Jake has some semblance of a faith life (goes to church) and finds himself praying for his father's death rather than have to live like this. Be that good or bad, Jake is struggling a lot just because of the stress of knowing his father is living like this, and that's the issue here (and where God can work in his life, presumably).
I see my role in this situation to be to try to refer her to articles/books/websites/other resources that she can give to Jake to not only console him in this difficult time, but to do so by assuring him of his father's value and even quality of life by explaining his father's value as a person despite his capacity/ability, and God's presence in the life of his father beyond any of our understanding. I'm always hoping for an opportunity to witness to classmates about God's glorious plan for us (including the value of LIFE), and the MOST comforting thing for Jake will be to know how his father may not be suffering as much as Jake thinks he is (or, if he is, how redemptive it can be for his soul).
So, I'm writing you to see whether anyone knows of a resource (article, book, forum, etc) that talks about the value of a person regardless of ability that's not *about disabled *children or abortion. ** It's difficult to find! Anything morally neutral/good (I do know of one book but it's based on zen philosophy) *about *people's personal experiences caring for an incapacitated person (memoir, autobiography, etc) **would be fantastic, too.
Sorry I'm so verbose...

#2 an article called “defending the dignity of thouse with dementia” hope this helps


He should read “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”

it is the true story of a French man who had a very severe stroke and was paralyzed completely except for one eye, but had complete brain function.

We simply do not know what people who are incapacitated experience, and what if they are able to try and communicate that they want to live, and we decide to murder them? I would never want my loved ones to have my blood on their hands!

To say nothing of the ministry it can be to help people who are helpless. It is selfish to want to exterminate anyone just for our own convenience. No one should say, “He or she wouldn’t want to live like this,” because you can’t ask the person right now. What if that is murder and you have to stand before God before you go to Hell. Not me, thanks.


Try this one, by John Paul II the Great:

JPII instituted the World Day of the Sick, to recognize the very issues you describe. See these:

And here is the USCCB on the subject:

Hope this helps! God bless you! :)


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