Many in the pro-life movement become uneasy when political candidates, responding to questions about their position on abortion, start talking about the need for a "consistent life ethic. " Such a response often seems to be an attempt on the candidate's part to avoid talking directly about the evil of abortion and to segue to other, more comfortable, topics. But, who can seriously deny that those advocating for a culture of life should be consistent? Goodness knows there are plenty of ways in which the right to life and the dignity of human beings can be violated after they are born.
The Eldercare Crisis
While many pro-life advocates are active in protecting life at its earliest stages, few are aware of the assaults that are perpetrated on the sanctity of life in long term care institutions in America. As a lawyer who handles cases involving nursing home abuse, I see examples of unthinkable abuse suffered by the elderly every day. I've seen old people who suffered from avoidable pressure sores as big as pie plates, and infections that were so foul you could smell the stench down the hall. I've looked at the gaunt faces and bodies of residents who suffered from malnutrition and dehydration.
Because of deliberate short-staffing, many of my clients were left to languish in urine for so long that it dried in brown rings in their beds and in feces for so long that it dried hard to their skin. They often went for days without baths. Despite their repeated cries for help, they were frequently left unattended and their call lights went unanswered. Some in need of assistance tried to get out of bed to avoid soiling themselves, but because of their unsteady gait, they fell and suffered fractures of their brittle bones. I've had elderly clients who endured beatings and sexual assaults in their rooms. Some were warehoused in roach infested facilities that had maggots in the mattresses and a urine odor so strong you could smell it from the parking lot.
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