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Columns

  • CHARLTON: Addressing the difficult issue of euthanasia

    In my last column I wrote that there comes a time to turn off life support mechanisms (which support what I called “artificial life”) and thus allow a person to pass away. It is, I believe, the compassionate and proper step to take in some situations. The next logical question is to ask, what about euthanasia?

    Euthanasia is, according to the American Medical Association, “the administration of a lethal agent by another person to a patient for the purpose of relieving the patient’s intolerable and incurable suffering.”

  • DOYLE: The way we played on snow days

    You would think that the huge release of warm air on Monday – that being the exhale of parents who were allowed to send their students back to school – would have offset some of this frigidity that has surrounded us.

    After a tease of tropics on Sunday, the reading was -4 on my barn thermometer Tuesday morning, even as a school bus drove past on the road below.

    Everyone is talking about the weather, and it’s not because they can’t think of anything else.

  • SOUDER: God is pro-life (and pro-choice)

    There’s an old joke in which an atheist scientist comes to God and says, "We've figured out how to create life without you."

    "OK, let me see you do it," God replies.

    As the atheist bends down to the ground and scoops up a handful of soil to begin his work, God stops him and says, “Oh, no you don't. Get your own dirt!"

  • DOYLE: Today is a good day for the beach

    My younger daughter, when she was maybe 1 or 2, had this CD that played constantly in her mother’s vehicle. The cover song was “Let’s Go To The Beach.”

    Today we all stand as the amen chorus to that anthem.

    Indeed, let’s go to the beach.

    Even if you don’t like sun, sand, wind, oil, heat or the sometimes runaway crabs and flies, you have to admit that you would trade what you feel outside your doorway today for just a few hours of all of that.

  • CHARLTON: The dead reckoning with reckoning with death

    When is a person dead?

    That sounds like a rather silly question, but advances in medical technology have made the question not only appropriate, but also difficult to answer.

    Consider the case of 13-year-old Jahi McMath. Jahi’s case has attracted international attention in recent weeks. Shortly after surgery last Dec. 9 at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., for a tonsillectomy, she experienced excessive bleeding, a cardiac arrest and then severe brain damage.

  • DOYLE: Is this new friend really our old friend?

    About two weeks before Christmas, a young, black-and-white cat took up residence in our barn and promptly became part of the family. That may not seem unusual to you, but it was downright eerie to us.

    We only that month had been talking of getting a barn cat to help ensure pests didn’t invade the feed bins. Then appears this cat, nice, clean, young, looking for a family and a home.

  • SOUDER: I resolve to wish you a Happy New Year

    Welcoming another New Year means different things to different people. Some are just glad to put the month-long season of gluttony from Thanksgiving to New Year’s behind them and still fit into their wardrobe (the clothes, not the furniture).

    On that count, one wise guy said, “People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.”

    OK, but where’s the fun in that?

  • DOYLE: It was a cold day in Shelby

    Before daylight Monday morning, with the house cracking like my joints, the wind whirring around the corner and through the trees, I tugged snow pants over flannels, pulled on a ski mask, shrugged a heavy barn coat over my sweatshirt, wedged a pair of gardening gloves under my work gloves, yanked the garage door away from the floor to which it was frozen and headed blindly into cold that apparently was so brutal that no one should have had to face it.

    Let me say the chillingly obvious: It was colder than, well, anything you want to interject.

  • DOYLE: An enlightening holiday gift

    A few weeks ago, with Christmas wishes dancing through their heads, my younger children were offered an option for their primary, non-Santa holiday gift: Would they prefer a family getaway or another item off their really fairly brief lists? They quickly and loudly chose the trip, probably because they knew they still had Santa (and two sets of grandparents) as a fallback for anything really important.

  • CHARLTON: One family’s story of an end-of-life scenario

    During the months of penning this column, a number of people have approached me to suggest possible topics. Interestingly, one of those suggestions has far surpassed all others – the questions and issues surrounding the end of life.