News Briefs

Religious news from around the world.

by the editors of Ministry.

Plans to Construct Islamic Centers in Europe

Between six and eight million Moslems live in Western Europe. The Islam Council for Europe plans to construct Islamic centers in major European cities, and is pushing European governments to guarantee the rights of Moslem minorities. Studies in West Germany indicate that children of Turkish families living in Germany are more open to the gospel than their parents. German churches are gearing their evangelistic thrust in this direction.—The Church Around the World, May, 1977.

Catholic Magazine Poll Shows Readers Favor "Right to Die"

CHICAGO—A sampling of readers of a Catholic magazine here strongly favored the "right to die" in cases where extraordinary means are required to maintain life, but opposed death in circumstances approaching euthanasia.

Responding to six hypothetical "hopeless" cases, one of which closely paralleled the Karen Quinlan situation, the readers of U.S. Catholic, published here by the Claretian Fathers, indicated that it would be morally correct to allow a person to die. But the majority balked at killing the person.

Asked what they would do if they were named legal guardian of a comatose man with irreversible brain damage who was receiving intravenous feeding and whose breathing was being aided by a respirator, 45 percent agreed to remove the respirator and discontinue intravenous feeding. Thirty-eight per cent opted for discontinuing the respirator only. One percent recommended a fatal injection.

Although the majority (50 percent to 34 percent) said it was morally right to allow a severely brain-damaged woman to die when surgery could keep her alive, 74 percent (to 21 percent) said it would be morally wrong to allow a hopelessly deformed baby to die of pneumonia without attempting to save its life.

In another case, in which a terminally ill man leaves instruction that the family should kill him if his pain grows unbearable, 75 percent (to 17 percent) said the family should not kill him.

Similarly, in a case where a woman has brain cancer, only a month to live and is in severe pain, 73 percent of the respondents said they would "wait for her to die," while only 5 percent said they would "give her the means to kill herself."

Alcoholism in Sixth-graders Is Called "Lion Outside the Door"

DENVER—Society is ignoring many "lions outside the door," a schoolteacher and coordinator of family living and drug education warned here, and one of them is alcoholism among elementary students.

Donald E. Shaw addressed a three-hour workshop on youthful alcoholism for school counselors. The Jefferson County teacher and counselor told his listeners that in each case of juvenile alcoholism the pattern was the same. Both parents worked and left for work before the child left for school. In each case, the child decided to drink his breakfast.

Two years ago, he noted, a fifth-grader came to school drunk. That was the first such case, but it set off a pattern involving other fifth-graders, followed by an investigation of the problem. Mr. Shaw asked for groups of 100 as a basis for his surveys. Some results: Never did fewer than 84 say that they hadn't tried alcohol at least once. Never did fewer than 50 say they hadn't tried it 10 times.

In a survey of sixth-graders, 6 to 9 percent had experienced sex, and almost all of these had been allowed unsupervised dating by the time they were 11 years old. The sex scene, the drug scene, and the family scene are related, Mr. Shaw said.

"I can tell you counselors in alcoholism that if we don't get some different feelings about families, we're going to flood you with people, and you'll get deeper and deeper into the hole," he said.

Adding urgency to the session were police statistics reported by Sgt. William Spickard, of the Denver police department. These indicated that 73 percent of burglaries are committed by youths under 18, with 67 percent of all crimes in the Denver area involving youth.

Unless otherwise credited, these news items are taken from Religious News Service.
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by the editors of Ministry.

January 1978

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