“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Remembering Dr. C. Everett Koop with pictures and quotes Part 16 (includes editorial cartoon)

C. Everett Koop on being Surgeon General

Uploaded on Nov 3, 2008

Dr. Koop shares his journey to becoming Surgeon General in Part 1 of this interview at Wheaton College, IL. http://www.christianethics.org

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Dr.Koop

On 2-25-13 we lost a great man when we lost Dr. C. Everett Koop. I have written over and over the last few years quoting Dr. C. Everett Koop and his good friend Francis Schaeffer. They both came together for the first time in 1973 when Dr. Koop operated on Schaeffer’s daughter and as a result they became close friends. That led to their involvement together in the book and film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” in 1979.

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible

In this 1979 film series they dealt with the big social issues and predicted what social problems we have in the future because of humanism. For instance, they knew that the Jack Kevorkians of the world would be coming down the pike. They predicted that there was a slippery slope from abortion to infanticide to youth euthanasia brought on by the materialistic worldview.

Dr. C. Everett Koop is pictured above.

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE

Published on Oct 6, 2012 by

The End Is Not the End

C. Everett Koop on death and dying.
C. Everett Koop
[ posted 2/25/2013 8:23PM ]
The End Is Not the End

 

Dennis Brack / Newscom

Editor’s note: Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop—known for his medical advocacy and his evangelical Christian faith—died today at age 96.

My mother was 87 when she died of uterine cancer. She was in a coma, during which people actually asked me if I wanted to put her on dialysis. That would have been ridiculous for personal, spiritual, and economic reasons.

I do not believe—and have never taught—that every patient should be kept alive for the longest time possible. Nor have I said every patient has to have the last bit of high-tech heroic treatment available. I do believe in the right of the patient to say, “I have lived my life,” and to choose his or her own treatment. But that question becomes complicated when we consider the decisions people make for others who are not cognitive and have not made their final wishes known.

Right now, I am 70 years old and in excellent health. If my kidneys shut down tomorrow, let’s say, after a severe infection, I don’t know how long I would want to be on dialysis. It would be foolish and a waste of resources for me to have a kidney transplant at my age. I would probably opt to clean up my affairs, say goodbye to my family, and drift out in uremia.

The important point is that my wife and I know exactly how each of us feels about the end of life. This will be crucial if the time comes to make such a decision and I’m not then able to do so.

Of course, all such talk has different connotations for the Christian than for the non-Christian. My wife knows I do not believe in being ushered out of this life with a lethal injection. I want to hang around long enough to be sure my family is taken care of. But after that, I don’t want my life prolonged in great discomfort when it is fruitless.

I don’t look forward to the manner in which I am going to die. But I do not fear death. Indeed, the way in which we face death is a matter of faith. For the Christian, it is not the end.

This article first appeared in the March 6, 1987, issue of Christianity Today. At the time C. Everett Koop was surgeon general of the United States. He died February 25, 2013, at age 96.

The pro-life movement is filled with millions of people who truly care a lot about unborn babies. Take a look at this editorial cartoon.

 

Dr. Koop.

C. Everett Koop
Then and Now

C. Everett Koop and the religious right

Mar 06, 2013 by Randall Balmer

It requires only modest exaggeration to say that C. Everett Koop, the distinguished surgeon general (and Dartmouth alumnus) who died on February 25, was responsible for the emergence of the religious right. As much as anyone else, Koop persuaded American evangelicals in the late 1970s that opposition to abortion was a matter worthy of their votes.

Although televangelists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell frequently asserted that it was the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 that galvanized politically conservative evangelicals into a voting bloc, that claim collapses in the face of historical scrutiny:

    • The Southern Baptist Convention called for the legalization of abortion at its gathering in St. Louis in 1971. It reaffirmed the resolution in 1974 and again in 1976.
    • The United Methodist Church passed a similar resolution in 1972. 

It was a different court decision, Green v. Connally, that prompted evangelical leaders to organize. That 1971 ruling by the District Court of the District of Columbia upheld the Internal Revenue Service in its opinion that any institution that retains racially discriminatory policies is not—by definition—a charitable organization and therefore is not entitled to tax-exempt status.

When the IRS rescinded the tax exemption of Bob Jones University on January 19, 1976, evangelical leaders howled in protest. Ignoring the crucial fact that tax exemption amounts to public subsidy, they insisted that the federal government was meddling in the affairs of religious organizations. With the encouragement of conservative activists like Paul Weyrich and Richard Viguerie, these leaders of what became the religious right began to organize.

But the movement still needed an issue that would energize evangelicals at the grassroots. The 1978 elections persuaded Weyrich that abortion could be that issue. On the Sunday before the election, pro-lifers in Iowa and Minnesota leafleted church parking lots. Two days later, they defeated a popular incumbent Democratic senator in Iowa, and in Minnesota they captured the governorship and both Senate seats.

What Weyrich still lacked was a way to alert grassroots evangelicals to the scourge of abortion, and here is where C. Everett Koop figures into the story. Koop, a distinguished pediatric surgeon, had long opposed abortion, but in 1978 he teamed up with Francis A. Schaeffer, a goateed, knicker-wearing evangelical philosopher, to produce a film series called Whatever Happened to the Human Race? 

Schaeffer had long excoriated what he called “secular humanism” and warned that the legalization of abortion would soon lead to infanticide and euthanasia. Koop’s sterling reputation as a physician added credibility to the argument. As the film series toured American cities in 1979, the term “secular humanism” entered the political lexicon—and Falwell, Weyrich and other leaders of the religious right harvested popular anger over abortion. They adroitly mobilized politically conservative evangelicals into a potent voting bloc in time for the 1980 election.

The rest, as they say, is history. The religious right settled on Ronald Reagan as their champion and standard-bearer, despite the fact that as governor of California Reagan had signed into law the most liberal abortion bill in the nation. They supported him instead of his evangelical opponent with a longer record of opposing abortion, incumbent Jimmy Carter. 

The religious right’s reward was the appointment of Koop as surgeon general of the United States. But Koop proved to be his own man:

    • He called attention to the burgeoning AIDS crisis, even though others in the Reagan administration preferred to ignore it.
    • He advocated for sex education and the use of condoms, which pitted him against other leaders of the religious right, especially Phyllis Schlafly. 
    • He quashed a specious, politically motivated report that asserted that women who had abortions suffered adverse psychological effects.
    • He called attention to the deleterious effects of both smoking and second-hand smoke in restaurants and bars and on airplanes.

All in all, a distinguished career: physician, public-health advocate and (wittingly or not) political organizer. Besides, not many surgeons general of the United States have a rock song written about them (Frank Zappa’s “Promiscuous”).

Our weekly feature Then and Now harnesses the expertise of American religious historians who care about the cities of God and the cities of humans. It’s edited by Edward J. Blum.

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