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'Quality-of-Life' Double Jeopardy: New Young-Adult Novel Grapples with the Resurfacing Public Debate Over Abortion and Euthanasia

by Staff
November 23, 2009
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SAN ANTONIO, TX, ( -- The public debate over killing for "low quality-of-life" has resurfaced at a new level. Four years since the death of Terri Shiavo, HBO just days ago completed shooting for a movie about Dr. Kevorkian called You Don't Know Jack, starring Al Pacino.

This event coincided with a brewing controversy in the Australian Parliament over whether to permit voluntary euthanasia, culminating yesterday in a narrow one-vote resistance. Meanwhile, Democrats in the U.S. Congress have begun debating whether to restrict access of insurance coverage for abortions in the controversial health care legislation, and the Alan Guttmacher Institute estimates that over 50 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade.

In response to those who endorse a "quality-of-life" justification for killing the helpless, Vision Forum has released a new novel entitled "Glory, Duty, & the Gold Dome." The story presents a unique but plausible case of "quality of life" double jeopardy when a husband attempts to pull the plug on his pregnant, comatose wife. Two lives are at stake, and according to modern legal justifications both lives may be disregarded for "low quality of life."

"It's fitting that this debate would resurface just before the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of the Species'," said author Nathaniel Darnell, "because the justifications for abortion and euthanasia stem from the old Darwinian maxim 'survival of the fittest.'" Darwin's influential book was published on November 24, 1859.

"Glory, Duty, & the Gold Dome" tells the story of Georgia State Representative John Richards and his son Thomas Richards. When a desperate young woman with a secret falls into a coma after a car accident, Rep. Richards puts his congressional race at risk as he and his son try to save not only the woman's life but also the life of the infant growing inside her womb. Soon they discover more intrigue and danger surrounding the case than they bargained for.

The tagline of the book? "When adversity strikes, boys must act like men."

"It's a tale of father and son discipleship, which grapples with key moral issues and is packed with action and suspense," wrote fifteen-year-old reader John Horn on his website "Father and son meet opposition on every side, experiencing death threats, government corruption, personal assaults, violent protestors, and shadowy villains. I guarantee an unexpected ending!"

The novel is the first in an anticipated "Sires & Sons Adventure Series" about fathers and sons who work together in different areas of cultural leadership. To accentuate the theme of the series, each story is written from the interchanging first-person perspectives of the father and son--a device rarely attempted in fiction.

"Although the story is fictional, the law, medicine, and setting are accurate portrayals of real life," said Darnell, who worked for seven years as a legislative aide at the Georgia State Capitol and now holds a juris doctorate. "A good deal of research was given to the medical issue grappled with in the story."

The novel is available for purchase at

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