What is futility, by the Orthodox Christian bioethicist Dr. H. Tristam Engelhardt:
Half of the stories are from Texas, and concern that state’s infamous futile care law.
Personal stories and commentary from Texas:
http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2005/03/lifesupport_sto.html (a health law professor’s account) http://differentriver.com/archives/2005/03/21/baby-pulled-off-ventilator-over-mothers-objections/ (another personal response)
Andrea Clark: (the stories follow the commentary)
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/may/06050809.html & http://www.nationalreview.com/smithw/smith200604271406.asp & http://www.prolifeblogs.com/articles/archives/2006/05/disability_advo.php#more Also,
http://www.prolifeblogs.com/articles/archives/2006/05/help_yenlang_vo_1.php & http://texasadvancedirectivesblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/law-did-not-work-thoughts-on-andrea.html
Similar personal stories from other places:
Peggy Albedhady, New Jersey:
Kaylee Wallace, Toronto:
http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/2009/04/kaylee-wallace-disturbing-coverage-and.html & http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/2009/04/canadian-association-for-community.html
Terri Schiavo, Florida:
It is clear that these stories reveal developments that are a threat to people with disabilities; so-called experts are deciding which persons’ lives are worth living and which persons’ lives are not worth living!
Perspectives on the Texas Futile Care Law
(Roman Catholic) http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/may/07050306.html Also see http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/2004/march/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_20040320_congress-fiamc_en.html as well as http://www.ncpd.org/policy/church/ncpd/statements/futilecare see also http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/node/20894
Stephen Drake, who publishes the weblog Not Dead Yet:
Wesley J. Smith: http://www.wellsphere.com/wesley-j-smith/101665/bio is in the vanguard of the movement to prevent the legalization of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide and an opponent of the futile care theory. He does his homework. Here is his website:
An Orthodox Commentary by Christopher Huckabay:
“Death with Piety is Death with Dignity,” http://www.pravmir.com/article_362.html
Finally, a reprint of the 1994 Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archidiocese’ Statement on Euthanasia:
WHEREAS all human beings who are in a condition of medical dependency because of illness, age, or for some other reason, must be provided with the basic amenities of food, water, cleanliness, warmth and relief from pain. These can never be considered as “extraordinary” measures in the context of medical treatment, and,WHEREAS Christians do not fear bodily death but rather consider it as a Passover between earthly life and the life of the Kingdom. Therefore, all such medical treatments that prolong the dying process while offering no benefit to the individual (with the exception of those ordinary measures previously stated) may, in good conscience, be refused by the individual or those acting on his or her behalf. In some instances, even food and water may become, in the last hours of life when the body may be unable to accept them, a burden from which the sufferer should be delivered: however, these are individual circumstances which should always be judged in a Christian context, and,
WHEREAS the taking of a human life, however understandable the motive, is a serious sin directly and repeatedly forbidden by God. Even where it seems an act of mercy, such as an attempt to alleviate suffering, without sincere repentance, it will surely lead to a loss of God’s Kingdom. As Christians we acknowledge that we do not always recognize God’s will and why things happen as they do in our world. However, we have, as the followers of Christ, promised to place our trust in Him and His love for us and all mankind. This trust includes the patient acceptance of those burdens which may seem, at the time, to be unbearable.
BE IT RESOLVED that this Archdiocese, in accordance with the Tradition and theology of the Orthodox Church condemns all forms of euthanasia or “mercy killing.”
There will be 3 more posts of commentary on euthanasia (and futile care), from 1. Orthodox Hierarchs; 2. Orthodox Priests; (Including the Orthodox Christian bioethicist Fr. John Breck) 3. Physicians, Scholars, etc. (Including the Orthodox Christian bioethicist H. Tristam Engelhardt)