Euthanasia and “futile” care: stories and commentary

It is clear that the following stories, which concern hospital decisions for Euthanasia over family objections and other obstacles to proper health care for people with disabilities reveal developments that are a deliberate threat to these people; so-called experts are deciding which persons’  lives are worth living and which persons’ lives are not worth living!

The following personal stories are from Texas, and concern that state’s infamous futile care law.

Sun Hudson:  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:  http://www.prolifeblogs.com/articles/archives/2006/05/disability_advo.php#more

Yenlang Vo:  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:  http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/2009/02/nj-woman-finds-aneurism-medicaid-sol.html

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: Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network (concerns her stories as well as others who have faced and are facing similar situations)

Perspectives on the Texas Futile Care Law and Euthanasia

OrthodoxWhat is futility?  by the Orthodox Christian bioethicist Dr. H. Tristam Engelhardt

Roman  Catholic:  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 

Stephen Drake, who publishes the weblog Not Dead Yet:  http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/search/label/futile%20care

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 are some of his articles: First Things: Wesley J. Smith 

An Orthodox Christian Commentary by Christopher HuckabayDeath 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.”

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