Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Catholic Directive that Life be Extended

It was only a matter of time that the Catholic church would change its directives to other catholic health care institutions. But in response the Terri Shivo case several years ago that is exactly what has happened. A 90 year women who suffered a massive stroke in Tulsa Oklahoma and had advanced directives saying she didn't want feeding tubes or hydration in such a contingency, was refused her last request. Her nephew, a good catholic, went with what the Bishop of Tulsa basically commanded the catholic hospitals in Tulsa to do, St. Johns, to go against what a person wants and do what the church wants! The officials at the hospital didn't want to go against the woman's advanced directive, which by law must be followed, but what the Pope wants he gets. They couldn't even transfer the woman to facility that would honor her wishes because of her religious nephew, who had guardian rights. This brings up several interesting points. What should doctors do if the advanced directive of the patient says one thing and the guardian and the bloody church says another? What is interesting such religious authorities and those who support them say that by withdrawing support doctors are playing God. Isn't it playing God to give those supports because in the natural course of events the person would die any way? It is hypocritical! It also backs up some research that shows religious people want as much done as possible to save their lives. I find that ironic also, because if they are saved wouldn't they want death so they could go and meet Jesus? Maybe there is just a little doubt that is sneaking out and they dress it up in, what they hope is ethical terms, that life is precious and everything should be done to extend it. The good news is that the poor 90 year old woman and her family were spared the long term consequences of such meddling in the private affairs of family and individual, because she died during all the fuss.

Skeptical DoDo

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