Saturday, February 21, 2004

End of Life Decisions. This summer at the Christian Life Conference, I will be leading a seminar entitled "End of Life Decisions and the Christian Faith". Two things happened over the last several months that prompted me to think more deeply about this issue. One was the Terry Schiavo case, which you may have read about. This is the case of the woman in a "permanent vegetative state" who depended on a feeding tube to live. Her husband, using the courts, obtains a court order allowing him to disconnect the tube, which he does. The Florida Legislature steps in, passes an emergency bill to permit the governor to countermand that order, which he does, and the tube is reconnected. The other thing that happened is that a client of mine died for whom I was the surrogate under a "living will". I had prepared that document for her. When she was "terminally ill" under the terms of the document and the physicians made the appropriate diagnosis and requests, I gave the OK to withdraw medical intervention except for "comfort care". She died. This is the second time I have been called upon to make that decision, the first time being for my father. It gives one pause.

I will use the blog to post my thoughts and to give references on this subject as I prepare for the seminar. I invite you to join me in thinking about this subject. Somebody in the kith and kin community may someday be the designated surrogate for someone else in that community. You can either post comments to a blog post, or, if you would like to be in a position to make a blog post yourself and you do not already have authorization, let me know, and I will arrange it so that you can post directly. A direct post, as distinguished from a comment, has no limitation on the length of your statement.


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