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  #166  
Old Jan 20, '14, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by Cricket123 View Post
Why no written health care directive? Most likely because the couple is (was) young, and young people often assume there is always more time to do that sort of thing.

Sad that so many here seem so willing to attribute bad motives to the father, or "father", as one poster so kindly put it. Especially since the woman's parents seem to be in agreement: this woman/wife/daughter is well and truly dead - and her wishes are quite likely what her widower and parents say.

I have no idea what I would do were I ever to be in this position. None. Still, I am sure I would resent the interference of the conservative version of a "nanny-state-death-panel." Not the family, not the doctors... conservative legislators know best, right?
Sounds like your dislike for conservatives overrides your concern for the baby.? How giving this child EVERY chance for life is considered a death panel is beyond me-but i look upon this as another symptom of how deeply the culture of death has become ingrained in our country
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  #167  
Old Jan 20, '14, 9:42 am
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Mary Gail 36 Mary Gail 36 is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Christ’s redemption and saving grace embrace the whole person, especially in his or her illness, suffering, and death.35 The Catholic health care ministry faces the reality of death with the confidence of faith. In the face of death—for many, a time when hope seems lost—the Church witnesses to her belief that God has created each person for eternal life.36
Above all, as a witness to its faith, a Catholic health care institution will be a community of respect, love, and support to patients or residents and their families as they face the reality of death. What is hardest to face is the process of dying itself, especially the dependency, the helplessness, and the pain that so often accompany terminal illness. One of the primary purposes of medicine in caring for the dying is the relief of pain and the suffering caused by it. Effective management of pain in all its forms is critical in the appropriate care of the dying.
The truth that life is a precious gift from God has profound implications for the question of stewardship over human life. We are not the owners of our lives and, hence, do not have absolute power over life. We have a duty to preserve our life and to use it for the glory of God, but the duty to preserve life is not absolute, for we may reject life-prolonging procedures that are insufficiently beneficial or excessively burdensome. Suicide and euthanasia are never morally acceptable options.
The task of medicine is to care even when it cannot cure. Physicians and their patients must evaluate the use of the technology at their disposal. Reflection on the innate dignity of human life in all its dimensions and on the purpose of medical care is indispensable for formulating a true moral judgment about the use of technology to maintain life. The use of life-sustaining technology is judged in light of the Christian meaning of life, suffering, and death. In this way two extremes are avoided: on the one hand, an insistence on useless or burdensome technology even when a patient may legitimately wish to forgo it and, on the other hand, the withdrawal of technology with the intention of causing death.37
The Church’s teaching authority has addressed the moral issues concerning medically assisted nutrition and hydration. We are guided on this issue by Catholic teaching against euthanasia, which is “an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated.”38 While medically assisted nutrition and hydration are not morally obligatory in certain cases, these forms of basic care should in principle be provided to all patients who need them, including patients diagnosed as being in a “persistent vegetative state” (PVS), because even the most severely debilitated and helpless patient retains the full dignity of a human person and must receive ordinary and proportionate care.
http://www.chsli.org/content/ethical...irectives#PART FOUR
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  #168  
Old Jan 20, '14, 9:45 am
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Mary Gail 36 Mary Gail 36 is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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55. Catholic health care institutions offering care to persons in danger of death from illness, accident, advanced age, or similar condition should provide them with appropriate opportunities to prepare for death. Persons in danger of death should be provided with whatever information is necessary to help them understand their condition and have the opportunity to discuss their condition with their family members and care providers. They should also be offered the appropriate medical information that would make it possible to address the morally legitimate choices available to them. They should be provided the spiritual support as well as the opportunity to receive the sacraments in order to prepare well for death.
56. A person has a moral obligation to use ordinary or proportionate means of preserving his or her life. Proportionate means are those that in the judgment of the patient offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail an excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community.39
57. A person may forgo extraordinary or disproportionate means of preserving life. Disproportionate means are those that in the patient’s judgment do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit or entail an excessive burden, or impose excessive expense on the family or the community.
58. In principle, there is an obligation to provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally. This obligation extends to patients in chronic and presumably irreversible conditions (e.g., the “persistent vegetative state”) who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care.40 Medically assisted nutrition and hydration become morally optional when they cannot reasonably be expected to prolong life or when they would be “excessively burdensome for the patient or [would] cause significant physical discomfort, for example resulting from complications in the use of the means employed.”41 For instance, as a patient draws close to inevitable death from an underlying progressive and fatal condition, certain measures to provide nutrition and hydration may become excessively burdensome and therefore not obligatory in light of their very limited ability to prolong life or provide comfort.
59. The free and informed judgment made by a competent adult patient concerning the use or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures should always be respected and normally complied with, unless it is contrary to Catholic moral teaching.
60. Euthanasia is an action or omission that of itself or by intention causes death in order to alleviate suffering. Catholic health care institutions may never condone or participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide in any way. Dying patients who request euthanasia should receive loving care, psychological and spiritual support, and appropriate remedies for pain and other symptoms so that they can live with dignity until the time of natural death.42
61. Patients should be kept as free of pain as possible so that they may die comfortably and with dignity, and in the place where they wish to die. Since a person has the right to prepare for his or her death while fully conscious, he or she should not be deprived of consciousness without a compelling reason. Medicines capable of alleviating or suppressing pain may be given to a dying person, even if this therapy may indirectly shorten the person’s life so long as the intent is not to hasten death. Patients experiencing suffering that cannot be alleviated should be helped to appreciate the Christian understanding of redemptive suffering
http://www.chsli.org/content/ethical...irectives#PART FOUR
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  #169  
Old Jan 20, '14, 10:03 am
YADA YADA is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by Cricket123 View Post
Why no written health care directive? Most likely because the couple is (was) young, and young people often assume there is always more time to do that sort of thing.

Sad that so many here seem so willing to attribute bad motives to the father, or "father", as one poster so kindly put it. Especially since the woman's parents seem to be in agreement: this woman/wife/daughter is well and truly dead - and her wishes are quite likely what her widower and parents say.

I have no idea what I would do were I ever to be in this position. None. Still, I am sure I would resent the interference of the conservative version of a "nanny-state-death-panel." Not the family, not the doctors... conservative legislators know best, right?
I agree - the couple is young - however, per the husband because of their work - they had discussed this potential ... however - because of their work - they would know that this directive would need to be in writing to be valid ...

really - I find it odd that they are so willing to write off the life of the child .. not the father - I know fathers have a hard time dealing with the children whom they believe killed their wives .. yes this is not a rational emotion - but it is real emotion for people suffering grief ....

The parents are harder to understand .. most people would do anything to hang on to a life connected to a loved one ... you see this in people who will donate organs to others - in women who want to harvest sperm from a husband tragically lost suddenly in order to have a child ....

After all - this child one assumes was loved by all the parties - especially the woman carrying this baby in her womb ...

What would she say - if told she would not survive - but their was a chance her baby would .. would she say "No" - I would rather take my baby to the grave with me then see it live without me? Would she say - no - if my body could be kept sufficiently alive long enough to bring this baby to viability - "I would not do it!" ...

What if we were discussing the opposite -

What if the parents and the husband wanted to keep this baby alive until viability and the hospital was denying the life saving care for this child because the mother is a corpse? What would you be saying then? Would you be agreeing with the hospital that its a corpse and the baby is collateral damage?

What would the parents be feeling if they wanted this child to live but the husband did not?

You see - this baby has a life - independent of the mother's even as the baby is dependent on the sustenance ...

This baby has a life independent of whether the hospital wants to keep it alive or not.

This baby has a life independent of the whether the father or grandparents want it to live or not ...

In a way - this baby has a life independent of the Mothers - or else the baby would have died when the Mother's heart stopped and before she was resuscitated [or at any of the subsequent resuscitations] ....

The value of a life is not determined by any individual's desire to give that life meaning - it just is - and it has an intrinsic value - God given - that we should respect
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  #170  
Old Jan 20, '14, 10:27 am
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Cider Cider is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

Well said Yada!

I'm just astounded that Catholics have posted in this thread supporting the termination of life support which would result in the death of this child. Why not even give this baby a chance at life?
  #171  
Old Jan 20, '14, 11:42 am
oldcelt oldcelt is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket123 View Post
Why no written health care directive? Most likely because the couple is (was) young, and young people often assume there is always more time to do that sort of thing.

Sad that so many here seem so willing to attribute bad motives to the father, or "father", as one poster so kindly put it. Especially since the woman's parents seem to be in agreement: this woman/wife/daughter is well and truly dead - and her wishes are quite likely what her widower and parents say.

I have no idea what I would do were I ever to be in this position. None. Still, I am sure I would resent the interference of the conservative version of a "nanny-state-death-panel." Not the family, not the doctors... conservative legislators know best, right?
This case REALLY shows the need to have your wishes in writing.

You are correct in the death-panel analogy except it is all in reverse. Here they are spending a phenomenal amount to keep a corpse alive as a lifeboat for a child that may or may not make it, despite the father's objections.
He has to go through another day explaining to his child that Mommy is already dead but "they" won't let him bury her. I can't imagine the desperation the man must feel to walk into that room (mortuary) everyday and seeing that his wife's body has not so much as shifted for several months.
I hope that it is possible to sue the Texas Legislature for gigantic amounts of money for this intrusion. That is probably the only thing that will teach them to stay out of a family's most difficult and painful decisions.
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With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan..
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  #172  
Old Jan 20, '14, 11:55 am
masondoggy masondoggy is online now
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by YADA View Post
I agree - the couple is young - however, per the husband because of their work - they had discussed this potential ... however - because of their work - they would know that this directive would need to be in writing to be valid ...
Actually, this isn't true. A living will only spells out what a person wants, it does not override the next of kin's legal authority to make medical decisions. So even if she had a living will stating that she didn't ever want to be on life support, her husband would STILL have to sign the papers to allow it to be disconnected. They both knew that and I'm sure since they had discussed the issue and knew they were both in agreement, a living will was unnecessary and pointless. She knew her husband would be the one making the decisions anyway.

I find it very hard to believe that this couple never discussed this considering they were both paramedics. I can't imagine that the topic never came up. They deal with life/death issues every day on their job. If the husband says she didn't want to be on life support, I believe him.
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  #173  
Old Jan 20, '14, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by oldcelt View Post
This case REALLY shows the need to have your wishes in writing.

You are correct in the death-panel analogy except it is all in reverse..
So its a "life panel" ? i can "live" with that.
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  #174  
Old Jan 20, '14, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by masondoggy View Post
Actually, this isn't true. A living will only spells out what a person wants, it does not override the next of kin's legal authority to make medical decisions. So even if she had a living will stating that she didn't ever want to be on life support, her husband would STILL have to sign the papers to allow it to be disconnected. They both knew that and I'm sure since they had discussed the issue and knew they were both in agreement, a living will was unnecessary and pointless. She knew her husband would be the one making the decisions anyway.

I find it very hard to believe that this couple never discussed this considering they were both paramedics. I can't imagine that the topic never came up. They deal with life/death issues every day on their job. If the husband says she didn't want to be on life support, I believe him.
I doubt they ever anticipated the situation they are in now. And, BTW, the law would apply even if they had written instructions.
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We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice.

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  #175  
Old Jan 20, '14, 12:18 pm
St Francis St Francis is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

From the legal standpoint, her wishes "matter," (only somewhat as they weren't written down), but from the moral standpoint, I don't think that is as much a consideration.

However, they can't really use Catholic moral theology in the court.

So the two issues, for me, are separate.


It is auite natural for people to say, "I wouldn't want to live like that," about general situations. So someone might say, I wouldn't want to live like Mrs X, an elderly woman in a wheelchair and connected to a breathing tube. But when becomes elderly and in that situation, one might change one's mind!

I have changed a great deal over the years, and I can see changing more as my life moves on. I have (I hope) less fear of death, but understand also that one may be willing to live under circumstances which one rejected at an earlier age.

So unless Mrs Muñoz actually said, if I were pregnant and braindead I would not want to be ventilated long enough for my child to live, I don't think what she said necessarily applies in this case, certainly not from the point of view of morality.

However, I do believe that under the best of prognosises, the potential of the baby's survival is pretty low, and we do not know even as much as the doctors and family know about the prognosis for this particular baby.

We also know that this case can easily present a serious burden for the family.

This is why I think that we should not criticize the husband for making this decision--because we do not know all the particulars of the case. If the prognosis is poor enough, and the burden high enough, it is moral to withdraw extraordinary medical treatment, and it certainly seems that in this particular case that these conditions could be met.
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  #176  
Old Jan 20, '14, 12:41 pm
GraceSofia GraceSofia is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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According to the motion filed in Tarrant County District Court on Tuesday, another state law may trump the law that forbids the hospital from withdrawing life support. The Texas Health and Safety Code defines death as the "irreversible cessation of the person's spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions," the motion reads. Since Munoz has lost all brain stem activity, this law could apply to her, it says.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/family-...ry?id=21531385

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcelt View Post
This case REALLY shows the need to have your wishes in writing.
Even if it were in writing, it wouldn't have mattered in this case. Texas law over rides it when the woman is pregnant.

Quote:
I hope that it is possible to sue the Texas Legislature for gigantic amounts of money for this intrusion. That is probably the only thing that will teach them to stay out of a family's most difficult and painful decisions.
I wonder if it might make them put a time limit, requiring that the baby be closer to viability.
  #177  
Old Jan 20, '14, 1:22 pm
Cricket123 Cricket123 is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by estesbob View Post
Sounds like your dislike for conservatives overrides your concern for the baby.? How giving this child EVERY chance for life is considered a death panel is beyond me-but i look upon this as another symptom of how deeply the culture of death has become ingrained in our country
I freely admit I hold no great love for post-Reagan American Conservatives, and Texas should probably be returned to Mexico, with our apologies for stealing it, forthwith.

Here, however, my concern is for the family as a whole. Here is what is known: the baby has a heartbeat.

That's it.

Now, it appears that conservative "thought" on this matter is that this is a perfectly normal pregnancy... oh, except that Mom is dead.

Let's let that sink in.

So all we know is that the baby has a heartbeat. Fair enough. So does Mom. She's stilll dead: legally, clinically, and even according to Catholic teaching: dead.

It is not clear at all whether the baby is brain dead also. Presumably, the hospital and doctors know more about this but cannot say. Presumably too, the father and parents know more also and choose not to share this information. Neither should they have to. As a previous poster indicated, they are under no obligations to explain themselves.

So the question is: can the State force this family to use this woman's dead body as an incubator, for months, against their wishes? Just to find out what might happen?

Remember, everything else about their motives is speculation, and usually mean-spirited speculation at that. A previous poster cannot seem to understand why the father and parents are taking this position? Probably based on having more information than we do. That too is speculation, but quite reasonable.

Another previous poster asked how I would respond if the family wanted to keep the woman on life-support, and to this I would also say yes... they should be allowed to do that. But it seems to me that either choice could be moral.

A baby developing in the womb of a living mother is perfectly normal. A baby possibly developing in the womb of a long-dead mother is not. She has a heartbeat due to a ventilator. Many other bodily processes cannot be functioning normally. There is no way we can say, as many conservatives would seem to have it: "She's fine except she's dead."

I suspect the motivation for interest in this case among American conservatives has more to do with establishing some sort of legal precedent pertaining to fetal personhood. Also speculation, but quite reasonable.

I consider it a "conservative-death-panel" because, to paraphrase a bit, they are saying: "We decide when death begins, based on a powerful feeling, but not science." The wishes of the family should prevail, either way, and we should assume that they have considered this woman and her baby as wife, mother, daughter; child and grandchild, and decided accordingly, and probably appropriately, based on all the available information.
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  #178  
Old Jan 20, '14, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

Well art least you admit from the outset that your opinion is biased due to your animosity against conservatives and isn't actually based on morality or a reverence for life.
  #179  
Old Jan 20, '14, 2:38 pm
Mulligan2 Mulligan2 is offline
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by SMGS127 View Post
But why would the father of the child absolutely refuse to allow the hospital to reveal any information on the baby's status whatsoever? If the baby had no chance to survive, you'd think he would allow them to release this in order to quell anger against his actions and allow people to understand his decision better.
The husband is under no obligation to allow the hospital to release any personal information. After all, it's personal information, which is none of our business.
  #180  
Old Jan 20, '14, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Texas man wants pregnant wife off life support despite state laws

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Originally Posted by SMGS127 View Post
But why would the father of the child absolutely refuse to allow the hospital to reveal any information on the baby's status whatsoever? If the baby had no chance to survive, you'd think he would allow them to release this in order to quell anger against his actions and allow people to understand his decision better.
Good question.
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