Is it permisable to choose to not go through painful chemo if your chance of survival is not good? Or can you live your last days in as much health as the Lord permits? Or must you go through every avalable medical intervention so as to not sin?
You are not required to pursue extraordinary means to survive a terminal illness. As to what constitutes “extraordinary”, I would go to the “Ask and Apologist” section and post a question there.
This is a difficult area, and is best answered at some length by an ethicist. It is not a question that has a black and white answer, although there are some clear guidlines. The question has too many permutations to be answered in this forum.
If you ask tha Apologetics section, you might ask for a referral to the Catholic bioethics group, as it becomes a very specialized response fairly quickly, particularly if this is a personal question as opposed to a general guidelines question.
If it is personal, my prayers are with you. Getting the T-shirt wasn’t much fun.
[quote=Jodi]Is it permisable to choose to not go through painful chemo if your chance of survival is not good? Or can you live your last days in as much health as the Lord permits? Or must you go through every avalable medical intervention so as to not sin?
Jodi I asked a Catholic ethics professor about that issue as I’d seen both my father and grandmother suffer tremendously from their treatment. It may have bought them a few months, but they were definiately miserable. His response was that you weigh the ‘cost and benefit’ of treatment. Not just financial cost but the pain, the emotional anguish, and the impact on the patient’s family. If a treatment is likely to provide measurable benefit either in pain relief or extension of life then it’s worthwhile. So a terminal cancer patient receiving sufficient pain medication is justified. OTOH he said if surgery or chemo would not lengthen a person’s life or mitigate his/her pain, then it is perfectly ethical to say no. It is not necessary to undergo every possible extraordinary means to prolong life.
I also think the suggestion about asking an Apologist is a good one. I didn’t get any cites or CCC quotes from the ethics professor but I believe he was a speaking from a Catholic perspective.
I just finished reading a book on Vitamin B17 (Laetrile). It was very interesting and perhaps it’s something you might want to look into. Has anyone here heard anything about vitamin B17?
The book I read was World without Cancer by G. Edward Griffin.