Physician Assisted Suicide

I know the comandment, ‘Thou Shall Not Kill’.

But it is as simple as that? What if the person, has some terminal illness that they are definitely going to die from, and are in considerable amounts of pain??

This is open conversation, discussion, just throwin’ a bone out there and exploring a subject I havent before…

It is that simple. ‘Thou Shall Not Kill’. There’s no room for interpretation there.

It’s very hard to watch someone suffer, but even if they want to die, it isn’t up to us. Who are we to stand in God’s way, and derail his will for that individual?

We’re responsible for treating illnesses, and making the terminal as comfortable as we possibly can while on Earth, but their Death process is in God’s hands.

CCC 2277
"Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded."

That’s a definite no to euthanizing people.

Please keep in mind the seriousness of what you are asking.

It is as Erin Anne said; "It is that simple. ‘Thou Shall Not Kill’. There’s no room for interpretation there. "

Give up on God?

I see it as saying God doesn’t exist…we want to end life when *we * feel it’s convenient.

Here is a document from our uber-diocese. The first page is a good summary of Church teaching on this.

great! we’re in the middle of discussing this issue in my PREP class

Euthanasia is never allowed.

however, at some point there is that when you face the inevitable and just let it happen, let someone die naturally by providing normal care (food, water, simple medication perhaps). and it is acceptable to provide a sensible amount of painkillers so that one may not suffer, as long as the intention is to limit suffering, rather than overdosing someone so that they may die quicker.

there is a difference in intentionally ending someone’s life, and letting the natural course of nature take its course and let someone die. as long as you provide ordinary care (food, water, safe environment) then morally you are justified. you are not required to attempt expensive and sometimes risky medical procedures especially if you cannot afford it or would put on a financial burden on those who will be left on earth. thats already called extraordinary care

Natural conception to natural death. It is as simple as that.

Just because a person has a terminal illness, and will be in pain doesn’t mean that the pain cannot be dealt with medically. In other words, keep them comfortable.

I am going to share a little story with you.

In 2006, my mother, who was 82 at the time suffered from COPD (emphysema), diabetes, DVT (blood clots), and heart disease, just to name a few.

After about 10 days in the hospital, and the Dr.'s not being able to figure out why she wasn’t stablizing, did a Bronchoscopy (scope into the lungs). They found out she had a Staph infection in her lungs. If that wasn’t bad enough, while she was in, they found out she had an ovarian tumor the size of a softball.

Needless to say, she was in tremendous amounts of pain, and having a hard time breathing on top of that. On Christmas Eve, 2006, I had to sign the orders to discontinue medical treatment.

This only involved the removal of medications for the treatments of her illnesses, testing, and a Do Not Resucitate Order. We continued food, and hydration. We also continued with pain management.

While she experienced some mild discomfort, she was not flailing around in pain either. She lasted nearly 72 hours before she passed away, naturally.

Checking out early with Physician assisted suicide leaves out the possiblilties of 1. God’s intervention 2. A chance for a cure.

Imagine killing yourself, and then 6 months later, there is a cure.

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You ready for this, Tim…I AGREE. Right now, I am watching my Brother die by inches. He is in the end stages of alcoholic cirrhosis. He has not had a drink for 10 yrs., but it was too late when he quit drinking…his liver was gone. They inserted a shunt that bypassed the liver, he not only quit alcohol, he gave up cigarettes & coffee. He sold his car & has walked to work for 9 yrs. The doctors 10 yrs. ago, gave him 5 yrs. & he has lived well past that. He did not give in to self-pity & would not accept pity from anyone. He did not dwell on his past mistakes, but faced them, dealt with them & then looked forward to every day he had. He turned his attention to his family & customers & has served both well. I not only love him, I **respect **him for the way he has handled his illness & what life was left to him.

In the beginning, we went out to eat together once a week & I took him to do his grocery shopping. This past year, we went together to his doctor appointments, his pharmacy, to the library,etc., etc. I miss him already. He’s been in the hospital since March 17.

However, he’s now in the end stages & it is SO hard. I drive 140 mis. 3 times a week to see him. He has had 3 major surgeries within the last 2weeks, one on his heart, another to remove a section of his colon & another to remove part of his pelvic bone. He is being attacked by a Bacteria that the liver would normally filter out. He’s on a dialysis machine, he breathes through a tracheotomy tube attached to another machine, he’s fed intravenously & he suffers from transient cortical blindness, another complication of cirrhosis. He cannot speak because of the Trache tube. He’s only 62 yrs. old. Still it has not affected his brain, YET.

Thank God that he is in a hospital that is attached to a University, K.U. Med center. He’s not only receiving top-notch medical care, he’s receiving ethical medical care. When I asked his surgeons, in tears, how many more surgeries… they told me they had done all they could do surgically, but that they would continue to do every single thing possible to help him both physically & mentally. They told me to remember that they had a moral obligation to save lives. They reminded me that their hypocratic oath begins with “first do no harm”.

I watch his suffering & I pray. I bring him cards from his friends & we joke about him being surrounded by “Jayhawks”. There is a great sports rivalry between Missouri University, which he & I both attended, & Kansas University. So I take M.U. banners to put on the wall of his I.C.U. room & he jokes with the Kansas nurses who care for him. (Those of you who follow Kansas basketball will understand.)

They are letting me stay for about 45 minutes, as I get readly to leave, he mouths the words “Thank you” & I say, “See you in a couple of days”, then I cry all the way home. YES, I feel that he would be better off in heaven…but here’s the thing…GOD must still want him here. He may be working out the salvation of my brother’s soul. That may be the reason that He doesn’t take Frank home. I don’t know, but what I & HIS DOCTORS do know, **is that no one on this earth has the right to make the call as to when he can “go to his heavenly home”. **

He has requested not to be kept alive on machines, & though it seems that he is…he’s not. His brain function is good. He recognizes my voice, he mouths the words, “Tell me about the kids”. He is suffering & I am suffering watching it all, but suffering is a part of life. If we offer it up for my brothers salvation…it is nothing at all.

BTW. I must give a great deal of thanks to my husband & children. My husband let’s me cry & my children do everything they can to help me manage it all. Credit also goes to his ex-wife, who left him because of his drinking, but has been his best friend through these past 10 yrs. She is there for him several times a week, too.

He can also still do much good by offering up his sufferings in support of other alcoholics that they may receive the grace to escape from their state. It is often taught that the prayer of one who is suffering has especial power for those with similar problems. We pray best when we share the suffering of the one we are praying for.

With my prayers for you all.

My prayers are with you and your brother Joe.

My brother died of the same thing in 2003.

It isn’t easy to go through, thats for sure.

I’ve thought many times this past few weeks, that if an alcoholic could see my brother now, they’d stop drinking immediately. But, I think that my brother said it all. First, most don’t really admit to themselves that they are actually an alcoholic. Second, even when they DO admit it, they would never think that what my brother is going through would happen to them.

I firmly believe that God intervened in Frank’s life in response to the many prayers offered on his behalf. Thank you for your prayers.

Thank you for your prayers.

**

Happy for what you have?
Thank God
Thank a Veteran

**

My brother is a Veteran & I want to give the VA. credit for seeing that he gets the best medical treatment available. His insurance is through the VA. & he first entered a Veteran’s hospital. They did all they could, then took him by ambulance to the KU. Med Center. I visited him at the VA. hospital, too & the people there were so kind.

Pope John Paul II did a wonderful job discussing euthanasia in Evangelium vitae. You should read it.

Suicide is self murder. The hebrew translates best as “Thou shalt not murder.”

Thank you everyone for your posts…its a lot to consider. The way it came up was a friend had posed the question, ‘what about in the case of…extreme pain’ and MY immediate, without hesitation response was ‘No I dont believe in physician assisted suicide because it violates one of the top 10, Thou Shalt Not Kill. I dont see anyway the physician can get around it, simple as that’

LOL, which is why I started off with ‘Is it as simple as that??’ Because, after I had said this I realized I had never really THOUGHT about it before…never discussed it…and it is a somewhat complex situation…so I thought I’d explore the issue a little and if anything, strengthen my argument against it. Thank you all for the links and resources…

Thank you SO much for this link. It’s been a long time since I read this.

From Pope John Paul II who suffered much at the end of his life:

“. At the other end of life’s spectrum, men and women find themselves facing the mystery of death. Today, as a result of advances in medicine and in a cultural context frequently closed to the transcendent, the experience of dying is marked by new features. When the prevailing tendency is to value life only to the extent that it brings pleasure and well-being, suffering seems like an unbearable setback, something from which one must be freed at all costs. Death is considered “senseless” if it suddenly interrupts a life still open to a future of new and interesting experiences. But it becomes a “rightful liberation” once life is held to be no longer meaningful because it is filled with pain and inexorably doomed to even greater suffering.”

However, then comes the words from John Paul:

“Euthanasia must be distinguished from the decision to forego so-called “aggressive medical treatment”, in other words, medical procedures which no longer correspond to the real situation of the patient, either because they are by now disproportionate to any expected results or because they impose an excessive burden on the patient and his family. In such situations, when death is clearly imminent and inevitable, one can in conscience “refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted”.77 Certainly there is a moral obligation to care for oneself and to allow oneself to be cared for, but this duty must take account of concrete circumstances. It needs to be determined whether the means of treatment available are objectively proportionate to the prospects for improvement. To forego extraordinary or disproportionate means is not the equivalent of suicide or euthanasia; it rather expresses acceptance of the human condition in the face of death.”

It’s so hard to know what to do. I don’t want my brother to have anymore surgery, but, feel that…since he is still conscious & his brain function is good…that he must make the call. He has listed me as his next of kin & I am clueless about what to do or not do anymore. I think a lot of my confusion comes from the fact that I’m so tired.

If the time comes when the poison in his system reaches his brain…The toxins buildup in the brain—they call this hepatic encephalopathy…will I have to make the call? He named his ex-wife & dear friend (long story) as the executor of his will, her name is on his checking account & he listed me as the next of kin. She has been a God send, but is more tired than I am. God bless her.

Are we not to follow Christ in all things? Did He not suffer and die on the Cross? How can we expect to be His followers and take the easy way out?

Know what I mean Vern?

It takes a lack of belief in the life to come to think that one is eliminating suffering by committing suicide or killing someone who is terminally ill. That “mercy killing” could just be the portal to eternal suffering.

O time despised during life! you will be ardently desired by worldlings at the hour of death. They will then wish for another year, another month, another day; but they will not obtain it: they will then be told that time shall be no longer. How much would they then pay for another week, or another day, to settle the accounts of their conscience? To obtain a single hour, they would, says St. Laurence Justinian, give all their wealth and worldly possessions. But this hour shall not be given.

[RIGHT]St. Alphonsus Liguori, *Preparation for Death *
[/RIGHT]

aaaaaaaaaargh…ethics free physicians…coming soon to a place near you. What about the Hypocratic Oath etc.

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