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  • #46
    Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

    Tony Miller <[email protected]> writes:
    On 26 Feb 2005 13:14:57 -0800, Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
    Tony Miller <[email protected]> writes:
    On 26 Feb 2005 07:52:04 -0800, Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote: <Snip> > 100 years ago, Schiavo would have died. As a society we've > effectively made the decision to develop and use the technologies that > have kept her breathing and kept her heart beating for 15 years in > spite of the fact that her mind is gone. That is "playing god" too. This statement proves that you have no clue what you are talking about. Terri breathes on her own. Her heart beats on it's own. If she continues to be fed, her heart will continue to beat and she will continue to breathe until she stops, in which case she's dead.
    And what part of this proves I don't know what I'm talking about? She doesn't swallow. 100 years ago, she wouldn't have a feeding tube, which is precisely what the debate is about.
    And babies don't feed themselves. Your point is?
    Stick to the issues instead of trying to project your ignorance on others.
    *You* specifically stated that she was being kept breathing and her heart was being kept beating artificially.
    I didn't say that.
    I guess if providing her with food is "artificial" we ought to let babies die because they can't feed themselves.
    Is that really what you think?

    It isn't what I think. Nor is it what I've said.

    Comment


    • #47
      Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

      Tony Miller <[email protected]> writes:
      On 26 Feb 2005 13:14:57 -0800, Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
      Tony Miller <[email protected]> writes:
      On 26 Feb 2005 07:52:04 -0800, Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote: <Snip> > 100 years ago, Schiavo would have died. As a society we've > effectively made the decision to develop and use the technologies that > have kept her breathing and kept her heart beating for 15 years in > spite of the fact that her mind is gone. That is "playing god" too. This statement proves that you have no clue what you are talking about. Terri breathes on her own. Her heart beats on it's own. If she continues to be fed, her heart will continue to beat and she will continue to breathe until she stops, in which case she's dead.
      And what part of this proves I don't know what I'm talking about? She doesn't swallow. 100 years ago, she wouldn't have a feeding tube, which is precisely what the debate is about.
      And babies don't feed themselves. Your point is?
      Stick to the issues instead of trying to project your ignorance on others.
      *You* specifically stated that she was being kept breathing and her heart was being kept beating artificially.
      I didn't say that.
      I guess if providing her with food is "artificial" we ought to let babies die because they can't feed themselves.
      Is that really what you think?

      It isn't what I think. Nor is it what I've said.

      Comment


      • #48
        Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

        On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy
        <[email protected]> wrote:
        "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
        On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
        >>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>> notarization>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>> should>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in which>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>> medical>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>> the>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>> other>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that case?>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or> ethical.>> -Tony> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do artificial feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical?
        When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the morality of them? -Tony
        No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either. I happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here).
        As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
        What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping in mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.)
        The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support.
        You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very
        specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient to
        encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views
        sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
        If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very last possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian
        No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
        death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year old who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point?
        There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe,
        I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off.

        But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is
        tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able
        bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story. Others, such as Doug, have
        suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot".

        I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic" or
        "routine".

        -Tony

        --
        "If the grass appears to be greener on the other side of the fence, it's time
        to fertilize your lawn!"
        Want to jump start your marriage? Consider a Marriage Encounter weekend.
        Check out http://www.wwme.org for more information.

        Comment


        • #49
          Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

          On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy
          <[email protected]> wrote:
          "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
          On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
          >>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>> notarization>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>> should>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in which>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>> medical>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>> the>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>> other>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that case?>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or> ethical.>> -Tony> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do artificial feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical?
          When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the morality of them? -Tony
          No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either. I happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here).
          As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
          What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping in mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.)
          The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support.
          You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very
          specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient to
          encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views
          sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
          If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very last possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian
          No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
          death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year old who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point?
          There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe,
          I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off.

          But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is
          tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able
          bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story. Others, such as Doug, have
          suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot".

          I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic" or
          "routine".

          -Tony

          --
          "If the grass appears to be greener on the other side of the fence, it's time
          to fertilize your lawn!"
          Want to jump start your marriage? Consider a Marriage Encounter weekend.
          Check out http://www.wwme.org for more information.

          Comment


          • #50
            Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)


            "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
            news:[email protected]
            On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
            "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
            On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:>>>>>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>>> notarization>>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>>> should>>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in>>> which>>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>>> medical>>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>>> the>>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>>> other>>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that>>> case?>>>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or>> ethical.>>>> -Tony>>>> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do> artificial> feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical? When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the morality of them? -Tony
            No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either. I happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here).
            As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
            What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping in mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.)
            The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support. You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient to encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
            If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very last possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian
            No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
            death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year old who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point?
            There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off.
            Suppose this 90 year old has just had a major stroke, with no hope of
            regaining consciousness, but is still breathing on his/her own. Would you
            put in a feeding tube?
            But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
            Well, the Poe story isn't such a good analogy (though it is a classic -
            here's some info on it, for anybody who might not have read it for a while:
            http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/ )

            Others, such as Doug, have
            suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot". I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic" or "routine".
            That is part of it, of course. I also think there is some element of what
            each of us considers to be life. Is it enough to just have a breathing body
            with a beating heart, or is there a non-physical component which includes a
            distinct personality and the potential for consciousness that must be
            present to be "alive"? I think that differences of opinion in what it
            really means to be alive may be more the root here.


            Comment


            • #51
              Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)


              "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
              news:[email protected]
              On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
              "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
              On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:>>>>>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>>> notarization>>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>>> should>>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in>>> which>>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>>> medical>>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>>> the>>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>>> other>>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that>>> case?>>>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or>> ethical.>>>> -Tony>>>> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do> artificial> feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical? When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the morality of them? -Tony
              No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either. I happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here).
              As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
              What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping in mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.)
              The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support. You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient to encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
              If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very last possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian
              No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
              death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year old who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point?
              There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off.
              Suppose this 90 year old has just had a major stroke, with no hope of
              regaining consciousness, but is still breathing on his/her own. Would you
              put in a feeding tube?
              But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
              Well, the Poe story isn't such a good analogy (though it is a classic -
              here's some info on it, for anybody who might not have read it for a while:
              http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/ )

              Others, such as Doug, have
              suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot". I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic" or "routine".
              That is part of it, of course. I also think there is some element of what
              each of us considers to be life. Is it enough to just have a breathing body
              with a beating heart, or is there a non-physical component which includes a
              distinct personality and the potential for consciousness that must be
              present to be "alive"? I think that differences of opinion in what it
              really means to be alive may be more the root here.


              Comment


              • #52
                Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                Tony Miller wrote:
                There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off. But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
                Air is as vital as food and water for sustaining life. Though I
                understand that you have some beliefs that don't necessarily make
                logical sense, you cannot possibly put a higher value on food and water
                than air. So it must be that you make a qualitative distinction between
                the functions of different parts of the body, right? If the body becomes
                unable to get the needed oxygen on its own you think it should not be
                provided by artificial means, but when it becomes unable to take in the
                needed food and water you think we should artificially provide it. Very
                interesting (and arbitrary) distinction. Is that the position of the
                Pope? Inquiring minds want to know...

                Comment


                • #53
                  Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                  Tony Miller wrote:
                  There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off. But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
                  Air is as vital as food and water for sustaining life. Though I
                  understand that you have some beliefs that don't necessarily make
                  logical sense, you cannot possibly put a higher value on food and water
                  than air. So it must be that you make a qualitative distinction between
                  the functions of different parts of the body, right? If the body becomes
                  unable to get the needed oxygen on its own you think it should not be
                  provided by artificial means, but when it becomes unable to take in the
                  needed food and water you think we should artificially provide it. Very
                  interesting (and arbitrary) distinction. Is that the position of the
                  Pope? Inquiring minds want to know...

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                    On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 16:28:46 -0500, Joy
                    <[email protected]> wrote:
                    "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                    On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
                    "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]> On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy> <[email protected]> wrote:>>>>>>>>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>>>> notarization>>>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>>>> should>>>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in>>>> which>>>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>>>> medical>>>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>>>> the>>>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>>>> other>>>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that>>>> case?>>>>>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or>>> ethical.>>>>>> -Tony>>>>>>> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do>> artificial>> feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical?>> When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick> question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the> morality of them?>> -Tony No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either. I happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here).
                    As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
                    What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping in mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.)
                    The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support. You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient to encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
                    If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very last possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian
                    No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
                    death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year old who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point?
                    There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off.
                    Suppose this 90 year old has just had a major stroke, with no hope of regaining consciousness, but is still breathing on his/her own. Would you put in a feeding tube?
                    Yes. Food and water is a basic necessity of life. What about someone who
                    was active and alert, though could not swallow. Would *you* put in a
                    feeding tube?
                    But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story. Well, the Poe story isn't such a good analogy (though it is a classic - here's some info on it, for anybody who might not have read it for a while: http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/ )
                    You never know. It might be an incredibly apt analogy. This woman,
                    though almost completely non-responsive might be completely aware. She
                    might be garnering the discussion around her and is horrified, though
                    unable to communicate it.
                    Others, such as Doug, have
                    suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot". I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic" or "routine".
                    That is part of it, of course. I also think there is some element of what each of us considers to be life. Is it enough to just have a breathing body with a beating heart, or is there a non-physical component which includes a distinct personality and the potential for consciousness that must be present to be "alive"? I think that differences of opinion in what it really means to be alive may be more the root here.
                    Well, sure. And it also matters whether you believe in miracles or not.

                    -Tony

                    --
                    "If the grass appears to be greener on the other side of the fence, it's time
                    to fertilize your lawn!"
                    Want to jump start your marriage? Consider a Marriage Encounter weekend.
                    Check out http://www.wwme.org for more information.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                      On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 16:28:46 -0500, Joy
                      <[email protected]> wrote:
                      "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                      On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
                      "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]iary.com...> On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy> <[email protected]> wrote:>>>>>>>>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>>>> notarization>>>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>>>> should>>>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in>>>> which>>>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>>>> medical>>>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>>>> the>>>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>>>> other>>>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that>>>> case?>>>>>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or>>> ethical.>>>>>> -Tony>>>>>>> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do>> artificial>> feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical?>> When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick> question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the> morality of them?>> -Tony No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either. I happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here).
                      As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
                      What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping in mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.)
                      The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support. You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient to encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
                      If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very last possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian
                      No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
                      death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year old who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point?
                      There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off.
                      Suppose this 90 year old has just had a major stroke, with no hope of regaining consciousness, but is still breathing on his/her own. Would you put in a feeding tube?
                      Yes. Food and water is a basic necessity of life. What about someone who
                      was active and alert, though could not swallow. Would *you* put in a
                      feeding tube?
                      But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story. Well, the Poe story isn't such a good analogy (though it is a classic - here's some info on it, for anybody who might not have read it for a while: http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/ )
                      You never know. It might be an incredibly apt analogy. This woman,
                      though almost completely non-responsive might be completely aware. She
                      might be garnering the discussion around her and is horrified, though
                      unable to communicate it.
                      Others, such as Doug, have
                      suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot". I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic" or "routine".
                      That is part of it, of course. I also think there is some element of what each of us considers to be life. Is it enough to just have a breathing body with a beating heart, or is there a non-physical component which includes a distinct personality and the potential for consciousness that must be present to be "alive"? I think that differences of opinion in what it really means to be alive may be more the root here.
                      Well, sure. And it also matters whether you believe in miracles or not.

                      -Tony

                      --
                      "If the grass appears to be greener on the other side of the fence, it's time
                      to fertilize your lawn!"
                      Want to jump start your marriage? Consider a Marriage Encounter weekend.
                      Check out http://www.wwme.org for more information.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                        Joy wrote:
                        "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                        On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
                        "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]> On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy> <[email protected]> wrote:>>>>>>>>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>>>> notarization>>>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>>>> should>>>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in>>>> which>>>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>>>> medical>>>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>>>> the>>>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>>>> other>>>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that>>>> case?>>>>>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or>>> ethical.>>>>>> -Tony>>>>>>> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do>> artificial>> feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical?>> When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick> question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the> morality of them?>> -Tony No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either.
                        I
                        happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here). As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
                        What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping
                        in
                        mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.) The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support. You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient
                        to
                        encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
                        If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very
                        last
                        possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
                        death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year
                        old
                        who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point? There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off. Suppose this 90 year old has just had a major stroke, with no hope of regaining consciousness, but is still breathing on his/her own. Would you put in a feeding tube?
                        But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
                        Well, the Poe story isn't such a good analogy (though it is a classic - here's some info on it, for anybody who might not have read it for a
                        while:
                        http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/ ) Others, such as Doug, have
                        suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot". I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic"
                        or
                        "routine". That is part of it, of course. I also think there is some element of what each of us considers to be life. Is it enough to just have a breathing
                        body
                        with a beating heart,
                        Sigh. It would appear there unfortunately are a few who believe so. How
                        sad.. To feel that way, they clearly have no empathy for the victim,
                        whatsover. Empathy is something that has to be learned - early on. Or
                        never at all. Which reminds me of some serial killers - if you've ever
                        seen them (on A&E, for example), you know exactly what I mean about zero
                        empathy.
                        or is there a non-physical component which includes a distinct personality and the potential for consciousness that must be present to be "alive"? I think that differences of opinion in what it really means to be alive may be more the root here.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                          Joy wrote:
                          "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                          On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
                          "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]> On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy> <[email protected]> wrote:>>>>>>>>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>>>> notarization>>>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if they>>>> should>>>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in>>>> which>>>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>>>> medical>>>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically authorizing>>>> the>>>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>>>> other>>>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that>>>> case?>>>>>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral or>>> ethical.>>>>>> -Tony>>>>>>> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do>> artificial>> feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical?>> When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a trick> question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the> morality of them?>> -Tony No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either.
                          I
                          happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly and clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision (which may well be true for many of the posters here). As I may be called to do at some point in my life.
                          What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping
                          in
                          mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from the Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my neighbor. Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.) The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support. You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient
                          to
                          encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.
                          If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always morally required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very
                          last
                          possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a Christian No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.
                          death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good thing, the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year
                          old
                          who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it would be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so, why? What would be the point? There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off. Suppose this 90 year old has just had a major stroke, with no hope of regaining consciousness, but is still breathing on his/her own. Would you put in a feeding tube?
                          But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
                          Well, the Poe story isn't such a good analogy (though it is a classic - here's some info on it, for anybody who might not have read it for a
                          while:
                          http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/ ) Others, such as Doug, have
                          suggested that we resort to active euthanasia as in "give am a shot". I think the big confusion in this is what each of us considers "heroic"
                          or
                          "routine". That is part of it, of course. I also think there is some element of what each of us considers to be life. Is it enough to just have a breathing
                          body
                          with a beating heart,
                          Sigh. It would appear there unfortunately are a few who believe so. How
                          sad.. To feel that way, they clearly have no empathy for the victim,
                          whatsover. Empathy is something that has to be learned - early on. Or
                          never at all. Which reminds me of some serial killers - if you've ever
                          seen them (on A&E, for example), you know exactly what I mean about zero
                          empathy.
                          or is there a non-physical component which includes a distinct personality and the potential for consciousness that must be present to be "alive"? I think that differences of opinion in what it really means to be alive may be more the root here.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                            On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 17:03:57 -0500, Ellie
                            <[email protected]> wrote:
                            Tony Miller wrote:
                            There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off. But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
                            Air is as vital as food and water for sustaining life. Though I understand that you have some beliefs that don't necessarily make logical sense, you cannot possibly put a higher value on food and water than air. So it must be that you make a qualitative distinction between the functions of different parts of the body, right? If the body becomes unable to get the needed oxygen on its own you think it should not be provided by artificial means, but when it becomes unable to take in the needed food and water you think we should artificially provide it. Very interesting (and arbitrary) distinction. Is that the position of the Pope? Inquiring minds want to know...
                            ##
                            Pope declares feeding tubes a 'moral obligation'

                            By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

                            Pope John Paul II has stunned Catholic health care providers, ethicists
                            and theologians by announcing emphatically that it is "morally obligatory"
                            to continue artificial feeding and hydration for people in a persistent
                            vegetative state, even if they remain so for years.
                            Pope John Paul II called continuing artifical feeding
                            tubes for people in a vegetative state "basic care."

                            http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...ope-usat_x.htm

                            ##

                            The ironic part of all of this is the the Pope may find himself on the
                            receiving end of this sort of treatment soon. This should lend a little
                            more weight to his words.

                            -Tony

                            --
                            "If the grass appears to be greener on the other side of the fence, it's time
                            to fertilize your lawn!"
                            Want to jump start your marriage? Consider a Marriage Encounter weekend.
                            Check out http://www.wwme.org for more information.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

                              On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 17:03:57 -0500, Ellie
                              <[email protected]> wrote:
                              Tony Miller wrote:
                              There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off. But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
                              Air is as vital as food and water for sustaining life. Though I understand that you have some beliefs that don't necessarily make logical sense, you cannot possibly put a higher value on food and water than air. So it must be that you make a qualitative distinction between the functions of different parts of the body, right? If the body becomes unable to get the needed oxygen on its own you think it should not be provided by artificial means, but when it becomes unable to take in the needed food and water you think we should artificially provide it. Very interesting (and arbitrary) distinction. Is that the position of the Pope? Inquiring minds want to know...
                              ##
                              Pope declares feeding tubes a 'moral obligation'

                              By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

                              Pope John Paul II has stunned Catholic health care providers, ethicists
                              and theologians by announcing emphatically that it is "morally obligatory"
                              to continue artificial feeding and hydration for people in a persistent
                              vegetative state, even if they remain so for years.
                              Pope John Paul II called continuing artifical feeding
                              tubes for people in a vegetative state "basic care."

                              http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...ope-usat_x.htm

                              ##

                              The ironic part of all of this is the the Pope may find himself on the
                              receiving end of this sort of treatment soon. This should lend a little
                              more weight to his words.

                              -Tony

                              --
                              "If the grass appears to be greener on the other side of the fence, it's time
                              to fertilize your lawn!"
                              Want to jump start your marriage? Consider a Marriage Encounter weekend.
                              Check out http://www.wwme.org for more information.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)


                                "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                                news:[email protected]
                                On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 16:28:46 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:
                                "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                                On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:22:44 -0500, Joy <[email protected]> wrote:>> "Tony Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message> news:[email protected]>> On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:20:31 -0500, Joy>> <[email protected]> wrote:>>>>>>>>>>>>> So what if somebody has legally with the proper witnessess and>>>>> notarization>>>>> filled out a form specifing clearly in black and white that, if>>>>> they>>>>> should>>>>> every be in an irreversible coma or permanent vegetative state in>>>>> which>>>>> their physician has determined there there would be no recovery,>>>>> medical>>>>> treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically>>>>> authorizing>>>>> the>>>>> withholding or withdrawal of artificially provided food, water, or>>>>> other>>>>> nourishment or fluids? What would be your opinion on it in that>>>>> case?>>>>>>>> My opinion doesn't change. Legal does not necessarily equal moral>>>> or>>>> ethical.>>>>>>>> -Tony>>>>>>>>>> In this case, though, the person has specifically said not to do>>> artificial>>> feeding. Is following the persons wishes immoral or unethical?>>>> When a person's wishes are immoral or unethical, yes. Was that a>> trick>> question? Or do you globally follow people's wishes regardless of the>> morality of them?>>>> -Tony>> No, it was not a trick question. Not a strictly academic one, either.> I> happen to hold power of attorney for my parents, who have explicitly> and> clearly stated in writing, with no ambiguity at all, that under those> circumstances they do not want artificial life support. It is entirely> possible that some day I will be called upon to make such a decision> (which> may well be true for many of the posters here). As I may be called to do at some point in my life.> What I am trying to understand is the point of view that states that> withholding artificial life support is immoral or unethical. (Keeping> in> mind that I am not Catholic, and therefore for me any statement from> the> Pope carries no more moral weight than a statement from, say, my> neighbor.> Possibly less, since I actually know my neighbor.) The point of view is that food and water is not artificial life support. You've (inadvertently, I'm sure) built a straw man that extended the very specific situation of providing food and water to an unconcious patient to encompass "artificial life support". I probably did not make my views sufficiently clear, or you have been distracted by the views of others.> If I understand correctly, your stance seems to be that it is always> morally> required to keep the body breathing and heart beating until the very> last> possible instant (which does not make sense to me, since for a> Christian No, your understanding of my stance is wrong.> death means being reunited with God - which is supposed to be a good> thing,> the desired end result of a Christian life). So what about a 90 year> old> who has had a major stroke and is never going to wake up? Perhaps it> would> be possible to keep the body alive for a period of time by artificial> feeding. Would you consider that to be a moral imperative? If so,> why?> What would be the point? There would be no point. Should this person need a ventilator to breathe, I would be the first person to ascede to their wishes and switch it off.
                                Suppose this 90 year old has just had a major stroke, with no hope of regaining consciousness, but is still breathing on his/her own. Would you put in a feeding tube?
                                Yes. Food and water is a basic necessity of life. What about someone who was active and alert, though could not swallow. Would *you* put in a feeding tube?
                                An active and alert person is by definition able to make his or her own
                                decisions, and doesn't need me to do it for them. My hope in this case
                                would be that this person's physician would discuss the patients condition
                                with the patient, who would be making their own medical decisions.

                                I would not do this for a 90 year old unconscious stroke victim who had no
                                hope for recovery. That would seem like cruelly prolonging death to me,
                                instead of prolonging life.
                                But here we are talking about food and water, the withholding of which is tantamount to "passive euthanasia" somewhat akin to walling up an able bodied person as in the Edgar Allen Poe story. Well, the Poe story isn't such a good analogy (though it is a classic - here's some info on it, for anybody who might not have read it for a while: http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/ ) You never know. It might be an incredibly apt analogy. This woman, though almost completely non-responsive might be completely aware. She might be garnering the discussion around her and is horrified, though unable to communicate it.
                                There could be cases where that is true. Apparently in the Schiavo case,
                                the part of her brain capable of thought no longer exists and has been
                                replaced by fluid.
                                That is part of it, of course. I also think there is some element of what each of us considers to be life. Is it enough to just have a breathing body with a beating heart, or is there a non-physical component which includes a distinct personality and the potential for consciousness that must be present to be "alive"? I think that differences of opinion in what it really means to be alive may be more the root here. Well, sure. And it also matters whether you believe in miracles or not. -Tony
                                In one sense or another, it's all a miracle - life, death, the universe and
                                everthing.


                                Comment

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