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  • #61
    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 treatment should be withheld or withdrawn - specifically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


    • #62
      Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

      Joy wrote:
      "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.
      IF she's horrified, it's at the fact that no one is empathetic and sensitive
      enough to let her go. And that would *horrify* me, too. But then again,
      this world is full of such people.
      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


      • #63
        Right To Live / Die (Terri Schiavo)

        Joy wrote:
        "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.
        IF she's horrified, it's at the fact that no one is empathetic and sensitive
        enough to let her go. And that would *horrify* me, too. But then again,
        this world is full of such people.
        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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