Thread by julieee.
Washington, DC -- Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin became the latest potential presidential candidate and Republican with a national profile to call for a "truce" on social issues. He joins Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Mississippi Gov. Hailey Barbour, who called for Republicans to back down on pro-life issues.
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Thread by Headline Bistro.
The fact that you are reading this indicates you escaped the abortion holocaust. But dont relax yet. We are all candidates for the growing euthanasia movement.
These oft-repeated words of Msgr. William B. Smith, one of the Churchs best moral theologians until his death last year, came to mind as my father lay in the emergency room and a grave-faced doctor called me, my brother and our mother aside for a consultation. Since this was a top-rated yet secular hospital, I was already reviewing in my mind all I knew about Church teaching regarding ordinary and extraordinary care. But I was not prepared for the ease with which this doctor suggested that we let my dad die peacefully.
My father (still living, thank God, at age 83) suffered a bad fall at home in late August and was rushed to the hospital across the street, where he underwent surgery for a broken femur. He then went to a Catholic rehabilitation facility, where he was progressing slowly in physical therapy when he developed respiratory problems that landed him in the emergency room of another hospital.
So there we were with my dad in pain, barely breathing and unable to speak being pulled aside by an important-looking specialist, as doctors, nurses and interns rushed in and out of the room. He assured us that dad was very sick, and tried to bring us into his confidence by adding, But you already know that. I thought to myself: We do not know that; no one has told us anything definite yet. In a voice that seemed more rehearsed than sincere, he said that we could treat dad aggressively (which sounded rough in his throat) or opt for comfort care (which sounded warm and fuzzy). This is a decision point, he stated. Since my dad does not have an advanced medical directive, we would have to decide whether to insert a breathing tube (aggressive) or simply keep him warm, clean, fed and comfortable until well nature took its course.
Wow! No one had told us even what was wrong with dad or how serious his condition was, and already this M.D. was suggesting that we let him slip away with comfort care.
What kind of doctor are you? I demanded, trying not to sound too insulting. I thought he might be the appointed euthanasia specialist, and was shocked to learn that he was the head of the intensive care unit.
Well, if youre in intensive care, dont you think you should treat him intensively? I said, again trying not to sound too critical.
Of course, he assured, this is the familys decision. He mentioned something about New York state law and concluded, Are we all agreed then on inserting a breathing tube? My mother, my brother and I all agreed. You can always change your mind as we go along, he reminded us. Then he offered a final warning: When people this age fall down and have complications after surgery, lots of bad things usually happen. Somewhere in his flurry of words we heard the term quality of life. My brother told him that our dad had rarely gone out of his apartment in the past four years, so his quality of life was not very exciting to begin with. If he spends the next few years in a wheelchair doing his crossroad puzzles and watching Jeopardy that will be good enough for us, my brother said, again trying not to insult.
It was not a pretty sight as they stuffed breathing and feeding tubes down my fathers throat. They drew the curtain so we couldnt watch. But my dad surprised them all and got off the respirator in three days. Hes breathing fine on his own and being treated for an infection that is going away. Hes still a little confused and sees people in the room who arent there, but the doctor says these hallucinations may be from the trauma of the past month and being confined to a bed for days on end. We pray hell be out of the hospital soon since they are finding fewer and fewer reasons to keep him.
I often think how different things could have been if family members were not so attuned to the tentacles of the culture of death, or if a couple of sons were more interested in their inheritance than in seeing their father living with the high-quality love of family and friends. And what if an elderly spouse, already stressed and confused by the whirl of the emergency room, unwittingly agreed that comfort care sounded better than being aggressive because no one wants to see a loved one suffer? Even my mom could have agreed to something she really didnt want in the rush of the moment.
I wont mention the name of the hospital because other than that one incident in the emergency room, my dad has received great and compassionate care. But I want to thank the late Msgr. Smith, for warning so often about the growing euthanasia ethic, which now has cast a pall over the practice of medicine everywhere.