- May 20, 2006 at 4:15 pm #1253
What should we do when a loved one is dying and seems to be in distress?
Catholic DrLan Leong, a consultant physician at Tan Tock Seng hospital clarifies Catholics position.
“When we are faced with a dying loved one, we often do not know what to do. If he seems to be in distress and we want to see him go peacefully, we may be inclined to tell the doctorto let him go. On the other hand, we may not be able to bear losing him and want to try everything that is possible to let him live for another day.
Are we commiting euthanasia in the first case? And is the second way – to continue to the bitter or the better end – the only right way?
Euthanasia comes from the Latin words which mean “good” and “deat”. But is euthanasia really a good death? Euthanasia is the international causing or hastening of death in a person with a medical condition by an action, such as giving a person a lethal injection, or by an omission, such as by not feeding the person. As defined by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical “Evagalium Vitae”, “euthanasia in the true and proper sense must be understood as an action or omission which by its very nature and intention brings about death, with the purpose of eliminating all pain”; such an act is always ” a serious violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person”.
Catholic Church’s stand on euthanasia is based on a few principles.
Firstly, life is a gift from God. We are not masters, but rather stewards of our lives.
Secondly, we are human and we have to accept that we are on earth for a limited time.Measures which are costly, painful, difficult or dangerous need not be adopted if we can only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life.
Thirdly, life is to be respected, even in one who is dying. Good physical, psychological and spiritual care has to be delivered still. As the late Pope John Paul II once said, ” the instrincsic value and personal dignity of every human being do not change, no matter what the concrete circumstances of his or her life.” A man, even if seriously ill or disabled in the exercise of his highest functions is alwayss will be a man, and he will never become a ”vegetable” or an “animal”.
Although euthanasia has been legalized in Nertherlands and in Oregon USA, it is considered unethical, not just by the Catholic Church, but by most doctors.
A plea for euthanasia frequently a cry for help anf requestss for euthanasia can change through the course of of a person’ illnes. Requests for euthanasia are rare when the patient has been given good palliative care.
Euthanasia by omission has been promoted in some places. What it means is that basic life sustaining treatment, such as the giving of food and wate, is denied a person, as in the case of Terri Schiavo who died last year. Yet Pope John Paul II underlined how “the administraion of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life , not a medical act. Its use, futhermore, should be considered, in priciple ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality.”
He went on to say,” The evaluation of probabilities… cannot ethically justify the cessation or interruption of minimal care of patient, including nutrient and hydratio.”
When a cure is no longer possible, what is there left to do? Do we give up and end a life so that we need to no longer face the agony of death? Or do we continue to live generously, accepting what is given and giving what is needed, so that we can share the final leg of this journey? The stance of the Catholic church is one of the generousity and acceptance, of continuing to care even when times are difficult. By living these days meaningfully, we can die a good death.
(Source: Page 18 Catholics News, Singapore)May 21, 2006 at 4:06 am #6249
[quote:1k64phpj]Euthanasia comes from the Latin words which mean “good” and “death”.[/quote:1k64phpj]
Actually, we can say it’s [i:1k64phpj]via[/i:1k64phpj] Latin from two greek words meaning good ([i:1k64phpj]eu[/i:1k64phpj]) and death ([i:1k64phpj]thanatos[/i:1k64phpj]). Were it Latin it would be something like [i:1k64phpj]bonamors[/i:1k64phpj]. ” title=”Wink” />
Now, I have one question: what about those people who are in a permanent vegetative state and whose lives are only kept by machines, are we still bound to keep them alive?May 21, 2006 at 4:46 am #6251
Youth in Asia? :what:
[quote:qqpktcj6]Now, I have one question: what about those people who are in a permanent vegetative state and whose lives are only kept by machines, are we still bound to keep them alive?[/quote:qqpktcj6]
They are still human aren’t they?May 21, 2006 at 5:57 am #6253
[quote:23quf1r6]They are still human aren’t they?[/quote:23quf1r6]
Just checking ” title=”Very Happy” />May 22, 2006 at 12:35 am #6262
It is very hard to see a loved one die,I lost my mother-in-law,father-in-law and are only son(age 42) in the last 2 years.What you have to do is believe that the medical doctors can only do so much and when God calls them there is nothing anyone can do,Just pray for them that they will be with God and pray for the people in purgatory so that they will be freed and be with God. I DON’T believe in Euthanasia, The Catholic Catechism says Dicontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome,dangeroues,extraordinary,or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legtimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment.Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not,by legally entitled to act for the patient,whose reasonable will and legitimate intrests must always be respected.
Hope this help’s
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