[Covenanted Reformation] Re: Medical Ethics question(s)
- Dear Adam,
I have recently went through some of these legal, ethical and moral
issues in designing a medical power of attorney for my advocate/doctor
that would implement procedures in the event I was in a medical
emergency or persistent vegetative state.
Let me take a closer look at the detailed wording I drafted to see how
I worded the issues you raised below. Clearly, this was not based
upon the Roman Catholic tradition of my current parents, and I did
make my father understand his role in case something happened to me.
I chose a Doctor that would follow my instructions rather than allow
the wishy washy Roman catholics get involved with their varied
position on the matter. There is a difference giving a Doctor
instructions in using sound medical decisions rather than giving my
Roman catholic parents the opportunity be emotionally influenced by
their local Priest or Bishop. Actually, I did not need to appeal to
Rome's research on the matter as their are excellent biblical research
out there on the subject if one cares to look for the diamonds in the
Indeed, what it boils down to in my research is artificial heroic and
artificial non-heroic measures, but this is not so easy to define. It
is important to define what both mean specificially, and then add to
this additional issues like:
age of patient
availability of resources
current stage of disease course (are the 24 hours from death)
maturity of technology (what 100 years ago didn't work works today, or
diseases that killed our ancestors are easily diagnosed and treated today)
We are born in the image of God, and commanded to use natural means to
preserve and protect life. As the creation of God, He ultimately is
defined our ultimate death. As opposed to natural means of
preservation, we have artificial means and this is where the heroic
and non-heroic means come into definition.
It would be a heroic means to put you on an automatic defibrillator
and possible shock me out of a fatal heart rythem, and later a
mechanical ventilation and potent blood pressure supporting
medications in the event of a massive heart attack. However, once my
position returns to normal, then artificial non-heroic means are
installed with possible artificial feeding tubes...which are not normal.
Here is where it gets tricky if I'm a vegetable after the attack, and
am forced into a nursing home and artificial feeding. What are the
limits to artificial, non-heroic means of sustaining life?
In your case below, I would need to do a bit more research and give it
some thought as I don't believe I addressed it in my POA.
Hope some of this is helpful and here are a couple links that you
might have helpful that might be as good, or better, than what Rome
may be teaching its membership and non-members.
http://www.pcahistory.org/pca/index.html (there was a paper on the
subject here, but I cannot find it going through the list)
Hope this helps for the time being. I think Parnell knows my dear
love for Rome and how they have taken the hearts and minds of my
parents, so I'm sure he will be ok with my perhaps strong comments.
May the Lord be with you,
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Leah & Adam Boone"
> thanks parnell,
> I've been there, and sadly the catholic position on sanctity of life
> too much to do with the whether or not someone get to be baptized email@example.com<covenantedreformationclub%40yahoogroups.com>,
> they die.
> On 11/28/06, puritanone <joseph.mccarter@...> wrote:
> > --- In
> > "Adam J. Boone"
> > <leah.adam@> wrote:
> > >
> > > Dear list,
> > > I covet some(any) comments on an ethical issue I am dealing with
> > for a
> > > paper in nursing school. While I have not personal assumed care
> > for
> > > anyone with this condition, I have seen it in the hospital and it
> > makes
> > > my heart break.
> > > The condition is ancephaly.
> > Hi, Adam. The sad fact is that modern Protestant scholarship in the
> > realm of medical ethics is typically second rate at best, for a
> > variety of reasons. Some of the reasons include these:
> > - Many or most professing Protestants have abandoned such historical
> > Christian and Biblical positions that artificial contraception as
> > well as abortion are wrong. This is because they have been subtly
> > deceived by modern humanism to some degree in the realm of medical
> > ethics.
> > - Due to widespread heresy and apostasy, true Protestant ranks have
> > considerably thinned, so that the remaining true Protestant churches
> > often lack the resources to have educational institutions which can
> > appropriately address such issues. Scholarship in this area
> > requires people who are well studied in medicine as well as
> > theology, and educational institutions in which to work in.
> > - Some true Protestants have shunned the organized church and chosen
> > the loner route. (I realize they think no current organized church
> > is good enough, but as you can tell, I reject that thesis. Of
> > course, my own view is that the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
> > is the one that people should choose, but I realize most on this
> > list will disagree with me on that one.) Sorry, but do not expect
> > scholarship of this nature from loners. It requires organized
> > churches with resouces and wherewithal to establish educational
> > institutions.
> > - Many true Protestant churches have lacked a vision for creating
> > educational institutions. (I personally hope this is an area that
> > the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland itself will improve in.)
> > So given the sad state of things, I actually think a Christian today
> > considering medical ethics probably should start their research
> > looking at Roman Catholic medical ethics scholarship. They have had
> > the resources to engage in the scholarship, and many of their
> > medical presuppositions are essentially the same as what they would
> > be for a Biblical Protestant.
> > eg, on the topic of anencephaly , http://www.ncbcenter.org/em/0611-
> > 1.aspx gives a good starting point. Sadly, though, such articles
> > generally refer to the Papal "Holy Father" as the authority, instead
> > of giving the scriptural grounds.
> > - Parnell McCarter
Sorry, Nate, I've only just seen (here) why you posted as you did at Come out.
But, I have had to deal with not too dissimilar medical ethical issues over the last few years in my own life, and have found THIS site a great resource. Whether it will be of any use for the specific thing you are dealign with I couldn't say. But its worth checking out.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Adam J. Boone" <leah.adam@...> wrote:
> Dear list,
> I covet some(any) comments on an ethical issue I am dealing with for a
> paper in nursing school. While I have not personal assumed care for
> anyone with this condition, I have seen it in the hospital and it makes
> my heart break.
> The condition is ancephaly. This is a condition where a child is formed
> in such a way that it does not posses a brain above the stem. Most of
> these babies die before or at birth but some may live for hours and
> even days on their own.
> I do not pretend to know what it would be like to have such a child so
> i do not intent to offend anyone and I hope i do not offend anyone with
> questions regarding this type of case.
> My questions would be regarding what should be done for this child if
> it is living. Should medical professionals do everything in their power
> to keep this child alive with the most advanced technology? or should
> they let a child like this pass without any interventions? Who decides?
> What if the child is a ward of the state?
> More foundational questions for this issue are things regarding what
> constitutes being human and is a withdrawl of medical support to "let
> nature take its course" the same as active killing?
> I would like to hear comments on this issue...I have googled on these
> issues and can not find any under even the sovereign grace umbrella who
> try and tackle hard cases such as these.
> adam boone