Re: Statement of the Clergy of the Diocese of Chicago and Detroit
- --- In email@example.com, "Fr. Alexis Duncan"
> Of course only God has the right to determine when we are takenfrom this earth. But it seems to me, that in some cases, the Lord has
called His beloved home, yet man prevents this. Many years ago,
before heroic measures were possible, people just gently fell asleep
in the Lord. Is prolonging life artificially or by some of the
current methods not an abrogation of that process? It is indeed a
thorny issue full of difficult questions. But something bothers me
about feeding tubes and machines. ...
DEAR RESPECTED FATHER ALEXIS and other readers,
Just a commentary on FEEDING TUBES. My father, Alexander (MEMORY
ETERNAL!), had a "feeding tube" placed in January, 2002. It allowed
him to receive complete nutrition, as his illness (cancer of the neck)
and the attempted cure thereof (radiation, which killed his salivary
glands as well as temporarily removing the cancer) was making
swallowing solid food impossible. He was literally starving to death
until this simple intervention was taken.
The recurrent disease proved incurable, but, with nutrition via
a "feeding tube" and by God's grace through the prayers of many
people around the world, my father lived on for nearly THREE YEARS.
During this time, he was extremely productive in his work of creating
and publishing music scores for liturgical use (Metropolitan Vitaly
had told him to 'pray to God to ask Him for time to continue his work
praising Him'). He had the time to train me in his work, so that it
could be continued after his death. He also was granted seeing his
first grandson born and baptized, his son married and blessed for
ordination to the Diaconate... (sadly, he didn't quite live to see
the ordination or the birth of his next two grandchildren, though he
knew they were 'on the way').
My father, almost until the end, administered his tube feedings
himself, manually (without a machine), just as any adult would feed
himself. He did so directly into the stomach through a tube, instead
of through the tube that was his (compromised) esophagus. He died a
Christian death, but not of starvation.
I submit that a "feeding tube" is not an artificial prolongation of
life any more than a spoon or bottle is. A machine that pumps the
heart and lungs when the brain cannot is much different than a simple
tube that facilitates consumption. Everything living needs water and
in Christ's love,
> My father, almost until the end, administered his tube feedingssnip
> himself, manually (without a machine), just as any adult would feed
> himself. He did so directly into the stomach through a tube, instead
> of through the tube that was his (compromised) esophagus. He died a
> Christian death, but not of starvation.
> I submit that a "feeding tube" is not an artificial prolongation of
> life any more than a spoon or bottle is. A machine that pumps the
> heart and lungs when the brain cannot is much different than a simple
> tube that facilitates consumption. Everything living needs water and
May the Lord bless the memory of your father . Yes, he was able to do all
of that and that is the reason for using such. It is a medical procedure
though, and was invented to help in such cases with babies and children.
But your father could do what you describe....most cannot when the the tube
is used. There is a difference and this is where the problem lies. If
everyone were like your father there would be no problem but warehousing
with the tube is difficut for many to condone. Each case is different and
that is often not taken into account. Perhaps we should all remember this.
Many do not want to be warehoused. They wish a natural respose and to go on
to finish their walk of salvation. Compassion should be upper most when
dealing with this subject. Not all are alike in their illnesses.
God grant all a blessed Fast and joyous Feast to come.
Theodora in The Mountains