I was surprised that nobody mentioned the Hospice option. I've sat at the
dying bedside of both my parents and my father-in-law under hospice, and this
merciful service is wonderful. The final costs are not catastrophic, and they
were quite capable of ensuring the patient's comfort to the end. Once the patient comes under hospice control, the suffering just stops. No
more heroic measures, surgeries, therapy, or any other medical effort are
required to prolong life. The one goal is to replace pain with peace.In each case, the hospice workers treated my family with both skill and love
in a home-like environment. Nurses and doctors joined clergy and family members
in praying for the patients and family as the dying loved ones quietly slipped
This isn't about "death panels." The question was whether a doctor
should be able to end a patient's life upon the request of the patient (or
their family if incapacitated).I attend church every week and
frankly while I understand the results on some level, if your faith includes a
belief in agency, I can't see why you'd want to prevent a doctor from
fulfilling the wishes of a dying patient or the patient from having the ability
to decide when to end his/her pain.BTW, while I trust that The
Scientist does attend church every week with his beloved, I have no doubt that
he'd poll outside the norm for the weekly church going demographic on most
questions. I happily join him on this one.
In my experience, religion has led some to believe they have the right to
override the beliefs and wishes of the dying and this only prolonged suffering.
The believers were quite satisfied, though. By interfering they had kept alive
their bid to get to heaven.Make sure you put your end-of-life wishes
It is very easy to want extraordinary and expensive measures when dealing with
end of life issues, when it is someone elses $$.Medicare is going
broke. Anyone who takes a look at how to make Medicare solvent, would very
quickly focus on the amount of money spent in the the last 6 months of a
patients life.Harsh reality is that we DO need some form of Death
As often as not, makes it worse I expect.
If we truly value one's right to practice their religious or irreligious
beliefs, then there would be no controversy over end of life decisions.If someone who is not going to recover in advance wishes to have his/her life
continued, it ought to be their choice. No church should interfere.
Unfortunately for most of us, the Catholic Church in America controls a great
many hospitals. And physician assisted suicide or any other measure that ends
life is strictly forbidden. Hope I am at home in the end so that my
wishes will be carried out.
I attend weekly LDS meetings, but I strongly support "death with
dignity". I guess I'm an anomaly.I know of no scriptural or
doctrinal prohibition against death with dignity (not that it would matter to me
if there was).
The general religious value of supporting life is a good one. Faith gives hope,
which is a positive ingredient in people recovering from serious illness.However, extending life when the outcome is known and the prognosis is
terminal is very, very expensive, and a prime reason why we spend almost 20% of
our GDP on healthcare (while not getting everyone treated).Maybe
there could be a "two-tier" coverage model: 1. for insurance
companies and Social Security there could be a point where additional payment is
not required, as the cost of extending life another two weeks runs well past
$100,000 (for example)2. Past that point churches or other
charities could pick up the costs, where medical science has determined the
outcome is certain, and terminal.