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  1. #341  
    Where in the hell was the ACLU ?
  2. #342  
    What if the patient were an infant?

    http://apnews1.iwon.com/article/20050421/D89JVN680.html
  3. #343  
    Quote Originally Posted by dlbrummels
    Where in the hell was the ACLU ?
    They were arguing that she and her surrogate were entitled to refuse treatment. They further argued that a feeding tube that had to be surgically implanted went beyond nourishment to treatment.

    The real issue before the courts was whether her surrogate was or ought to be her husband or her parents. Those who believe that the rights of the parent are superior to those of the husband had better read both their bible and the whole wedding ceremony one more time. They need to think through the implications for the institutions of marriage and family.
    Last edited by whmurray; 04/21/2005 at 05:07 PM.
  4. #344  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    ..... (I know...assuming Terry didnt want to live in a PVS and Michael had no other motives.)
    Anyone who has ever had to make the kinds of decisions that Michael has had to make knows that there is no such thing as "no other motives." These are gut wrenching decisions that a more compassionate God would protect us all from.
  5. #345  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Difficult problem. Mostly, parents should have the right to decide what shall happen with their child, but there are limits - not all parents want the best for their child.

    I find it interesting how religion sometimes causes some people to prolong life at all means (even if it prolongs suffering), while sometimes it causes parents not to take even a simple measure such as receiving donated blood during or after an operation, even if that means their child will die (most Jehovah's Witnesses think accepting blood donations is a gross sin).
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  6. #346  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Difficult problem. Mostly, parents should have the right to decide what shall happen with their child, but there are limits - not all parents want the best for their child.

    I find it interesting how religion sometimes causes some people to prolong life at all means (even if it prolongs suffering), while sometimes it causes parents not to take even a simple measure such as receiving donated blood during or after an operation, even if that means their child will die (most Jehovah's Witnesses think accepting blood donations is a gross sin).
    ...and now it's my turn to agree with clu!

    In the above story, it's apparent that the child will have no life to speak of. It's a horrible choice any parent would have to make, however they should have the right to choose.

    And also agree with religiosity interfering with beneficial medical practices.
    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

    Remember: "Anyone that thinks the Treo should just work right out of the box, shouldn't own a Treo..."
  7. #347  
    So is it that the parents have the right as long as the right they exercise is most beneficial to the child as determined by current medical pracitice/knowledge?

    And why is it that an "less than beneficial" treatment decision based upon their religious conviction is somehow more agregious?

    There are thousand/millions of people who smoke cigarettes. That is a practice that is not in anyone's best interest, especially the smoker. Besides a temporary, artifical calming effect, there is no upside. The decision to smoke is by and large more detrimental to more people than the decision to refuse a blood donation/transfusion. Should smokers' rights to make medical decisions on their own be revoked? Should medical care for maladies like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma... be withheld?

    NOTE: I am not necessarily endorsing nor condeming the pracitce of refusing beneficial medical treatment for religous reasons. I am attempting to understand the principle behind some the arguments being presented by making comparisons.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    [Added later]
    I guess a more clear statement would be to express that religion is not the only source of medically related decisions
  8. #348  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    So is it that the parents have the right as long as the right they exercise is most beneficial to the child as determined by current medical pracitice/knowledge?

    And why is it that an "less than beneficial" treatment decision based upon their religious conviction is somehow more agregious?
    Not more egregious, but more likely to happen because of religious reasons? How uncommon is the case of children dying because their parents refuse blood donation due to the fact that they are Jehovah's Witnesses? Should we allow children dying because of their parent's beliefs? I think not - what is the legal practice in the US?

    There was a similar non-religious case in Germany recently. A quack doctor, who, despite being a quack, has a large number of followers, claimed he can cure cancer by administering vitamins. Stupid, but the parents of a nine year old boy with bone cancer believed him. He was proclaimed cured on stage and shown in the media in order to support the bogus success stories of the quack. In order to prevent authorities from stepping in, the boy was flown to Mexico. Little later, he died of the cancer, a disease which may have been cured by conventional medicine.

    So, clearly a case where authorities should protect a child from their parents, similar to the case in which a child dies because it is not allowed to get blood donations, or not?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  9. #349  
    Suppose the case was not a child and parent, but a husband and wife, where the husband was suffered an illness that kept from being able to make medical decisions for himself. If the wife advocated a treatment approch that was contrary to conventional medical wisdom, should the government intervene to protecte the husband from the wife?
  10. #350  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    [Added later]
    I guess a more clear statement would be to express that religion is not the only source of medically related decisions
    That is an outrageous proposition. By definition, Medicine should inform "medically related decisions." For some of us religion does not even make the list.

    It seems to me that the issue is who should make the decision. I would argue that the individual should make the decision. The problem arises when the individual is not competent to make the decision. The surrogate or agent should be bound by what he believes the individual would choose.

    In the case of an infant, the surrogate should err on the side of life, as informed by medicine, but that by no means justifies, much less requires, extraordinary means when medicine suggests a bad outcome. When medicine can suggest, not to say promise, a good outcome, then withholding treatment for whatever motive, religious or otherwise, is highly questionable. Where the parents are religiously unable to authorize treatment for the child, they may step aside. Many states have a provision for the courts to appoint a guardian ad litem to act where the parent's freedom is prejudiced.
  11. #351  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Suppose the case was not a child and parent, but a husband and wife, where the husband was suffered an illness that kept from being able to make medical decisions for himself. If the wife advocated a treatment approch that was contrary to conventional medical wisdom, should the government intervene to protecte the husband from the wife?
    Depends on what the wife wants to do. If she advocates e.g. removal of the liver with a chain saw, for somebody who had a stroke, I guess yes, government should step in.

    In my view, "conventional medical wisdom" is a good guide.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  12. #352  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    That is an outrageous proposition. By definition, Medicine should inform "medically related decisions." For some of us religion does not even make the list.
    Obviously, my "more clear statement" was anything but clear.

    I was addressing the idea that people refuse medical treatment for other reasons than religious conviction.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    It seems to me that the issue is who should make the decision. I would argue that the individual should make the decision. The problem arises when the individual is not competent to make the decision. The surrogate or agent should be bound by what he believes the individual would choose.

    In the case of an infant, the surrogate should err on the side of life, as informed by medicine, but that by no means justifies, much less requires, extraordinary means when medicine suggests a bad outcome. ...
    Why not always err on the side of life? At what age is it ok to err on probable death? Where is the line of justification for extraordinary means?
  13. #353  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Obviously, my "more clear statement" was anything but clear.

    I was addressing the idea that people refuse medical treatment for other reasons than religious conviction.
    Why not always err on the side of life? At what age is it ok to err on probable death? Where is the line of justification for extraordinary means?
    Sorry. I agree that we should always err on the side of life. However, we should not always err on the side of (extraordinary) treatment.

    While life is the greatest good, the life of the individual yields to that of the species, that of the species to that of all species.
  14. #354  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    While life is the greatest good, the life of the individual yields to that of the species, that of the species to that of all species.
    I think you have identified the heart of debate on all the "life" issues (right to die, abortion, ...). There are those who believe that human life is valuable but only in the context you describe. then there are those who believe that human life is inherently valuable (of which there are there is a faction who believe that the value as assigned by a Creator).

    All the circumtances we can discuss are merely variations on that theme. Is that an oversimplification or a precise characterization?
  15. #355  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    These are gut wrenching decisions that a more compassionate God would protect us all from.
    The pressure that is despised by the coal is the delight of the diamond. Likewise, though the silver abhors the heat, it is far more loathesome of the dross.
  16. #356  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I think you have identified the heart of debate on all the "life" issues (right to die, abortion, ...). There are those who believe that human life is valuable but only in the context you describe. then there are those who believe that human life is inherently valuable (of which there are there is a faction who believe that the value as assigned by a Creator).

    All the circumtances we can discuss are merely variations on that theme. Is that an oversimplification or a precise characterization?
    Even if one accepts that the creator assigned a "special" value to human life, it seems clear that her intent was not to assign a special value to any individual human life. It is she that decrees that all individuals will die. At what point does extraordinary treatment begin to interfere with the natural order of things. At what point does the use of extraordinary treatment to extend the life of an individual by months or even years become mere selfishness or hubris. Wherever one might argue that point to be, it seems to me the Schindler's were pressing it.
  17. #357  
    The biblical account presents death as a consequence, not an inevitability. However, the perspective of "extraordinary treatment" is multi-faceted. In one sense, her body was functioning fine, accept in the area of eating. Providing that function doesn't seem that extraordinary. In another sense, here body was functioning fine but without a mind function to match. In this case, feeding to keep the body going, despite the essence of the person not being present does seem extraordinary.
  18. #358  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    The biblical account presents death as a consequence, not an inevitability......
    As a consequence of what, (original) sin? To accept that view one has to accept the Old Testament view of a "vengeful" God, visiting the sins of the fathers on the heads of the children. I prefer the view that the world is just exactly as an omnipotent and omniscient Creator intends for it to be. One also has to accept human exceptionalism, that the Creator excepted humans from the cycle of birth and death to which all other species were subject, and then, because of an act of hubris on the part of our progenitors, revoked the exception. I find such an exception and its revocation both to be equally unlikely. My God may have a sense of humor but she is not vengeful.

    But now we have left the area of ethics, even philosophy, and entered that most speculative of all fields, Theology.
  19. #359  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    As a consequence of what, (original) sin? To accept that view one has to accept the Old Testament view of a "vengeful" God, visiting the sins of the fathers on the heads of the children. I prefer the view that the world is just exactly as an omnipotent and omniscient Creator intends for it to be. One also has to accept human exceptionalism, that the Creator excepted humans from the cycle of birth and death to which all other species were subject, and then, because of an act of hubris on the part of our progenitors, revoked the exception. I find such an exception and its revocation both to be equally unlikely. My God may have a sense of humor but she is not vengeful.

    But now we have left the area of ethics, even philosophy, and entered that most speculative of all fields, Theology.
    That's the realm I enjoy, mainly because my hypothesis is a person's view of god/God/gods/higher powers/lack-thereof is the single most influential factor in who they are; and consequently how they behave.

    This gives me an idea for a new thread....
  20. #360  
    Please dont..... It'll be closed after like 10 posts because of flames anyway.

    It'll be: "less faith in god equals less morals" crew -vs- "god worshippers are a bunch of loonies" crew


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