Nicole D. Hayes: The Fight Against ‘Mercy Killings’

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.  2 Timothy 4:5 (New International Version)

Hi, my friend. Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion on end-of-life care entitled “Affirming Ethical Options for the Terminally Ill” hosted by The Heritage Foundation. Panelists Robert E. Moffit, PhD, Senior Fellow on Domestic Policy Studies with The Heritage Foundation, Professor Farr Curlin, MD, a medical ethicist with Duke University, and Professor G. Kevin Donovan, MD, MA, Director, Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center, each shared on the spectrum of options between palliative care to hospice available to patients.

Some patients who fall within this spectrum are never presented with options but rather the means for “compassionate care,” “mercy killing” or physician-assisted suicide. Per The Heritage Foundation, six states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws providing for physician-assisted suicide. “Compassionate care” is a gentler term used to camouflage the truth of what it really is: killing patients. For patients undergoing pain and suffering, physician-assisted suicide is being championed, justified and normalized by many in the medical field as “relief from suffering.”

Such decisions often disproportionately impact the poor, disabled and vulnerable. It is highly encouraged that all patients get an advance directive that outlines their instructions concerning medical care. This is particularly wise when a patient is unable to communicate these instructions. It is also recommended that patient have a proxy authority who they know and trust to speak on their behalf, based on a great understanding of that patient’s values, religious convictions, etc. Cultural trends are legally enabling more physicians to provide euthanasia to help their patients die. If the medical society remains silent or neutral on such issues, it becomes acceptable—and a runaway train. “Whatever is permissible in medicine becomes habitual and soon it becomes required,” said G. Kevin Donovan, MD.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Nicole D. Hayes