Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Lord Chancellor Death and The Hypocritical Oath

This article from Catholic World News is chilling:

"Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor of England, has warned doctors that they may face prison sentences if they refuse to starve and dehydrate patients to death. Criminal charges of assault could be laid against doctors or nurses who refuse to allow patients to die, even by removal of food and hydration tube. " The doctors who agree to this and support it must have taken the Hypocritical Oath instead of the Oath of Hippocrates!

I still remember the warm June day in 1985 at my medical school graduation held at the Garden State Arts Center in NJ when I took the
Hippocratic Oath along with 185 of my classmates who had just spent the last four years of our lives learning how to preserve and protect life.

"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art."

I can't remember now, but I suspect we took the "new and improved" modern oath which removed any references to not aborting babies as in the original oath! Thankfully, I am still reminded daily when I put on my white coat and stethscope, that I am in the business of saving lives, not ending them!

God have mercy on the folks in England who are promoting this stuff as well the people in Oregon who have already approved and practice physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Also, for all the folks who want socialized medicine, don't think for a moment that health care cost containment isn't driving this . It's not about being humane and "ending suffering", it's all about saving bucks.

I am so thankful for the wisdom of The Church. Would that this truth could get into the hearts of lawmakers in our country before we get to the situation that British physicians are facing. Check out what the Catechism states regarding Euthanasia:

2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

Check out my previous postings regarding the Hippocratic Oath and St. Luke


Anonymous Nancy said...

I hope I don't sound flippant, but at times I wonder who actually won World War II. It seems like it wasn't too long ago that folks who thought like this were being prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

Lord have mercy on us.

November 26, 2006 5:25 PM  

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