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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Being Pro-life as a Christian includes protecting life as the Catechism says "from the moment of conception to natural death." In our country we are poised on the brink of the next great battle of the Pro Life movement, euthanasia. In Oregon, it has become legal for physicians to ignore their hippocratic oath and be complicit in taking the lives of any patients who desire to end their life. IF we don't become pro- active, this legislation will soon be sitting in front of our elected representatives and they will be deciding whether it should be legal for me as a physician to kill my patients.
As a physician in long term care, I deal with the frail elderly and the dying. I often see families request to have loved ones transferred out of my facility to an in-patient hospice for "end of life care." In some cases this has become a euphemism for "Let's end Grandpa's suffering." I appreciate the care given by hospice to improve symptoms and help the dying patient's family through a very difficult time, but to hasten the death process out of a sense of "mercy" is murder. Plain and simple. I have been asked by families if I could give their loved one "something to make it go quicker." I usually answer like this. "In the state of PA, there is a law that says I can't do that, and I could go to jail for murder. Also, there is a commandment that I will be breaking and I would prefer not to face the consequences of breaking one of the big Ten as well!" Sadly though, in hospices and hospitals throughout the country, patients at the end of life are being given inappropriate doses of narcotics to hasten the process of death. It has become an acceptable practice almost universally and now we are at the point where many physicians when polled, will state they have no problems with terminating the life of a suffering patient!
In my nursing homes, I am daily confronted with the issue of an elderly patient with dementia or a stroke who no longer eats enough to keep themselves from dehydrating and losing weight. There is nothing that is imminently going to take their life except for starvation and dehydration.
When I suggest having a feeding tube placed, there is always a chorus from the nurses about "quality of life." "Doctor, they have such a poor quality of life, why do you want to prolong it?"
The Church teaches that God created life and therefore Life is a good. Not the quality is a good, but life itself. So if life is from God and life is a good, how can it be by my hand that I prematurely end life? More on this later....


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