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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Do Me a Favor Doc, Kill My Dad"

Dr Josef Mengele

I have been caring for an elderly man at my nursing home who suffers from end-stage parkinson's disease and moderate dementia. Since his admission, his daughter has been refusing to allow me to prescribe what I think are appropriate medications because she feels that I am trying to just "keep him alive." Such meds are cough medicine and antibiotics(which cost about 18 bucks)
When I walk down the hall I say "hello John" and he waves his hand at me. I ask him if he needs anything and says, "just something for the pain in my back." His daughter lives less than 2 miles away and never visits. About two weeks ago, he had a sudden decline and stopped eating or drinking. His family long ago signed papers to ensure he wouldn't get hydration or artificial nutrition. This weekend, his daughter actually came in and asked the nurse if I could "give him something to end it" because she was going away on a trip and he was much to her dismay, still alive.
Needless to say the nurse didn't respond to the daughter's request and was quite taken aback by it, thankfully. Folks, our society is at a very scary precipice here. We are all worrying that the government is going to push the elderly off the cliff, yet the average American has already obviously gotten into the Purple Koolaid and believe it's ok to kill their parents! This is not the first time I have gotten this kind of request but it will only escalate when our state allows Physician -Assisted Suicide. That's how it started in the Netherlands, now they have Euthanasia and it has become quiet an industry called Suicide Tourism.
God have mercy on us, If you live in PA, write to your legislators and tell them you won't support them if they support PAS.

From the Catechism:

Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.

Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.

From John Paul 2

Just as a century ago it was the working classes which were oppressed in their fundamental rights, and the church courageously came to their defense by proclaiming the sacrosanct rights of that worker as person, so now, when another category of persons is being oppressed in the fundamental right to life, the church feels in duty bound to speak out with the same courage on behalf of those who have no voice. Hers is always the evangelical cry in defense of the world's poor, those who are threatened and despised and whose human rights are violated.

The church intends not only to reaffirm the right to life — the violation of which is an offense against the human person and against God the Creator and Father, the loving source of all life — but she also intends to devote herself ever more fully to concrete defense and promotion of this right. The church feels called to this by her Lord. From Christ she receives the "Gospel of life" and feels responsible for its proclamation to every creature. Even at the price of going against the trend, she must proclaim that Gospel courageously and fearlessly, in word and deed, to individuals, peoples and states.

It is precisely this fidelity to Christ the Lord which in this area too is the church's law and her strength. The new evangelization, which is a fundamental pastoral necessity in today's world, cannot neglect the proclamation of the inviolable right to life which belongs to every person from the moment of conception until life's natural end."


Anonymous Potamiaena said...

Thank you for writing about this subject and bringing it to our attention. Husband and I are dealing with a father who is in end stage dementia, cannot walk or talk, but can still eat and feed himself. He has had this dementia for over 11 years. It is very sad to see.

The fact is that 50 years ago he would have died earlier. He might have thrown a blood clot (he has been on Coumadin) and died.

We are keeping everyone alive longer with all the advancements in medicines. Would appreciate your comments on this.

Love your blog, keep up the great work. I cried when I saw the picture of your son going overseas.

August 10, 2009 11:49 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Potamiaena!
glad you are still following the blog.
Sorry to hear your Dad is having a tough time.
People are living longer due to advancements in medicine and the risk factors for heart disease are also the same rrisks for developing dementia. Hypertension, cholesterol, type 2 DM, obesity are all risk factors . Our nation is going to see an explosion of dementia in the next 20 years as the babyboomers grow into their 70' and 80's. We have developed agents which can keep the heart going, meds, stents,implantable defibrillators, bypass etc, but we haven't the technology to stop what's going on in the brain.
All that to say, is that I don't think it is a negative that people live longer, but society has to come up with a way of caring for those who live longer, even if their faculties are not still intact.
The CHurch says that we need to consider the disease process and consider the treatment. If the treatment is overburdensome relative to the disease, it should or could be witheld in good conscience.
60 years ago, we didn't have antibiotics and many died who shouldnt have. Now we have crestor/zocor/lipitor and people who would have died from heart disease/stroke are living longer. So having life prolonging meds is good!~ But we need to put in place ethical standards so that those who are "not productive" anymore will not be neglected, or worse.
I don't have the answer to how to do that.
Cognitive decline shouldn't people disqualify for receiving good care , but we do need to modify that care to an appropriate degree,to not provide overburdensome treatments etc.
Keep my son in your prayers thanks so much!

August 11, 2009 8:26 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Pope John Paul II the Great, pray for us! Thank you TJ for posting. I'm going to post the link on my FB wall. I hope many will come and read your "up close and personal" account of the 'culture of death' and the ominous HELLthcare plan being rammed down our throats. How the blind are leading the blind. Dear God have mercy on us!

August 11, 2009 10:06 AM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

I am sharing a post from my blog about the recent passing of my father. He had long said he wanted no ventilator or feeding tube, and we honored that request, but my mother and I were with him right through the end. I do not have words for the heartlessness of the daughter who wanted to see her father put out of HER misery. All I can say is that I was blessed to hold my dad's hand as he passed from this life to the next. My original blog post follows.

My dad, Norman Ray Perkins, passed from this life to the next at 2:59 a.m. today, Friday, July 24, six days short of his 79th birthday. I had been with my parents when my dad entered the hospital last Tuesday, July 14, regarding pain that was the result of his spreading prostate cancer. He was admitted to a nursing facility last Sunday, and I returned home on Wednesday.

Thursday evening my mother called to say that his breathing had become shallow and labored, so Melissa, the children, and I headed back two and a half hours south to be with them. I had the honor of sitting with my dad, holding his hand, and reading psalms and prayers as well as singing a few old hymns. Shortly after 2:30 a.m., I started to time his breaths with the stopwatch on my phone. I watched as the intervals increased from the five- and six-second range to the six- and seven-second and finally the seven- and eight-second range. Shortly before 3:00 a.m. he stopped breathing, and I watched as residual reflex continued to move his adam's apple. At 2:59 a.m., all movement stopped.

In addition to sadness over our loss, I am also overwhelmed by the extraordinary honor I enjoyed to be at his side, holding his hand, during his passing. I am grateful to our Lord for the opportunity.

August 11, 2009 11:57 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

This is sick.

I was thinking about euthanasia the other day, no doubt because of the health care hulabaloo, and was trying to figure out how to explain it's inherent evil to my high school students, who believe the culture-red trollop about "it's my choice if I want to die."

It's not your choice, or mine. It's God's.

Now, I'm not one of those people who thinks medicine is bad -- quite the contrary, I was pre-med in college, so I'm all about proper medical care. But the idea that I can choose the time and place of my death (or my parents') is digesting. It's arrogant, and flies in the face of God's ultimate sovereignty.

However, in a culture where God's sovereignty is a cocktail party joke, it's only "logical" that humans ought to have ultimate dominion over their own lives.

Another key piece to the puzzle is a misunderstanding of suffering. This is maybe why some (more liberal) Protestant denoms might not have much of an issue with euthanizing someone who is suffering from terminal cancer, or a painful disease, or is losing his or her mental faculties. Our Catholic understanding of suffering is radically different from the Protestant one, and insanely counter-cultural in a world ruled by hedonism.

August 11, 2009 12:16 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

We recently watched "Death with Dignity" on EWTN. I don't know if it's in the archives or if it will be broadcast again, but it was heartwrenching and frightening regarding the Netherlands PSA. This is indeed what is coming down the pike. We must pray, and fast for our country, our Govt. and especially Catholics in public office who are in rebellion to the Church, this is scary and Our Lady is warning us and has been for 200 years. We must heed her, and pray to the Immaculate. Two Saints in who understand the horror we can and should call on for help are St. Maximilian Kolbe, St Edith Stein. Please, pray for us.

August 11, 2009 4:05 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for the comments!
Magister-sorry to hear about your Dad. Death brings out either the best or worst in families for sure.
I am sure Your presence there was a gift of GOd to your Dad and your mom.
Susie: Such a good idea to enlist the prayers of the Saints who were martyred(euthanized) in the European "modern" culture not so long ago.
I will check with EWTN to see if that show will air again.
I agree Maggie, but even msny Catholics have lost the understanding and importance of redemptive suffering and it is definitely not an important concept at all in American society.
We are such an anti-suffering society, we have to have liquid soft gel advil for a headache, God forbid we have to wait half an hour for aspirin to kick in!

August 11, 2009 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Left Coast conservative said...

Just found your blog - thank you for writing and sharing. I'm forwarding your comments on to several friends.
Your experience is similar to that of my daughter when she worked in a care home here in Oregon - she was very dismayed at the lack of understanding and respect for life on the part of adult children.

August 12, 2009 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

In May, when my father fell ill for what was to be his final illness, the doctor at the nursing home basically told mum that because of Dad's quality of life as a result of his Parkinson's, sending him to the hospital was a waste of time and that dad should just be moved to palliative care. Now neither of my parents wanted extraordinary means to keep them going, but mum and I agreed that we owed it to dad to at least see what the doctors could do for him with ordinary means of care. As it was, he just wasn't strong enough to fight off the infection and he passed away two days after going into the hospital. But we don't have any regrets - at least in his last days he got good care and the staff made him as comfortable as they could. I'm still ticked off at the attitude of the doctor at the nursing home.

Because I don't live in the same city as my parents, I've at times felt a bit guilty that I hadn't been able to do as much for dad as I would have liked and when he really declined this past year I had seriously contemplated whether I should move back to be with them. The problem was that without any guarantee of finding work there it was too risky to uproot. I at least tried to call him every day and I think he appreciated that.

One thing that struck me this week, especially after reading your story, is that the only one of the Ten Commandments that explicitly has a blessing attached to it is ... you guessed it, "Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Something to think about ...

August 12, 2009 9:08 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

God forbid we have to wait half an hour for aspirin to kick in!

Amen, TJ. To quote a friend, "We are so impatient these days. While warming a cuppa coffee in the microwave, I actually caught myself saying,come on! I don't have all minute!!"

It's athiests/agnostics/secular humanists who are scared spitless about death. We all have fear of the unknown, but out Faith is our PEACE and our comfort along with the Sacraments, so we as Catholics or Christians need not FEAR death, which is only the door to Heaven. Mary will meet us if we are in the state of grace. Those architects of the 'culture of death' are truly in anguish and fear, so much so, that they 'hate' LIFE.

So I think the urgency of this "hellth" care plan is to 'get old folks out of the way' and 'abort as many babies as possible' so the eugenics crowd can get on with creating that 'super race.'

It sounds so far-fetched,and some don't agree,which is fine, but it's not that "crazy sounding" to me. Look at the similarities to the Nazi regime and Obama's czars. I think the goal of the pure secular humanist is to make a race that will 'never die' - so that they won't have to face GOD and be damned. It's ANTI-CHRIST and there are many "anti-Christs" in the world!

This is the "LAST DAYS" for the Devil and his minions and they know it. That's why the BIG RUSH for this "health care," which is not about health at all, but "GOVT CONTROL." And it's on a global scale. This is scary to watch, but at the same time, exhilirating and JOYFUL!

As the Church is persecuted, the FAITHFUL REMNANT (which I pray to be in) will survive and THRIVE, but may do so by being martyred. The cleansing is needed. The pruning is needed as it has always been needed. The VINEDRESSER,OUR LORD is tending his "Garden," his "Frutiful vine" His BRIDE.

It is GOD who's IN CHARGE and FOREVER ON HIS THRONE! We must TAKE HEART, BE COURAGEOUS, and REMAIN CHEERFUL and JOYFUL in the midst of this present darkness, for the LIGHT OF CHRIST IN US, will prevail and draw many more souls HOME, to HIS SACRED HEART.

I pray to be faithful, and for the gift of "final perseverence" to the end and for "happy death" even if it means shedding blood. I want to have the faith and trust that St. Maxilmilian Kolbe had when he took BOTH the WHITE and the RED CROWNS offered him by OUR LADY, the IMMACULATE.

Let us pray for one another with all diligence and for our enemies that their eyes, ears hearts will be opened to receive the grace and TRUTH. As the last surge of Satan reaches out to grab souls, let us stand firm calling on St. Michael our DEFENDER, cleaning up the mess that SIN has wreaked with ROSARY IN HAND and HEARTS FULL OF JOY!

Saint Michael the Archangel, DEFEND US IN BATTLE!

August 13, 2009 7:54 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

thanks for sharing that story!
You are correct, what will happen with an entire generation of Americans that chooses to dishonour their parents by mercy killing, very chilling indeed~!

August 13, 2009 8:18 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Susie said:
"It sounds so far-fetched,and some don't agree,which is fine, but it's not that "crazy sounding" to me. Look at the similarities to the Nazi regime and Obama's czars."

Not at all far fetched. The Netherlands is a study of how this all came about. We are about 10-15 years behind them but will catch up soon if the government begins to decide who should get care

August 13, 2009 8:20 AM  

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