Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Living Wills

From Fr. Peter Scott, SSPX:

"I have only one remark to make about Living Wills: do not make one, under any circumstances.

"I formerly prepared one that I thought would work, but have since come to realize that everything in a Living Will depends upon the interpretation of the medical personnel, and their words and meanings are quite different from ours. They want a Living Will because it gives them legal protection, and especially because it removes the obligation of contacting the next of kin. Hospitals try to insist on a Living Will, under pain of refusal of admission. They have no right to do so, and we must stand up to that imposition. Instead, they are to be told that the sick person has a Power-of-Attorney for health care. This person is responsible for all decisions, and must then be consulted.

"It is the only way to protect against euthanasia. The Power-of-Attorney for health care can decide on the elimination of the extraordinary means of life support, such as a ventilator. He can also decide, in the case of a terminal case, that the person is not for resuscitation. This removes control away from the medical profession, and that is what we want.

"It is true that palliative care does not consider nutrition and water as morally necessary. The only real way to avoid this danger is either home nursing when possible, or if this is not possible, daily visits by the family members, who can observe and help in administering fluids and food inasmuch as they can be ingested."

Fr. Scott's remarks carry great weight because he is a priest thoroughly trained in moral medical issues. He knows well and good that of which he speaks.

For my part, I have expressed to my relatives in writing that I want heroic measures taken to keep me alive, and I have demanded the immediate arrest of anyone trying to remove my life support. As for organ donation: no, not under any circumstance -- "brain death" is a lucrative fiction for hospitals, and it won't be used to justify removing this writer's essential organs and thereby causing his non-fictional death.

1 comment:

dolorosa said...

I looked into this awhile back when the man who did our Trust was encouraging us to get a Living Will. We didn't get it. What my parents and I now have is a Power-of-Attorney for health care. Thanks for your information and I will share it with others.