Thursday, March 31, 2005

More from Mohler on Terri - Part III

Dr. Mohler's analysis of the implications of the last two weeks for American culture, and his final questions are what does this mean for patients? and what does this mean for doctors?

In answer to the first question, Mohler fears that the culture is moving (or has moved already) to a place where quality of life is the deciding factor in end of life issues, not the inherent dignity and instructed worth of life. He also notes the way in which not only life and death have been redefined, but eating and drinking, with 'experts' stating Terri is feeling no pain (then why the morphine?), and one even stating that she was not denied food and water - of course she was, and it's deceptive and disingenuous to state otherwise (see the Editorial in the National Review on the euphemisms surrounding the case). It is frightening that our end of life choices are being taken out of our hands.

On the second question, Mohler points out the vehemence with which doctors have been attacked who have disputed the cliaims of those the court followed in making the PVS diagnosis - by their fellow doctors. Claims of religious bigotry and ineptitude have been made, and as Mohler points out, the extreme language and bitterness reveals that more than simply a single life or death decision has been made here. It is a sign of a bigger battle to come, in which physicians and medical experts are going to be at the centre. And as many have disregarded the claims of some doctors because of the religious beliefs they hold (such as Stanford's rejection of Chershire's diagnosis), this does not bode well.

I'd encourage the reading of the columns...


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