As some of you may know, my mother has been in the hospital since Sunday evening. She had to go through an emergency surgery for a perforated bowel and a follow-up operation. As usual with a hospital admission the question of a Living Will/Advance Medical Directive as well as a Medical Power of Attorney came up. My mother doesn’t have either, and eventually I was being asked to make some decisions on behalf of my mother and siblings. Fortunately the decisions, although serious, weren’t hard. Having the surgery was the only way to go. But it did heighten the need for these documents. It’s never too early to create these documents. Here’s a link to the PA page with resources for you to use: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=616602&mode=2
How does our faith and religious beliefs play a part in making end of life decisions? Some have insisted on maintaining life support for those who are diagnosed as being in a permeant vegetative state. They believe God may perform a miracle and heal the person. If you believe in miracles, does one allow all things to be done to maintain their life? Most religious groups believe in an afterlife. If you believe the person will be going to a good or even a better place, would it be merciful to allow one to die? If you do not believe in an afterlife, you probably don’t believe in miracles. If this is the case, do you still see allowing one who is in a permanently vegetative state to die as merciful or is it just practical? Looking at scripture gives us no specific answer, so I’ve chosen not to share any this week.
This post is relatively short; it’s been a long week. There are more specific choices when you complete an Advanced Medical Directive, so there is ample room for discussion. Please take a few moments and share your thoughts.
Please stay on topic.