Did you read the story about Zach Dunlop the 21 year old who was pronounced dead in Texas and 4 months later gained consciousness? That is so freaky. He even heard the doctor saying that he was dead. It certainly raises some tough questions.
I believe in a consistent “life-ethic” which rejects abortion, poverty, capital punishment, euthanasia and other anti-life forms of descrimination and injustice. As a Catholic, I’m also not a “vitalist”. In other words it’s not life at all costs. Death is not the worse thing that can happen to me. It’s ok to die… and it’s ok to allow people who are dying, to go. That’s the genius of our Catholic moral theology.
I have also signed my “organ donor” card and it’s marked on my health card. But now I’m beginning to wonder. I don’t mind dying…. well, I guess I do right now. But you know what I mean. If my time is up, my time is up. But at the same time I would like to have an opportunity to heal if that’s what is possible. Can you imagine being like that man, and hearing doctors declare you dead, or even worse beginning to harvest your organs. Ouch!
As a priest visiting hospitals, and especially critical care departments, I wonder how the doctors make the determination that a person is “brain dead”. Is it a consistent, scientific diagnosis? It does not seem so.
On the other hand I would not want to have no brain function and have either a machine breathing for me, keeping my body alive, nor would I want artificial nutrition and hydration keeping my body alive. I know that Pope John Paul II and the Holy See are against the removal of hydration and nutrition. And I understand the point. However, personally, I would not want to have my body kept alive artificially.
This is an important discussion to have, especially as governments tell us that funding is difficult for healthcare and we see people getting moved out of hospital quickly. This discussion also has a huge impact on organ transplants which are so necessary.
Please feel free to comment, BUT… this is a “family” discussion. We are all pro-life and sharing our thoughts and feelings. Also, this is my blog. Please keep the lengths of the comments in keeping with the length of the initial post.