To a Woman Deciding
Contributor
Written by
Peg Gotthold
September 2010
Contributor
Written by
Peg Gotthold
September 2010
Doctors hate to lose and families don’t want to let go. The result is extraordinary measures are taken to extend life when it is obvious that a person’s body is failing and their mind has already gone. We are meeting everyone’s needs but the one who is dying. We hook them up to machines to let them breathe. We stick a tube into their stomach to provide nourishment. We surround them with monitors that blink and beep constantly. To keep them “comfortable” in the midst of this technological horror we keep them heavily sedated. Death is a normal process of life. It should be a gentle release from this reality to the reality beyond. Now it is surrounded by regulations and ethics boards. The Catholic bishops have ruled that, despite any end of life requests, a patient in a Catholic facility must be provided with a feeding tube it they cannot eat. It is very difficult to watch a loved one’s body die. When technological means are offered. one never questions if the intervention is prolonging life or just staving off death. There comes a time to all of us when we must surrender the miracle of life to the miracle of death. Even if this requires the doctor to refrain from treatment. If the body is not ready to die, then the person's physical needs should be met without the intervention of technology, until the time comes when the body cannot be sustained naturally. Just as technology cannot be the means for the un-natural extension of life, neither should it be used to terminate life. The body knows when to die.

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