Human Dignity And The Right To Choose
Filed Under: Lifestyle, Opinion | Posted: 11/15/2012 at 10:28AM
Comments | Region: United States
Your mommy is in a hospital dying from cancer, nothing more can be done by medicine to save her. To make matters worse mom also suffers from fourth degree Alzheimers and doesn’t even know you anymore.
Throughout the years she has expressed to her family that she is listed as an organ donor, and that she doesn’t wish to be merely kept alive by heroic means and the use of machines, and now the only thing keeping her on earth is a respirator to assist her breathing, and morphine to assist her with her pain.
She is no longer the mommy you lived with, for all those years but merely a shell, being kept alive.
Look at daddy lying in the hospital bed. He’s had a massive stroke, and there is no hope for his recovery. Daddy informed the family years ago that he was an organ donor, and prayed that one day he might be helping someone else to live a normal life.
He’s uncontious, he will be a vegetable for as long as you keep him plugged in to the machine. He doesn’t even know you are there. Even his brain has stopped functioning, and is merely receiving blood and oxygen from a machine, and kept comfortable with a morphine drip.
Knowing the final wishes of either mommy or daddy, knowing their desire not to be kept sustained through the use of a machine, knowing that while alive and healthy they led a dignified, spiritual, loving happy life, could you make a conscieous, compassionate, humane, loving, decision to order the doctor to stop the medication that was just for comfort and pull the plug on the machines keeping your loved one uncontiously barely existing.
I personally went through this with close friends, this past week. The mother was in hospital after having a massive stroke, and she was simply being kept alive by a machine and drugs for the pain, although I never witnessed any pain. While the family was praying for mommy’s recovery, I was praying "God be merciful and bring her home to heaven."
Finally Friday evening, after three days and nights, she was called home by The Father, and when I told them that there was probably a celebration in heaven, not unlike thr returning of the "Prodigal son" for mommy, I could see the relief in their faces. My friends had agonized for 4 days over what to do, and couldn’t come to grips with what was to be anyway and do the right thing for momma even at my suggestion. And yes momma was an organ doner.
The courts of the land have struggled over this one, and in most cases they have arrived at the fact that, the "Quality of life" is the key point to take into consideration, upholding that if a person is litterally brain dead and has no quality of life either at present or for the future, then not only do we as society have the right but the obligation to say "Stop".
Even the Holy Bible appears to be conflicted over when it is okay to take a life. This is evident in both Old and New Testaments.
In the OLD TESTAMENT, In Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments, God gives His law to Moses and the people of Israel, Exodus 20:13, "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
But then in Exodus: 21: 22-24 we are told that if a woman with an unborn child in her womb is harmed and killed that it is okay to kill the person who killed her and the unborn baby.
We are told in the story of David and Goliath, that because Goliath was taunting the Hebrew people and making fun of God by mocking Him, it was okay for David to slay the giant Goliath.
In the NEW TESTAMENT Jesus tell a story of a woman, a prostitute, who was going to be stoned to death, by the town’s people, because under the Laws of Moses, the law given Moses by God, death was the punishment for getting caught as a hooker in those days. Okay okay I know she was spared because of Jesus and the fact that they were all guilty of something but the fact still remains, that at that time in history that’s how the law of the land read.
Jesus also tells us that no greater love can any man share than to lay down their life for another.
No this is not just referring to some soldier in the field of battle. It is not just referring to some secret service agent taking a bullet for the President, although I don’t know why he’d want to do that. It’s not even about some cop taking a bullet for a citizen or their partner.
One thing it is in direct referral to though, is someone who is dying already and is an organ donor stepping up to the plate and saying, OKAY ! I’m dying or Mamma is dying or Daddy is dying, and they are organ donors, I am going to see to it that their last wishes are carried out, so that their organs can be harvested, and live on and help someone else, and at the same time give them the dignity, the compassion, the love of a son or daughter, and decide to order the plug to be pulled. I love them I respect them, and this is what they would want.
Even the churches have stepped up and said that to be an organ donor is in line with what Jesus said about no greater love. The Vatican is even reported as having recommeded to the people that they should consider it seriously, quoting the same quote from Jesus, so if someone is in a position of imminent death, and is only being kept alive by machines, don’t we have an obligation to the living to do what we can to help. "What you do for the least of these my children you do to me."
If more of us became organ donors, how many lives could be saved from unnecessary suffering and loss of life due to the lack there of.