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I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Friday, August 24, 2012

Is your physician your advocate?

My latest article for HLI America explores the changing attitudes of the medical profession when it comes to the principle of "First, do no harm". An increasing number of physicians are accepting the practices of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Here is a snippet:

For millennia the physician has been charged with being an advocate for the patient. Part of the impetus for the original Hippocratic oath was to ensure that doctors would not be paid by an enemy to give poison instead of medicine. Patients should be able to come to their doctor when they are sick and weakened, and have no fear that their vulnerability will be exploited.

Unfortunately, the sacred trust of the doctor-patient relationship is being strained by a new ethical model. Physicians are being urged to place the “greater good” above the needs of their individual patients. A disregard for the sanctity of human life as well as a utilitarian philosophy that judges the value of a patient to society is becoming more mainstream in the medical profession. This is evidenced by the increasing number of articles in respected medical journals that call for approval of assisted suicide and euthanasia, euphemistically called “assisted dying.”
Please read the whole article here.


Rosemary Bogdan said...

I read the whole article. Denise, this is so very , very disturbing. Is anyone actively speaking out against these ideas? I saw this attitude very clearly when my mother, in the very advanced stages of Alzheimer's, was hospitalized several times for pneumonia. I remember how very refreshing and hopeful it was when we talked to a doctor or nurse who, you could tell, respected my mother's life even as debilitated as she was. I also remember talking to a nurse who clearly did not value my mother's life and did not hide it very well. It was the only time in my life I was mildly tempted to hit someone (her!)
Thanks for posting this.

Denise said...

Rosemary, there are definitely groups speaking out, however, it is difficult for their voices to have much of an effect in the current political climate. President Obama dissolved the Presidential Council on Bioethics soon after he took office. He has replaced it with people like Ezekiel Emanuel who advocate for limiting care to those who have lived "long enough". Still, it is important to support and promote groups like the Catholic Medical Association, Human Life International, the National Catholic Bioethics Center and other pro-life voices.