Friday, March 18, 2005

I Saw It in the Mirror

As I write this, Terri begins her descent into death. As I listened to the news today, I figured out the key to the puzzle. The issue is not whether Terri said, essentially, I don't want to be kept alive this way. The issue is whether her feeding tube consistutes extraordinary means of life support. Anyone can refuse life support that 1.) is not going to be of benefit for the person, 2.) is going to place an undo burden on the patient, and 3.)is not ultimately address the illness. The Catholic Encyclopedia online can give you more info.

And here is where the case starts to swirl. Without examination, no diagnosis and prognosis can take place. Without diagnosis and prognosis, a list of necessary treatments cannot be drawn up. With a list of necessary treatments, then, it seems to me, anything and everything can seem extraordinary because the value of the patient as a person and a subject of health is not in the midst of the question.

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