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Class #7

Class 7

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Class #7

  1. 1. Organization Name
  2. 2.  Diagnosed with inoperable brain tumor January 2015. Doctors told her she had six months to live.  She ended her life November 1, 2014 with legal drugs available under Oregon’s Death With Dignity Law.  She was 29 years old.  If you were her priest, and she came to you asking your counsel on what decision she should make regarding ending her life prematurely, what counsel would you give her?
  3. 3.  Is modern medicine losing its humanity?  Doctor/Patient relationship emotionally sterile: friendly contact and attention kept to a minimum.  Growth of online diagnostics  Mechanization of medicine and technological advances
  4. 4.  In our pursuit of technological advancement within medicine we must not become like the sorcerer’s apprentice, who cannot get away from the spirits he has invoked and becomes himself the victim of his own inventions. Are we already there?
  5. 5.  Christianity proclaims that each and every person is a unique creature of God, and because of that no person is forfeitable.  Baptismal Covenant (BCP p. 305): “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”
  6. 6.  Christianity teaches that each person possesses a dignity that is to be respected during times of sickness.  A person, when he/she becomes sick, does not become an object for research or treatment but is to be treated with respect and dignity.  Sickness is not to be dismissed as an inefficieny or weakness, but rather as part of human existence.
  7. 7.  The role of the physician is not just to treat the illness or symptoms, but the whole person.  “Highly technicized medicine with its therapeutic apparatus must not be allowed to lead to the isolation of the person who is seriously ill and the perfect clinic in particular must not become merely a service station for the best possible biochemical provision; that on the contrary a halt must be called to the lack of consultation in our counseling rooms, to the depersonalizing in our hospitals…by means of a renewed dominance of the human person” – Hans Kung
  8. 8.  Since World War II, more people on average die in hospitals than in their homes.  In hospitals, the dying are often alone, except for the company of doctors and nurses who are unable to become emotionally involved with the patient.
  9. 9.  Upon death, a funeral home handles the body of the deceased, from that moment until the burial or internment, which means relatives have as little as possible to do with the corpse – a big change from 100 years ago.  Embalming and makeup are strategies some choose to hide the natural changes that occur to the body.
  10. 10.  There are alternatives to this – more and more people are choosing to cremate over casket burial.  Emergence of “green funerals” – environmentally friendly burial practices that avoid the use of toxic embalming fluid, expensive sealing caskets, etc.
  11. 11.  Each year, 22,500 cemeteries across the United States bury approximately:  30 million board feet of hardwood caskets  90,272 tons of steel caskets  14,000 tons of steel vaults  2,700 tons of copper and bronze caskets  1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete vaults  827,060 US gallons of embalming fluid, which usually includes formaldehyde.
  12. 12.  In the Middle Ages, pamphlets entitled “ArsMoriendi” (the art of dying) were distributed during times of plague, war, or famine. Their purpose was to instruct the living to prepare for their eventual demise. We have nothing like this in our culture today – our popular culture avoids any rational attempt to cope with dying and death.
  13. 13.  People are enabled to not only live with human dignity but also to die with human dignity.  The patient need not cling fearfully to life as the last thing he/she possesses, but can commit himself in greater freedom, detachment and confidence to an absolutely reality – heaven.  In this way a struggle for health can certainly be meaningful, but a struggle against death at all costs – as an aid that becomes a torment – is nonsense. Artificial prolongation of life – but what is the quality of life that is being prolonged?
  14. 14.  For a Christian who looks beyond this life to the one that is eternal – death is no longer a brutal power of destruction.  For the Christian, death is no longer an enemy – death becomes our birthday into eternity.
  15. 15.  For a Christian, to die is to die into gratitude, a thanksgiving for the life that was lived and a thanksgiving for the life that is to come.
  16. 16.  November 23 Pat Foley Funeral Home Seminar: “Your Life, Your Legacy”