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PowerPoint presentation on End of Life


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PowerPoint presentation on End of Life

  1. 1. Respect for Life at the End of Life <ul><li>Washington State Catholic Conference </li></ul>
  2. 2. Goals <ul><li>Present Catholic Teaching on Life </li></ul><ul><li>Tell Our Stories </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about Making Moral Decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Review Advance Directives </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in the Assisted Suicide Debate </li></ul>
  4. 4. First Principle: GOD’S DOMINION AND HUMAN STEWARDSHIP <ul><li>God is the Creator and human persons owe their creation to God. </li></ul><ul><li>Human life is a gift, a sacred trust. </li></ul><ul><li>Human persons have a right to the use of the gift of life, not a right to dominion over life. </li></ul><ul><li>Human responsibility for life is one of stewardship, not ownership. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Second Principle THE SANCTITY OF LIFE <ul><li>Each person has worth and dignity because she or he is made in the image of God. </li></ul><ul><li>The value and dignity of human life result solely from God’s creating and sustaining love. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Two obligations flow from the Sanctity of Life principle: <ul><li>The obligation to nurture and support life </li></ul><ul><li>The obligation not to harm or destroy life </li></ul>
  7. 7. Third Principle: THE PROHIBITION AGAINST KILLING <ul><li>Human persons have an obligation to protect life and an obligation not to destroy it. </li></ul><ul><li>The Commandment “You shall not kill” does not prohibit all killing but only allows it for the protection of the person and the community. </li></ul><ul><li>The Commandment protects the bonds of a community by prohibiting the arbitrary taking of life by an individual. </li></ul>
  8. 8. To clarify this principle, it is necessary to distinguish between killing and allowing to die. <ul><li>Killing is any intentional action or omission bringing about the death of another. </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing to die is withholding or withdrawing futile or over-burdensome treatment. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Principle of Ordinary and Extraordinary Means. <ul><li>“ Ordinary means” are all medicines, treatments, procedures, and technology that offer a reasonable hope of benefit and which can be obtained without excessive pain, expense or burden. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Extraordinary means” refers to all medicines, treatments, procedures and technology that do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit or cannot be obtained or used without excessive pain, expense or burden. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Catholics have a moral obligation to use ordinary means to preserve their lives. They also may choose to use extraordinary means, but they have no obligation to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>“ But normally one is held to use only ordinary means…according to the circumstances of persons, places, times, and culture – that is to say, means that do not involve any grave burden for oneself or another.” (Pope Pius XII) </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>A treatment that is medically ordinary can be morally extraordinary. This is a careful decision based on respect for the God given dignity of the person and on the moral principles enunciated by the Catholic Church. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Principle of Benefit and Burden <ul><li>There must be due proportion between the benefit to be achieved and the burden borne to achieve it. </li></ul><ul><li>When the burden of the treatment outweighs the benefit, the treatment may be withdrawn. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Each of us decides the benefits and burdens of treatment according to our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health at the time of the decision. A particular treatment for one person may be a benefit while the same treatment for another person may be a burden. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Difference between withholding treatment and assisted suicide <ul><li>Assisted suicide is participating in the taking of the life of another. </li></ul><ul><li>The intention is to cause death. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The answer lies in the intention: <ul><li>--If the intent is to cause the person to die, this is assisted suicide and not morally permissible. </li></ul><ul><li>--But if the intention is to allow nature to take its course, that is, to allow the person to die of his/her underlying disease process without unnecessarily prolonging the inevitable process of dying, then it is allowable to withhold or withdraw a treatment or procedure. </li></ul>
  16. 16. It is also necessary to clarify intention: <ul><li>Intention distinguishes what one does from what one allows to happen. </li></ul><ul><li>The prohibition against killing applies to direct or “intentional” killing; a deliberately caused death. </li></ul><ul><li>Intention, not consequences, determines a morally right or wrong act. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Each decision must apply the principles, but must be made on an individual basis after evaluating all of the circumstances. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Fourth Principle: INTERDEPENDENCE <ul><li>Human persons are created as social beings, a community of loving persons. </li></ul><ul><li>Because we live in a community of interdependent persons, no one person’s freedom is absolute. </li></ul><ul><li>Other persons’ welfare must be taken into consideration. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual freedom must be balanced with the common good. </li></ul><ul><li>Scandal. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Our principles are based on reason informed by faith, but our behavior must give witness to our convictions. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Conscience Formation <ul><li>Gather facts </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the consistency with fundamental moral principles </li></ul><ul><li>Examine your motives and emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss with others </li></ul><ul><li>Pray </li></ul><ul><li>Make a decision </li></ul>
  21. 21. Living Will (Health Care Directive) <ul><li>A living will is a written directive that indicates your preferences for treatment or non-treatment in the event that you are terminally ill and death will occur in a short time. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care <ul><li>A durable power of attorney for health care is a written document that allows you to designate someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself. The person you choose is usually called your “agent.” </li></ul>
  23. 23. Review booklet, A Guide to Making Good Decisions for the End of Life: Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care <ul><li>How do I decide to sign a living will? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do I appoint as Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I include on the forms? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do I tell about the forms? </li></ul><ul><li>To whom do I give the forms? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Principles can guide us when we talk about end of life <ul><li>The topic touches all of us </li></ul><ul><li>We all have stories that influence us </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions and experiences influence our perspective </li></ul><ul><li>But do stories and individual cases make good law? </li></ul>
  25. 25. What is the function of law? <ul><li>It enables us to live together as a society, a people </li></ul><ul><li>It upholds our common values </li></ul><ul><li>It protects vulnerable and defenseless people </li></ul>
  26. 26. Law is for the Good of Society <ul><li>The common good impels us to limit some legitimate choices: speech, traffic, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The law is highly symbolic, normative. </li></ul><ul><li>That which is legal becomes that which is moral. </li></ul><ul><li>Law is educative. Legalization implies that the action is good. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Law promulgates COMMON VALUES <ul><li>Life </li></ul><ul><li>Liberty </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom </li></ul>
  28. 28. Law PROTECTS VULNERABLE and DEFENSELESS PEOPLE <ul><li>Children </li></ul><ul><li>Seniors </li></ul><ul><li>Mentally Impaired </li></ul><ul><li>People at the margins of society </li></ul>
  29. 29. Reasons for NOT CHANGING THE LAW on assisted suicide? <ul><li>Potential Harm </li></ul><ul><li>1. Does the potential harm outweigh the potential good? </li></ul><ul><li>2. Can we create enough or adequate safeguards? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Legalizing physician assisted suicide does not meet the test of good law <ul><li>The common good is not served. </li></ul><ul><li>Common values are not upheld. </li></ul><ul><li>Vulnerable people are not adequately protected. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Principles and Good Law can motivate us <ul><li>As a compassionate people we must seek life-giving ways to care for dying persons among us. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Initiative 1000 <ul><li>Initiative 1000, as proposed, would legalize physician assisted suicide in Washington State. </li></ul>
  33. 33. To qualify for physician assisted suicide, a patient must: <ul><li>Be at least 18 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Prove WA. State residency </li></ul><ul><li>Be diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months </li></ul><ul><li>Be mentally competent to make health care decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Make decision voluntarily </li></ul>
  34. 34. I-1000 Would Legalize Assisted Suicide: <ul><li>I-1000 changes the moral stance against the taking of innocent human life </li></ul><ul><li>I-1000 promotes the belief that if a person feels as if they are a “burden,” killing oneself should be considered. </li></ul><ul><li>I-1000 suggests that the answer to pain, loneliness, or poor quality of life, is to kill oneself. </li></ul>
  35. 35. I-1000 is a dangerous initiative: <ul><li>I-1000 places vulnerable people, such as the disabled, the poor and elderly, at risk for abuse. </li></ul><ul><li>I-1000 does not require notification of spouses or family members in cases where someone requests suicide. Loved ones could be assisted in their suicide and you might never know it until after their death. </li></ul><ul><li>I-1000 actually makes it easy for a depressed loved one to commit suicide. The initiative does not require a psychological evaluation of those requesting assisted suicide, even though depression is a normal reaction to receiving a terminal diagnosis. </li></ul>
  36. 36. The Challenge for us as Catholics: <ul><li>How do we support persons in a terminal condition? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As parishioners </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. ~ John 14:3 </li></ul>