Category Archives: Palliative Care

Ethics – We Are Not Called to Determine a Person’s Worth

Note: This posting uses the Biblical Essay titled, The Value and Dignity of Human Life, by Chee-Chiew Lee, as she has made a reasonable attempt at summarizing what the Bible says about the worth of persons.[1]

The idea of a meaningful or worthwhile life has become an important consideration in medical decisions. When a patient has a severe head injury or stroke, it is not uncommon to hear, as part of decision making, “he/she will never return to a meaningful life.”  Even if such decision making is legitimate, it is fraught with difficulty because people often think differently about what is meaningful. … Read the rest

Palliative Care – To Feed or Not To Feed?

Near the end of life it is common be told not to worry about feeding and even to stop feeding, suggesting it  will only  prolong their life.   Although I do not advocate feeding near the end of life in all circumstances, I propose stopping feeding because feeding will prolong life is not in keeping with a Christian world view.  Why do I say this?

Length of life, according to the Bible, is determined by God.  The Lord God gives us life, sustains life and takes away life.  … Read the rest

Palliative Care in a Culture of Death – Some Thoughts.

Caring for a dying person can be difficult.  Caring for a dying person in our culture, a culture increasingly focused on death, can be doubly difficult, especially when questions of hydration, feeding, and assisted death come up.   In our culture, we seem to easily forgo feeding.  The mantra has been that dehydration is a comfortable way to die.  And now, if things become uncomfortable we have sanctioned ending life with medical killing.

Let me share a story based on a real life. … Read the rest

Assisted Death – Normalizing Killing In Palliative Care

According to the  World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. Palliative care…affirms life and regards dying as a normal process…intends neither to hasten or postpone death…. [1]

Traditional palliative care provides assistance to the dying, without being overly concerned that one’s attempts to minimize distress may lead to an earlier death.… Read the rest