Making End-of-Life Decisions
They we're all going to die one day. Are you prepared? Yes. I mean for heaven, but also have you made decisions about how to handle your medical care for the Colson center. I'm John Stonestreet. This is break. So what is your family discuss on Christmas Eve, the beautiful lights may be some childhood holiday memories? Hopefully, the immeasurable gift of the incarnation and the love of God. Well, according to the online medical journal stat you should've talked about the importance of advance medical directives. Dave berry likes to say, I'm not making this up in an article published on of all days Christmas Eve stat told readers that advanced directives are a perfect holiday conversation yet breakout that eggnog if you're unfamiliar with the term in advance directive is a legal document in which a person specifies what actions should be taken for their health. If they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity, the most basic example of an advanced directive is a do not resuscitate order. There are also more complex ones like. Living wills that. Specify what kind of treatment the person will or will not receive while. I disagree. That Christmas is the best moment for this discussion stats absolutely right to say that people should be thinking about their medical care and should be discussing it with their loved ones as bioethicists Wesley j. Smith notes, preparing an advanced directive is an important task given the evolving economics of medicine, but as Smith and others pointed out there are far more than just merely economic considerations. That need to be discussed our plans for the end of our lives all to carefully reflector deepest convictions about the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death done badly in advanced directive is kind of like a prenuptial agreement. Just like a prenup assumes the impermanent marriage, many advanced directives create a presumption in favor of death, and efficiency and an all out of voidance of suffering over the sanctity of human life, watched the language beware whenever the term quality of life as defined by medical professional. Is elevated over the sanctity of life that's inherent to all image bears. And especially look out for economic undertones in advanced directives. Economically driven decisions about the end of life will only reflect an advance our culture of death. This is especially true. When directives use broad an imprecise language, which many do language that opens the door to a purely utilitarian approach to the end of life care. And here's another problem. Many advanced directives operate is if our lives belong only to ourselves as if all that matters is what we want when it comes to pain suffering or treatment, his signature is what they think by the way, I mean that husbands belong to their wives and vice versa, and parents belong to their kids and vice versa, and all of us belong to extended families communities and churches, and then there's this year's can pass between the writing of an advanced directive and death. So you might be subjecting your loved ones to a decision you may long ago. Oh, when they have actually more information about the options than you ever. Even knew about just as a life lived impure autonomy. Never ends. Well, neither does death. Now. Fortunately, there are alternatives to advance directives and living wills one of these is what's called a durable. Power of attorney, which designates a trusted person, a friend or a family member to handle your affairs. If you become mentally or physically incapacitated, keyword here. Of course, is trusted someone with whom you share convictions about the sanctity of human life and who's prepared to act on them even in the face of pressure. This keeps decisions about care out of the soul, hands of hospitals or doctors who might embrace an agenda or belief system diametrically opposed to yours. The look I understand this isn't the most pleasant of subjects, but it's a pointed to mand wants to die and after that to face judgement, the knowledge of this should prompt us, not only want to live, but also to die as well as we can marrying witness to our convictions about whose we are. And who? Who serve and be sure to check out. Today's breakpoint podcasts worn Cole. Smith speaks with Ben Mitchell about individual decisions advanced directives and a growing threat and popularity of doctor assisted suicide again. Tune in at breakpoint dot org or wherever you listen to podcasts for breakpoint, I'm John Stonestreet.