Medical Ethics

Response to the APA on Physician Assisted Suicide

LifeNews published an article by Michael Cook, entitled "American Psychiatric Association Takes Strong Stance Against Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia" This article immediately raised red flags. Dr. Karl Benzio, MD, founder and director of Lighthouse Network, has ...
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Questions And Answers Regarding Assisted Nutrition And Hydration

By Chris Kahlenborn, MD The specific question of whether to place a stomach tube in a patient who has had a stroke or has advanced dementia is one of the most difficult dilemmas for patients and/or family members who often have questions regarding the ethics of either giving or withholding ...
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Conscientious Objection, Conscience Rights, And Workplace Discrimination

The tragic cases of Nancy Cruzan and Christine Busalacchi, young Missouri women who were alleged to be in a "persistent vegetative state," and starved and dehydrated to death, outraged those of us in Missouri Nurses for Life and we took action. Besides educating people about ...
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Conscience Rights, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, And More

A new Illinois law just signed by Governor Bruce Rauner has dire implications for pro-life healthcare providers. According to the National Catholic Register ("Illinois Law Threatens Conscience Rights, Crisis-Pregnancy Centers," August 9, 2016), this new law changes the former state Health Care Right of ...
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Euphemistically called Aid in Dying, but really Permission to Kill

New Hampshire: Testimony Opposing SB426 (Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia Commission) Euphemistically called Aid in Dying, but is really Permission to Kill. Note: Dr. Benzio’s testimony has been condensed for this newsletter. Hello. My name is Karl Benzio. I am the Pennsylvania Director for the American Academy of Medical Ethics, and the ...
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Texas, a State Where Patients’ Wishes Don’t Matter

Texas, a State Where Patients' Wishes Don't Matter by Texas Right to Life Two days before Christmas, forty-six-year-old Chris Dunn died at Houston Methodist Hospital. Chris was a loving son, brother, and friend. He served his local and national communities as an EMT, police dispatcher, and employee at the Department ...
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Palliative Care: A Physician’s Perspective Informed by Christian Faith and Traditional Professionalism

Palliative care is both a new medical specialty and an approach to patient care that is much discussed today. It is an elusive and provocative topic for patients and health care professionals alike, because its meaning is determined by which of two broad perspectives is under consideration. One view of ...
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Pushing POLST Beyond Voluntary

Jim is 79 years old and resides in a county nursing home in Pennsylvania. He has needed a wheelchair for over two decades due to advanced MS, with a history of severe decubitus ulcers, recurrent respiratory infections and severe urinary tract infections (UTI). A stalwart pro-lifer and deeply committed Catholic, ...
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Impacts of “Futile Care Theory” in Texas

The Texas Advance Directives Law was amended in 1999 to allow physicians to refuse to provide life-sustaining treatment (including nutrition and hydration) which patients or their authorized decision-makers (agents) have requested. In a dispute, the hospital ethics committee makes the final decision. The usual outcome is that this hospital-appointed committee ...
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Nancy Valko Blog

A Nurse's Perspective on Life, Healthcare and Ethics ...
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May We Donate Our Organs?

OCTOBER 29, 2014 BY DRS. JAY BOYD AND PAUL A. BYRNE It is likely that most Catholics consider the question of the morality of organ donation to be a settled matter, and to view it as a noble and generous gesture on the part of donors. After all, the Catechism ...
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Persistent Vegetative State

A person's inability to satisfy our longing for response does not justify abandonment or imposed death Human beings are not "vegetables." The dehumanizing term "persistent vegetative state" (PVS), crafted in 1972, became more familiar in the 1980s as "right to die" activists, courts, state legislatures, physicians and bioethicists[1] began to ...
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Principles for making moral medical decisions

1. No matter what life-sustaining procedure/medical treatment is in question, when in doubt, err on the side of life. You can always try an intervention with the option of stopping it if it proves ineffective or excessively burdensome for the patient. 2. It is the physician’s obligation to truthfully and ...
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Organ Donation: Crossing the Line

Linking the "right to die" with organ donation has opened a terrible Pandora's Box In the US, whether we are renewing our drivers’ licenses, watching the TV news or just picking up a newspaper, it’s impossible to miss the campaign to persuade us to sign an organ donation card. We ...
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Then and Now: The Descent of Ethics

I feel blessed to have grown up and become a nurse in the era of TV programs like Marcus Welby, MD, Ben Casey, and Medical Center. I couldn’t wait to be part of such a noble profession and I proudly recited the “Florence Nightingale Pledge,” the nursing equivalent of the ...
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Whatever Happened to Common Sense at the End of Life?

Withdrawal of treatment, “living wills”, terminal sedation, assisted suicide, organ donation, etc. Currently, it’s virtually impossible to escape all the death talk in the media and elsewhere. For example, if you are admitted to a hospital for almost any reason, you or your relatives will be asked if you have ...
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Statement Opposing Brain Death Criteria

Below is a position statement, signed by over 120 people from 19 nations, including physicans, philosophers, and theologians, opposing brain death criteria for human death. It has been released through the auspices of Earl Appelby, Jr. of Citizens United Resisting Euthanasia (cureltd@ix.netcom.com; he would have the most updated list of ...
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