young nurse caring for an elderly man

Respect, compassion, care, kindness, empathy, and love. These actions come about when people recognize the inherent dignity in every person. And nowhere is it more important to understand people’s inherent dignity than in a capacity where someone has to take care of another or provide for his well-being. This occurs most often in the medical…

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The Holy Bible

In nine states and in Washington, DC, it is legal to decide the day of your own death should you feel that your suffering is too much to bear. Though this is defined as euthanasia—according to Merriam-Webster, “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals…in a relatively…

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happy elderly lady in a plaid jacket

In 400 B.C. the Greek doctor Hippocratis of Cos, regarded as the father of medicine, wrote the Hippocratic Oath. This pledge of ethics outlines proper conduct and basic principles to be observed by doctors. All graduating medical students once pledged first to “do no harm”—the most well-known and fundamental promise. However, the original Oath has…

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God, in His wisdom, chose to reveal Himself to us in Divine Revelation as Father. Theologians have ruminated at great length upon God’s Fatherhood, exploring what this mystery reveals about God’s nature and attributes. However, there is also much to learn by turning the question on its head, and instead asking what Scripture’s revelation of…

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“Even when not motivated by a selfish refusal to be burdened with the life of someone who is suffering, euthanasia must be called a false mercy, and indeed a disturbing ‘perversion’ of mercy. True ‘compassion’ leads to sharing another’s pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear. Moreover, the act of…

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patient in hospital bed, sick

When preparing our own advance medical directives, or when assisting others to do so, it is critically important for us to know precisely where ordinary means of treatment end and extraordinary means begin. Pro‑euthanasia groups have made a lot of progress by lodging in the public mind the specter of power‑hungry doctors “playing God” and…

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woman patient praying rosary

As we get older and begin to consider our own advance medical directives, we should also think about the question of pain and how we intend to deal with it.  Those who diligently practice their Catholic faith commonly ask three questions regarding the ethics of pain management drugs near the end of life: May they…

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I try very hard not to let my emotions get the best of me, but there are those rare occasions when my ire is raised, and I cannot contain my outrage. Such a moment occurred a few days ago when a colleague in Oceania shared a story that involved a young pregnant woman who is…

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old man black and white

The Hippocratic Oath … is an honorable historical document, which, however, does not altogether fit present times. If it is to be applied today, the wording has to be changed very extensively, and in these reformulations a series of new oaths have been drawn up which have only a vague relationship to the ancient Hippocratic…

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