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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Need for Greater Humility in Modern Medicine

Our dear friend, Judie Brown, published a powerful piece yesterday on the powerful trend in modern medicine to dehumanize the vulnerable, specifically the disabled.

Judie focuses on the recent story of a man long dismissed as “brain dead”. New medical tests demonstrated that he is anything but. While unable to communicate with his keepers in the normal fashion, it turns out that he is quite conscious. He accurately responded to various questions by changing his brain wave patterns in a measurable way.

She goes on to challenge what can only be described as the arrogance of today’s medical industry, and attacks the new utilitarian morality which seems to dominate medical ethics today. Persons are being evaluated on the basis of their perceived functionality – as if a person’s inability to do something we demand is the ultimate measure of whether that person is actually a human being worthy of life.

Such thinking is not just troubling, it is a dire threat to all of us. But it is equally obvious that this “morality” is the logical extension of the values embodied by Roe v. Wade.

Writes Mrs. Brown:

“[Functionality or utility has] nothing to do with the fundamental fact that a human being is. He exists from his beginning to his death regardless of his attributes or abilities. Neither his human rights, nor his identity as a person should be subjectively weighed by other individuals.”
We would add – especially weighed and discarded by those professionals empowered to withdraw life-sustaining treatment on the basis of such personal judgments.

You won’t read about this in the mainstream media, but did you know that credible studies, going back to 1991, have found that as many as 43% of those labeled “vegetative” are misdiagnosed? And that was before doctors were able to access this new technology.

The fundamental problem here is that man’s natural inclination toward arrogance and God-rebellion is showing. Without God, and His law … everything is up for debate. One opinion is as valid as another, even if it results in the death of the innocent preborn child or the vulnerable senior.

Here’s how Wesley Smith puts it:

“The bio-ethics mainstream has rejected the sanctity of life ethic and replaced it with the so-called ‘quality of life’ ethic. It began with the claim that the inability to communicate meant that one had lost ‘humanhood’ (now called personhood). Thus today, not only unconscious but conscious patients are dehydrated to death in all fifty states and it is shrugged off as medical ethics.”

Just to raise your anxiety even higher – we must point out that this is the state of affairs even before ObamaCare is forced upon America.

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