Assisted Suicide vs. "Do Not Resuscitate"
(07-25-2009, 07:56 PM)Pilgrim Wrote: Greetings all!  I'd like to thank you for your prayers in the wake of my grandmother's death.

However, her situation has caused a question to crop up in my head.  We all know that Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia is a sin, but what about a "Do Not Resuscitate" request?  In the modern age, when we have the capacity to bring people back from the brink (and often from over the brink), is such a request tantamount to assisted suicide?

Anyone is allowed to decent natural death, no one is slave of the medical industry. I have 'no resuscitate' document. The human life is not the highest value, God is.
I think each situation is unique - maybe altogether different.

My mother had told us for years - "DNR", and had we not "known better", she would have entered her eternity about a year before she actually did.

We actually did not know better - neither did the Dr's because everyone thought for positive there was no hope - yet my mom lasted another year..........her last month or so was pretty much the only time she was "touch and go", that's where major CPR efforts were performed about 5 or 6 times.

That extra year gave her an awful lot of rosaries, Masses, sufferings, penances, prayers, etc. in preparation for her eternity that would have otherwise never have happened.

While I agree with DNR, I think each case must be dealt separately and as prudently as possible.

No hard, fast, overall rule here imo. 


I don't know how helpful this would be, but this is a "Catholic" Living Will devised by a trad Cath lawyer.  He had an SSPX priest review it and that priest found it to be in keeping with traditional Catholic morals.  If you want to know the name of the priest or lawyer pm me.


This declaration is made this        day of                            , 2005. I, ______________, being of sound mind, willfully and voluntarily state my desires concerning medical treatment that would postpone the moment of my death.

Except as specifically provided below, I direct my health care providers to use all medical treatment that would 1) preserve my life, 2) cure or improve my physical or mental condition or 3) reduce or prevent my physical or mental deterioration.

I direct my health care providers to provide me with food and fluids orally, intravenously, by tube, or by other means to the full extent necessary to preserve my life and to assure my optimal health.

I direct that medication be administered to me, including painkillers, provided that this medication is not used to cause my death. I direct that cardiopulmonary resuscitation and all other necessary medical and surgical procedures be used to the full extent necessary to correct, reverse or alleviate life threatening or health impairing conditions and complications arising from those conditions.

I reject any treatment that uses an organ or tissue of another person obtained in a manner that causes, contributes to or hastens that person's death. I also reject any treatments that use an organ or tissue of an unborn or newborn child who has been subject to an induced abortion.

I direct that I receive all medical treatment and care to preserve my life without regard to my age, physical or mental ability, the "quality" of my life or the "dignity" of my death.

If I should have an incurable and irreversible injury, disease or illness judged to be a terminal condition by my attending physician who has personally examined me and who considers that even with maximum medical treatment, I have less than three months probable, foreseeable life expectancy, I direct that I not be kept alive artificially through major surgery, chemotherapy and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Living Will of ___________
Page 1 of 2

However, in no case do I wish to be deprived of food, fluids and common medications such as antibiotics.

In the absence of my ability to give directions regarding my medical treatment, it is my intention that this declaration shall be honored by my family and physician as the final expression of my legal right to direct the medical or surgical treatment I am given.

(Printed Name)
City, County and State of Residence: __________________________.

The declarant is personally known to me and I believe her to be of sound mind. I did not sign the declarant's signature above for or at the direction of the declarant. At the date of this instrument, I am not entitled to any portion of the estate of the declarant according to the laws of intestate succession or, to the best of my knowledge and belief, under any Will of declarant or other instrument taking effect at declarant's death. I am not directly financially responsible for declarant's medical care.

Witness: _______________________  Witness: _________________________

Address: _______________________  Address: ________________________

Living Will of ____________

Page 2 of 2

Is anyone aware of the Church is against any form of 'Living Will'? I am not personally aware of any pronouncement against it by the Church except that I have read arguments against it. It is sad that death in the present time is so complicated by legal and economic issues. However, both are legitimate concerns. Legal and health costs are so tied up with the moral imperative of a death. Coming back to the 'Living Will', one concern is that the directive in practice gives a 'carte blanche' legal permission to the medical authority to act in the ending of a life and a relinquishment of moral duty of the family members concerned. In worst instance, such as experienced in Holland, a 'terminal' patient is medically assisted to die 'prematurely' because it is a textbook case or to make room for other more deserving patients. In other words, the "Living Will" takes out the morality element from the drama of a good death. Any comments please?
I think in general that a durable power of attorney that you can trust is better than a living will.  A living will, like any other written document, can be examined and twisted to make it say what you never intended.
(08-06-2009, 01:37 PM)SmileBugMK Wrote: I think in general that a durable power of attorney that you can trust is better than a living will.  A living will, like any other written document, can be examined and twisted to make it say what you never intended.

I agree to a certain extent. However, I am uncomfortable with the notion that my end should tie up in legalistic knot instead of freely surrendering to the will of God. If I have written a "Living Will" in good mental and physical health, I would sincerely question my motive. I did it because subconsciously I willed to take life in my own hands with the justification that I wished not to encumber my loved ones? Is there other motive more nobler?

Other arguments against the "Living Will" include the notion that what is willed today may be rendered irrelevant in the near future as medical science progresses by leap and bound or that the secular state would justify euthanasia with the rationale that widespread acceptance of the "Living Will" is an expressed wish for it. A parallel situation was: from contraception to abortion.  But, one argument that stands out is that in real circumstance a 'terminal' patient chooses to linger to the end, despite his/her "Living Will". I speak here not only as a believer but also one who values life and loving lifelong relationship. For the loved ones, it is comforting to know that they have done all is required, no more than necessary, not leaving their conscience on a piece of legal document. Otherwise, the grieving that follows may linger with a sense of guilt(true or false). That's my opinion only.
I'm sorry to hear about your grandma. It sounds like a friend of mine who recently lost her dad and felt panic about resuscitating him etc. It's bloody awful, but have faith in God and prayer, and try to forget all this other stuff.
I think the problem is that Pilgrim has living wills from both his parents and his aunt at this point.  He is the responsible party in charge of making a decision.  I know the documents have been the source of a number of uncomfortable conversations.

This is all a lot of wonderful information.  Thank you!!!
I know of a situation at which a woman chocked on a piece of orange.  Her family presented the mom's request to not resuscitate.  She died on food!  This could have been prevented.  Be careful what you bring on  your family and friends.
In both our minds, there's a big difference between choking (when the Heimlich maneuver should fix things) and end of life decisions involving a prolonged illness.  Not to worry!  :)  As scary as a relative making a silly decision is, it is also equally scary to have a complete stranger making decisions about your care.  Some of what hospitals do seems to deprive patients of dignity in the end.  I tend to want to trust a son who loves his parents very much to make a good decision about what should and should not be done over a doctor who may be more interested in his bill.  Perhaps a little harsh, but you get the idea. :)  God willing, Pilgrim won't have to make any decisions of this kind for many years yet and neither will I. 

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