Futile Care vs Pallative Care

Ethics Committees and Futile Care


Sunday, May 30, 2010, 5:49 PM
Wesley J. Smith

Allowing people to make their own informed decisions regarding the extent of end-of-life medical treatment is crucial to respecting all people as persons. Indeed, that view was first promoted by the late great Paul Ramsey, the Christian theologian/bioethicist, in his pioneering lectures and subsequent book, The Patient as a Person.

Today, many bioethicists push to treat some patients as unpersons. One form of this assault is futile care theory–which presumes to give doctors and bioethicists the right to refuse wanted life-sustaining treatment based on their personal values–rather than those of patients and families. Most alarmingly, much advocacy for medical futility is coming from some Catholic hospitals and associations. Thus, as I criticized in the NRO–the Texas Catholic Conference opposed an attempt to revoke that state’s futile care law and the concept was vigorously promoted in the pages of Health Progress, the journal of the Catholic Health Association.

Read more here...http://www.lifeandhope.com/ethics-committees-and-futile-care/







Palliative Care Versus Euthanasia

By: Bill Muehlenberg
Christian Today Australia Columnist

Sunday, 26 September 2010, 0:26 (EST)

Palliative care is one of the great overlooked issues in the euthanasia debate. What the terminally ill want and need is pain relief, not an end to life. While suffering certainly exists, so too does substantial hope for healing and wellbeing. That is what palliative care is all about.

The World Health Organization defines it this way: “The active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social, and spiritual problems, is paramount. The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families….”

Although relatively new, palliative care has made tremendous advances in recent years. Yet it is still under-utilised. One medical doctor has said that between 50 and 75 per cent of cancer patients’ pain is under-treated, even by specialists.

But palliative care, if used, can now relieve suffering in the majority of cases. As a pro-euthanasia doctor in Holland, Dr Peter Admiraal, has admitted, “essentially all pain can be controlled … euthanasia for pain relief is unethical”. One doctor has said that “there is no pain that I cannot treat”. Perhaps 95 per cent of all patients can find relief from palliative care.