Denial of Life-Sustaining Care

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY INSISTS THAT THE DEFINITION OF BRAIN DEATH IS AN EXACT SCIENCE…

– yet, they keep updating their guidelines. That alone should give us pause. This newest iteration actually changes the definition of brain death from “irreversible” cessation of all brain function to “permanent” loss of function. The Uniform Law Commission recently declined to adopt this change because it is too subjective. A permanent brain injury is …

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HEALTH CARE CIVIL RIGHTS TASK FORCE: DON’T RISK LIVES BY CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF DEATH

The Health Care Civil Rights Task Force strongly condemns proposed changes to the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) that would allow for subjective determinations of death. The Uniform Law Commission, a non-profit group of lawyers that creates model legislation to bring uniformity to state laws, week recently to discuss changing how death is determined. …

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HALF THE TIME DOCTORS SAY PATIENTS ARE IN A “VEGETATIVE STATE,” THEY’RE ACTUALLY WRONG

According to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), one in eight death row inmates is found to be wrongly convicted. In other words, there is close to a 13% chance that a prisoner scheduled to be executed is innocent. Advocacy groups like EJI are dedicated to ending the death penalty based on this injustice—the risk of …

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BASIC CARE, HUMAN DIGNITY, AND CARE FOR MEDICALLY VULNERABLE PERSONS

Physical and cognitive disability should not mean one’s situation is considered “end of life,” yet too many persons who are not dying are described this way. Earlier this year, Oregon’s state legislature considered a bill that would have increased the number of medically vulnerable persons at risk of an untimely death. Oregon’s SB 494 would …

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TERRI SCHIAVO, THE BRAIN INJURED AND CHURCH TEACHING

The Catholic teaching is clear: “The ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted.” (CCC 2279) Two Jesuit priests, Father John J. Paris, a professor emeritus at Boston College, and Father Kevin Wildes, a professor at St. Joseph’s University, recently published an article, “Making an idol of brain-injured patients.” The priests were …

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SCHINDLER: MY SISTER TERRI SCHIAVO WAS ALIVE LIKE JAHI MCMATH

Much has been written about Jahi McMath in recent days. The 13-year-old Oakland, California girl underwent surgery December 9, 2013 to remove her tonsils. She was declared “brain-dead” after going into cardiac arrest. Since that time, experts have opined on the ethics of the brain-death declaration, the family’s decision to transfer her to another facility, …

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