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A physician looks at medicine, religion, politics, pets, and passion in life.
I notice that you have stayed out of the Terri Schiavo issue. I figure that you have a good reason for that. But, I was wondering if you'd answer a question.
... I have a real problem with the idea of removing someone's feeding tube unless their systems are shutting down and they can no longer absorb nutrients ... I just heard a Medical Director of a nursing home on the radio talking about Alzheimer's patients losing their appetite and having feeding tubes inserted. The MD thinks removing the tube in such circumstances is justified. Perhaps it is if their systems are shutting down and they no longer want to eat...
I saw your post about extraordinary measures and agreed with it. But, as a Christian doctor, do you see acceptable parameters in all this?
I've come to understand that "the point" has little or nothing to do with what the Terri Schiavos, Aunt Winnies, and Aunt Maceys of the world have to offer, or even with their so-called quality of life. Rather, in expecting us to care for and continue to love those who no longer have the capacity to give anything in return, God invites us to pick up the cross. It's not really about them anymore, it's about us and what we are willing to give of ourselves in response to the challenge. I have watched hours of coverage regarding the Schiavo controversy; not once has anyone suggested that Terri's suffering presents an opportunity for her family to give of itself purely...
[Smith] said Nichols tied her up with masking tape, a curtain and extension cord and told her to sit in the bathroom while he took a shower ... Smith told Nichols about her daughter and bonded with him after he said that he had a son who had been born the night before.
'My husband died four years ago, and I told him if he hurt me my little girl wouldn't have a mommy or daddy,' Smith said.
Smith's attorney, Josh Archer, said her husband died in her arms after being stabbed.
...'You're here in my apartment for some reason,' she told him, saying he might be destined to be caught and to spread the word of God to fellow prisoners. She also read the bible to Nichols ... 'He told me I was his angel, sent from God, and that I was his sister and he was my brother in Christ,' said Smith.
Smith asks if he would mind if she reads.
Nichols says OK. She gets the book she'd been reading, "The Purpose Driven Life." It is a book that offers daily guidance. She picks up where she left off -- the first paragraph of the 33rd chapter.
'We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige and position. If you can demand service from others you've arrived. In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept.'
He stops her and asks her to read the passage again.
She drives him back to her apartment, where she cooks him eggs and pancakes, gives him fruit juice. They have breakfast together.
Smith washes the dishes and gets ready to leave.
Nichols asks her to come visit him in jail. 'You're an angel sent from God to me,' he tells her. "I want to talk to you again. Will you come see me?"
She tells him she will.
Danny Curtis claims the surgeon at Kern Medical Center did not conduct a biopsy before arranging urgent surgery to remove a testicular tumor in July 2004, according to the lawsuit filed in Kern County Superior Court.
Doctors later discovered that the tumor was not malignant and did not need to be removed, according to court documents.
Widget: A fictitious good, commonly used by economic instructors to demonstrate economic principles or undertake hypothetical analyses ... If such a good exists -- and there is no clear evidence that widgets have every existed -- it is a small mechanical device, constructed of interlocking cogs, several knobs, and at least one handle. Widgets are most often used when thingamajigs and dohickies are unavailable.
Gregoire said she supports the goal behind Locke's proposal. "I can't imagine that it wouldn't get us more providers," she said. "I hope that means that those who are in need actually have access.
Early in December, with a photographer and his assistant, I drove from Nebraska, near the geographical center of the United States, to the heart of Texas -- more than 700 miles, through empty spaces and sprawling cities and all or part of four states. We headed pretty much due south, no dodging or weaving. And never did we pass within 100 miles of a county that voted for Democrat John F. Kerry in the recent election.
We were voyaging on the Red Sea.
Kern returned several times to his belief that cities have become dangerous, expensive, disorderly places, in contrast with the safe and dependable countryside. And he seemed convinced that there is some causal link between the unpleasantness of that other America -- the one beyond the Red Sea -- and the variety of people who live there. The idea of diversity appeared to be meshed in his mind with the specter of change, and change is clearly something he prefers to avoid. Monochrome Nebraska, as he put it, is "the last frontier. Where else do you have a place where you don't have to worry about crime, about juvenile delinquency, where you can leave your doors unlocked?"
I heard a lot about a book that claimed to explain how people ... have been tricked by the moneyed class into voting against their own best interests. I found a copy of What's the Matter With Kansas? at a bookstore in Ada and began reading it as we resumed our southward journey.
The author, Thomas Frank, grew up in a wealthy suburb of Kansas City and received a PhD in cultural criticism from the University of Chicago. ... In Frank's view, if Red Sea residents knew what was good for them, they would vote for capitalist-scourging Populists today. But they don't know what's good for them, Frank explains, because of 'a species of derangement.' The deranged people of the Midwest are no longer able to make 'certain mental connections about the world,' because those once-'reliable leftists' have been deluded into caring about moral issues ... Frank kept me reading until it was too dark to read anymore.
She was too polite to say, in so many words, that she felt John Kerry was a man of bad morals. Instead, she put it this way: 'When Kerry said he was for abortion and one-sex marriages, I just couldn't see our country being led by someone like that.'
Later, I double-checked what Kerry had said on those subjects. During his campaign, he opposed same-sex marriage and said that abortion was a private matter. But Joyce Smith heard it the way she heard it, and voted the way she voted.
For some today, all Christians are closed-minded religious bigots whose politics are somewhere to the right of the Terminator. For others, Christians can be explained in terms of two-party theory: There are liberal and progressive Christians on one side and the conservative and evangelical Christians on the other.
Both explanatory frameworks are inadequate to the diverse and complex reality of Christianity in America today. Like much else in post-modern America, the situation is wonderfully messy. It doesn't lend itself to neat explanations or to a simple duality of liberal and conservative. Post-modernity is transgressive, that is, given to crossing boundaries. So today you have progressive evangelicals, theological post-liberals, the new orthodox, as well as ancient-modern Christians. Such stereotype shattering and boundary crossing strikes me as promising.
One broad-brush way to differentiate the dominate Christian groups is how they relate to modernity or what some call 'The Enlightenment Project,' with its hallmark values of reason, progress, optimism, individualism and tolerance. Mainline Christians have been open and receptive to modernity, working to accommodate Christianity and modernity. By contrast, fundamentalists circled the wagons against modernity, which they perceived as a threat.
Enlightenment was defined as the project of dispelling darkness, fear and superstition. It was the project of removing all the shackles of free enquiry and debate. It opposed the traditional powers and beliefs of the church (branded as 'superstition') and raised questions of political legitimacy.