Hello everyone. My name is Michel, and I’m a physician in Philadelphia. I read with great interest the previous discussion on Euthanasia, and it was a great discussion. This topic triggered another question in my head: What is our Coptic Church position (if any) on “DNR” status? If you are not familiar with the term, DNR means: “Do Not Resuscitate”. It is a legal term where a patient (or someone acting on his behalf, if he/she is incapacitated) orders his physician not to try to save his life if, for example, his heart stops or he can not breath, i.e. not to resuscitate him by CPR (chest compressions, mechanical ventilation, or shocks, etc). It is a wish (that is legally compelling) issued frequently by older patients in case of sickness (terminal or not), but frequently also by younger healthy ones. The person does not have to be diseased, and certainly does not necessarily have to have a terminal illness. It is accepted legally on the basis of human right to refuse treatment, especially if this treatment is invasive, sometimes even scary to some people, e.g. putting a breathing tube down his throat!
In many instances, the lack of this resuscitation leads to death.
Sometimes the sickness could have been treated by CPR (e.g a bad pneumonia, by intubation, or heart arrhythmia, by shocking). Other times, the prognosis appears to have been poor from the start.
In the event the person is younger, I do not believe the same course of action should be taken. God made us multifaceted beings with complex brains and intricate and ways of advancing and developing. This is clearly a gift from him. If we have the knowledge and “know-how” to save somebody, then they definitely should be saved. God has given us this wonderful gift so we can use it. Before modern medicine, people used to die from the common cold and at the time this was a “natural” way to die. Surely we shouldn’t stop administering cough syrup to children, likewise if a person can be resuscitated, by all means they should.
These are just my opinions. I’d love to hear everyone else’s, along with yours Michel. One again, excellent question.
God Bless You All.
I think to make a desicion for a loved one, whether to be resusitated or not ..is a very difficult desicion, because although we do want them to live longer and to be with us as long as possible...at the same time they might not want to be resussitated and may just want to depart in peace..I think its their decision..if we live we live for Christ, if we die we die for Christ, whether we live or die we are Christ's.
If the patient however is not allowed to make his/her own decision, and a family member..or someone else has to make a decision for them, and they really dont know what to do whether to choose DNR or not..before making any decision we have to pray. Pray so that you feel God is with u, u r not alone, and u r seeking His guidance in your decision. Then after making the decision leave it to God, say "Thy will be done", if He choses that that person departs its His will, if He gives Him the breath of life once more, its His choice.
we live we live for Christ, if we die we die for Christ, whether we live or die we are Christ's.
Then after making the decision leave it to God, say "Thy will be done", if He choses that that person departs its His will, if He gives Him the breath of life once more, its His choice.
I TOTALLY agree PrincessMary... but while we're on this subject, i also have a question
u know those like life supporting machines that r usually put on elderly ppl... r we for those or against those?
i often wonder about this... because us as humans, ofcourse, have selfish 'motives' i guess i can say and want our loved ones to live as long as possible, but if God is calling for them... is it right to put them on a machine like that? Then y did God allow us to make such machines if they would have been used for this sole purpose?
^ u can tell im not up on my medical terms...
shouldnt we call that suicide? i mean they have help but they refusing it.
if those ppl are already dead but the machines are doing the work, then i think those ppl are not alive, and they dont deserve to sufer.
No godisinmyheart, that wouldn’t be suicide. If somebody is living without the assistance or aid of any machine and they seek out a way to take their life, then it is suicide. However, if an individual has an illness that would cause them to die without any aid, and they choose not to receive this aid then it is not suicide. God gave them this illness and so they didn’t intentionally seek out means of taking their life. Instead they merely chose not to prolong it and to be with god instead. Personally, that is not the route I would take, but nonetheless it is not suicide. During the final months of Mother Theresa’s life, she pleaded for doctors not to attempt to resuscitate her even if they had the means to do so in hopes that her life would take its natural course.
Thanks mark for clearing out my question and answering it. appreciate it. :)
First, DNR is a “passive” refusal of resuscitation in case, and only in case, of natural code, i.e. death. It is not an active request to take away life, i.e. it is not Euthanasia (though you can argue, in a sense, whether it is).
Second, people who request it do not necessarily have to be terminal, actually do not have to have any sickness at all!
Third, it certainly may speed-up death, since some people further take it to the next step, e.g. refusing other invasive forms of treatment, like chemotherapy in case of cancer.
It’s like refusing life-saving surgery, despite knowing that you will die without it.
Fourth, it does not apply to people who are already dead on the respirator (e.g. having brain death) whose families request the removal of the breathing machine.
The answer “may” "feel" easier with terminal sickness (where you know that the patient is likely to die anyway soon), but in case of curable diseases, or no diseases, how do you feel…..?
plz... someone correct me if i'm wrong here cause i'm not totally positive
However, would anyone consider the refusal of simple, life saving treatment, a passive act of suicide ?? afterall, God allowed our medical knowledge to prosper...for a reason...
maybe someone will say something that will persuade me towards a different path... ???
A warning to everybody: On the back of your drivers licenses do not check that you are willing to donate your organs in the event of a death. My friends’ father holds a very high rank in the police force and has told me several stories of crooked police officers that leave a person to die at the scene of an accident because they have connections with those who receive the organs and obtain some type of commission for these organs. Scary thought but very true.
but dont forget mark, ur blood is replacable (in a sense) ur cells regenerate, but ur organs... sry to say.. u only have one set of organs, and if they fail on u... its kinda hard to give up
as for the other questions, im just as curious as u
In the case of DNR, that is a very touchy subject, because medical technology has advanced so much in the past years. You can pretty much keep someone alive even though he/she is practically dead. So in the old days, theywould be dead, by now-a-days, it is a different story.
We definitely should get an answer for this question from one of the Bishops, like HG Bishop Youssef, or maybe HH himself.