Mar 4, 2008 21:32 | Updated Mar 5, 2008 9:26
Brazen new world
By AVI SHAFRAN
"....This past January 30, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, Canada issued a policy statement that may come to permit the professor to add "prophet" to his curriculum vitae.
In that document, the governing body of the Canadian province's medical profession directs that doctors have the final say with regard to ending life-sustaining treatment of patients - regardless of the wishes or religious beliefs of the patients or their families. It also establishes a baseline for justifying life-sustaining treatment - including a patient's ability to "experience his/her own existence" - below which a doctor is directed to end life-sustaining treatment, regardless of the wishes of the patient's family. The new policy paper has garnered much attention, and may well have ramifications throughout Canada and, conceivably, elsewhere.
Underlying the document - saturating it, actually - is the premise that ending a human life is a medical decision, not a moral one. Or, alternately, that medical training somehow confers the ultimate moral authority to pass judgments on the worthiness of human lives.
Either contention is offensive. A foundation of what has come to be called civilization is that people are not mere things or even animals, that human life has a special, sacred, nature....(more at link)
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