Transvaluation of Ethics

Comments : 3

  1. Kathy

    11 years ago

    My Grandma suffered a stroke 3 years ago, and her living will stated that she wasn’t to have a feeding tube, etc., done for her. So she died. That bothers me. She had just left her home of almost all of her life to live in a small condo she could “keep up with” and I think it killed her. I also think she didn’t want to live any more. My Grandpa died several years ago, as did my dad (her oldest son, and also her favorite). She didn’t like her new house, and I don’t think she adjusted to it at all.

    It has really made me think — how much is “too much”? I read a story not too long ago of a man who was declared brain-dead, and his organs were about to be harvested, when his cousins (who were nurses) noticed he didn’t seem brain dead, and brought his reflexes to the attention of the doctors. He has a few problems (some short-term memory loss, mostly), but he’s doing fine. Where do we draw the line?

    Thanks for your thought-provoking post. To live is Christ; to die is gain.


  2. 11 years ago

    Back in the blogosphere, and I thought I would catch up on your blog. Wow. Definitely going where most would fear to tread.

    I think that we are in a difficult place here. What is death? I haven’t yet figured out what I would do, because it is so difficult (although I lean towards the extraordinary measures side of the debate).

    You excoriate those who pull the plug, as well as those who want to avoid “extraordinary measures”. The problem is that we have the ability to keep people’s organs functioning long after their brains have ceased to function (ie. where a person normally would have died), and so the fact of the technology results in a case where we must either refuse the technology (“extraordinary measures”) beforehand or rely on someone else to decide when to pull the plug.

    I have lost three grandparents. I am not sure about the third, but in the case of the first two someone decided to “pull the plug” after it was concluded that grandparent X was no longer with us.

    I could not live with the burden of knowing that I decided that it was another person’s time to die, or that that person had already died. And I do not want to place that burden on another. So I pray for a simple death, where these kinds of situations do not come in. Failing that … as I said, I lean towards no extraordinary measures.

    Of course, euthanasia where it is a matter of deciding that another is in too much pain, etc., I do not regard as a matter for debate. The Schiavo case was outrageous in its blatant evil. That kind of “pulling the plug” does not engage the conflict that I identify above – ie., what is death, and how do we know that a person is dead?

    I think I rambled.

    Thanks for the post.

    – V.

  3. 11 years ago

    Ignore the smiley face. It was supposed to be standard punctuation.

    – V.

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