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Old 30th Mar 2005, 14:37   #1
Maggie
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Default The Pope........for God's sake !

Just saw a news article regarding the aging pontif........he will need to have a feeding tube insterted, as he is too weak to swallow.

O.K., correct me it I am wrong. Is not the Pope the headsman for the oldest form of Christian religion ? Is it not true that all true Christian's believe that upon leaving this earthly life, they will be going to a BETTER place ? Is not the man 87 years old ?

This is what I propose we do. Sometime, shortly after birth, we surgically install a feeding tube on ALL babies. That way, should our brains die off before our bodies, should we live to an age where we get too weak to chew, should some disease ravage our physical being, we can still be sustained thru this pre-inserted tube. This would make us better prepared should we ever have to face the inevitable.

I, in no way, mean any disrespect to the "Pope" I am not Catholic nor do I consider myself a "Christian" but I do respect the right to believe in what ever faith one chooses to. But, somewhere in this little event around the end of the aging Pope's life, I smell a bit of hypocrisy.


This would be a perfect time for the "head honco" of all Christianity to set an example. Well, I guess he is but IMHO it does not go along with everything he claims to have lived his life for !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Old 30th Mar 2005, 14:45   #2
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Sadly you don't get to be Pope by being a moderate. I am sure that if the Pontiff had the strength to express a view on the Terri Schiavo case, to take a random feeding-tube-removal story from recent weeks, it would be up there with the illiberal right-wing pro-lifers. This assumption is purely based on his repellent stances over the years on contraception, homosexuality and so on.

By the way a few weeks ago, the top story on the BBC News website - the most important thing happening in the world for a whole day - was headed Pope Waves From Hospital Window. Light news day was it? I mean wasn't Jennifer Lopez doing anything of interest?
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Old 30th Mar 2005, 15:01   #3
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I haven't seen the news article you're referring to, but what I read from your post is in perfect agreement with the Pope's teaching, Maggie. I mean where do you see the contradiction? And, I am not able to give you the source, but I think I read about the Pope's statement (some time ago, not in relation with Terri case) that feeding tube isn't therapy (which could be abandoned in hopeless cases) but basic care, ie providing food.
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Old 30th Mar 2005, 15:12   #4
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I have to say that I agree with m. I don't really see what point you're trying to make, Maggie.
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Old 30th Mar 2005, 15:51   #5
Maggie
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m

I guess my question regarding this whole deal is this :

What makes "inserting a feeding tube" God's will, while the aging process, weakness or physical infirmity, is not?

To my mind when Shiavo's heart stopped and her brain was damaged, it was God's will. When the feeding tube was inserted we took it upon ourselves to disrupt what God had put in place. How long should someone be kept alive? Who was going to decide at what age Terri Shiavo was going to die?

In regards to the Pope, he is old and he has been ill on and off for quite some time. God designed the human body and when we get that old we often don't even want to eat. Food has lost it's appeal. Nothing tastes good. Don't you think maybe this is a natural process ?

I mentioned this once before, when humans lived in tribial situations and life was "community based" the elders did not feel it was their right to use valuable resources when the younger members of their society needed them.

We have extended our life expactancy and enhanced the life we have thru our knowledge which isn't a bad thing but somewhere along the line, for everyone of us, we are going to hit a wall. I just pray that when my time comes, I will have the grace to accept it and that those who care for me will have enough respect to honor my acceptance.

I just can not wrap my mind around the fact that we can profess to want to live life as God ordains and then go to such measures to deny what is supposed to be our "final reward".

I am not saying that our medical knowledge and techniques should not be used to enhance lives or save lives for that matter. But, and this I firmly believe, somewhere along the way, we lost a little thing called common sense. The desire of mankind to control all that he surveys promotes behavior that doesn't always make a whole lot of sense.

There seems to be no ability to "Let go and let God"

This is just a personal observation. It is how I explain, to myself, things like the Shiavo case or the Pope.


Maggie (on a rant)
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Old 30th Mar 2005, 15:55   #6
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I think the feeding tube connection is a bit of a red herring. In Terri Schiavo's case it's about the Right to Die. The Pontiff, as far as I know, has expressed no particular desire to die, and irritatingly enough for some I'm sure, resolutely clings to life, which is after all his right too. It would only really be a story if after denouncing the removal of the tube in Mz Schiavo's case, he slipped into a vegetative state for several years with no hope of improvement and had his own tube removed. Not particularly likely,
a) because of his aggresive pro-life stance and
b) given the number of cardinals who want to be what is arguably the most powerful religious leader on Earth, I can't believe that fourteen years of coma would pass before somebody else did it for him.

EDIT: if this seems a little strange, I started writing before Maggie's reply came in.
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Old 30th Mar 2005, 16:53   #7
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Ultimately I think the God's Will line is a red herring too. If everything that happens is his Will, then it was his Will that gave us the technology to create a feeding tube, and his Will to let us decide we can remove it. It's like the old chestnut, if God had meant us to fly then he would have given us wings. If he hadn't meant us to fly why did he give us large brains, opposable thumbs, the ability to use language which led to tool-building and ultimately flight, nuclear war and all the other acoutrements of modern life. Dr Frankenstein can lose control of the monster he created but surely not an all-knowing, all-powerful god.

Anyway before I go off on one, I was going to say that the term 'God's Will' seems to be used as a way of justifying anything from the dodgy to the downright genocidal, of swaying the masses with simple language and not have to provide a reasoned argument. "Let us 'liberate' the Holy Land. It is God's Will." " Let us punish the heathen, kill the Jew, tame the savage, protect the strong, squash the weak, promote ignorance and torture and death. It is God's Will."
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Old 30th Mar 2005, 18:21   #8
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bakunin,

I agree with you 100 % When I used the example of Shiavo's heart failure as being God's will, I was playing devil's advocate. How can anyone really propose to know "God's Will" ? Here is where, IMHO, common sense should prevail. It has been my experiance that often when "religion" comes into play.......common sense takes a back seat.

Note the word "common" in the above phrase. Seems as if, in today's world that "common" fell by the way side. The new rule of thumb would be "this should be conducted according to what makes sense to ME" and I have "MY rights !"

It is interesting to note that in all of the polls done around the Shiavo case, 87% of those polled would NOT want to live like she has for the past 15 yrs. What kind of comment is that ?

Maggie (who is done with her rant now !)
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Old 31st Mar 2005, 11:29   #9
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Maggie, thanks for clarifying. I'm also glad to see that by agreeing with bak 100 % you've admitted that Terri Schiavo's and the Pope's cases are in fact very different. Of course it doesn't change the fact that, as John Self pointed out, the Pope's view on Schiavo's case would be probably close to that expressed by conservative pro-lifers. Which would be quite against my feelings, as expressed in the other thread, that in this particular case it's better to let the woman die sooner and not artificially prolong her agony.
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Old 31st Mar 2005, 12:29   #10
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related article - if anyone is interested.

ETA - this article corrects some things that I said earlier
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