Saint John the Evangelist (Lockport, IL)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

2003 General Convention Resolution Re: Terri Schiavo

The following resolution was passed at the 2003 General Convention. Note that they actually did something significant besides electing Bishop Robinson...John

Resolution I.14


In the light of current debate and proposals for the legalisation of euthanasia in several countries, this Conference:
  1. affirms that life is God-given and has intrinsic sanctity, significance and worth;
  2. defines euthanasia as the act by which one person intentionally causes or assists in causing the death of another who is terminally or seriously ill in order to end the other's pain and suffering;
  3. resolves that euthanasia, as precisely defined, is neither compatible with the Christian faith nor should be permitted in civil legislation;
  4. distinguishes between euthanasia and withholding, withdrawing, declining or terminating excessive medical treatment and intervention, all of which may be consonant with Christian faith in enabling a person to die with dignity. When a person is in a permanent vegetative state, to sustain him or her with artificial nutrition and hydration may be seen as constituting medical intervention; and
  5. commends the Section Report on euthanasia as a suitable introduction for study of
  6. such matters in all Provinces of the Communion.


At 9:27 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I cleaned up the formatting a little, I hope you don't mind.

What I don't understand from this is exactly how that document might come down in the case of Ms Schiavo. In that her wishes have not exactly been made clear (no living will) and the testimony consisting now merely of "he said that she said" testimony from the "husband".

Mr Schiavo, although legally still her husband, in most states would be considered to have a 2nd common law wife, having lived with the 2nd woman for more than a few years and fathered two children by her. At that point, should her parents or he be considered guardian?

At 3:28 PM, Blogger John Larson said...

Thanks for making it look better. I still don't know what I'm doing with this Blog stuff.

I'm not a lawyer so I don't have a legal basis to say who should be her guardian. The courts who do have recognized Mr. Schiavo consistently so that must be legally correct. I suspect that you are looking for an ethical position so here is what I think:
I believe that her body is being kept functioning by purely artifical means. She is essencially brain dead, at least that seems to be what the medical opinion is. In this case the withdrawal of artificial means of maintaining body function is ethically justified in order to allow her to complete the process of dying.

I lament the fact that this has become such a circus; however, it has forced the public to address some important issues about dying and this is a good thing. Hopefully we will not have to see a repeat of this.


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