Palliative Care Commentary from a Priest’s Point of View – Is Assisted Suicide Better?
Assisted suicide has been a hot topic for decades, and it is a very delicate topic. When it comes to death, individuals get scared and nervous, because natural deaths are simply out of our hands. This is why assisted suicide has become a hot issue; those who are suffering at the end of life may be for it, however, many people are still against it, and no one seems to want to talk about it.
No one, that is, except a priest named Edward Scharfenberger. He provided a heartfelt commentary to the Times Union, discussing palliative care and its outstanding benefits. Mr. Scharfenberger, who has been at the side of many dying individuals, does not understand why medical personnel are attempting to push a law overturning the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm” in favor of a “death with dignity” movement. He fails to understand why we, as a society, would accept the poison that kills over the heartfelt care and compassion associated with palliative care.
His commentary hits home when he states that the “death with dignity” movement will “sanitize the dying process in a dangerous way.” He comments that physicians should not be agents in death, rather, death should happen naturally, dignified or not. His opinions are strong and grounded; he watched his own father die just this year, with no drugs, but with the utmost of dignity in his natural death.
It is important to know that palliative care reaches beyond keeping the patient comfortable at the end of life. It also includes the family members, the spiritual needs of all involved, and the psychological needs of all involved. Accepting death is the scariest part of life because it is something we cannot control. However, as the priest stated, palliative care is much more useful than assisted suicide, because it helps us accept and understand death over time, rather than in a rush of synthetic drugs.
Contact Vancouver Home Health Care Agency for palliative care questions, needs, options and arrangements. At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.