Learning from Ms. Shaivo

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There is much to be learned from this case--much of it heart rending--and judging from public reaction, very little of it given anything more than a knee-jerk reaction. But God does allow things to happen and to come to our attention for a reason--and I don't think that the fullness of that reason resides in alerting everyone to the necessity of advance-care directives (an exceedingly dubious prospect, if the persons acting on them act as they do in Ms. Schaivo's case.)

Part of what I need to learn from this is to trust God. One way or another, His will be done. I can't fathom the deep meaning of this case. I don't understand all the particulars of the law. But I do have a deeper and fresher understanding of the arrogance of both legalism (not the law, but the strict letter of it) and the medical profession. Statements are made with no substantiation and no means of substantiation--"There's nothing there." "She died thirteen years ago," "She's not coming back." The last of these may be true, but God willing, it need not be.

The point here is that prayer is the key. Trusting God with everything and that means EVERYTHING is what we are called to. We do need to work and to support what we think is right. We do need to exert ourselves to the extent possible to fight the evil that has crept into our very bones. But we also must trust that God knows what He is doing and that His perfect will is accomplished in this and in all things.

Only in praying for the will of God and working for what we understand the fullness of that will to be do we find the peace that is at the center of every event ordained by Him. From great tragedy comes great learning and we are called to give all our strength and will to God's fatherly hands, trusting that the ends that are already in process will redound to the salvation of all peoples.

Please continue to pray for Ms. Schaivo--the forces of the world at large are marshalled against her, and in her marshalled against all of us when we stand at a juncture where we cannot speak for ourselves. Or even when we can speak for ourselves, but only from the ignorant darkness of the world. May God forgive and bring to right mind all of those who feel they know so well what is best for Ms. Schaivo and may all right minded people be brought closer to the heavenly throne through this time of suffering-by-proxy. May our pain ease that of those immediately surrounding Ms. Schaivo and give them strength to continue to do what is right.

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I think that one of the most horrific aspects of this case is its exposure of the corruption of medicine.

the horrific part isn't the exposure, it's the corruption.

Dear Peony,

So true. However, I went to a very fine college with a tremendous medical school, and this was already apparent amongst those graduating fromt he medical school--it's not a surprise, I just hope that it help people wake up to what the system is really about for many health-care professionals. (Not all, there are a great many good doctors and nurses who work very hard to preserve life--but even amongst them there are people who have bought into the myth of secular society. )



I am a survivor of 'medical education' (my midwifery program was organized through the medical school). I also was one of the very few who took a formal course in medical ethics. (that is a whole post of its own!)
The driving forces that I recognized in the educational process were very much protectionism. One was to protect the health care provider from the risk of lawsuit. Another was to protect the financial interests of the institution (hospital, medical practice, etc) 'in order to be able to continue to be able to care for patients'. Another: to protect the interests of the profession as a whole. There is a dynamic tension between nursing and medicine - with medicine focused more on the cure (and feeling pretty helpless with incurable conditions) while nursing is (usually) focused more on the care (which is why some of the nurses in Terri's case acted as whistle blowers).



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 26, 2003 8:18 AM.

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October Poem-Gray--Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is the next entry in this blog.

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