Opinion

Today’s Health Care and the Hypocritical Oath

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Posted: Mar 16, 2022 12:01 AM
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Today’s Health Care and the Hypocritical Oath

Source: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Covid-19 exposed how an individual’s medical rights to determine treatment has transferred into the hands of outsiders. Indeed, the pandemic brought with it an alarming number of examples of medical cruelty that are being perpetrated on patients and their families.

For many years, there have been warnings that this was happening, but these warnings were met with indifference. As a result, an increasing number of our medically vulnerable are at the mercy of state laws, and hospital policies, driven by an increasingly godless worldview which governs health care focused more on profit and less on a patient’s intrinsic value.

When the pandemic began two years ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered Covid-19 infected hospital patients back into their nursing homes, contaminating other residents who were at most risk of from the virus. Thousands of people died.

Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities also received the Governor’s contempt and the media’s silence. Same policy, same results: those who had the virus were placed back into their group homes and many died. Governor Cuomo was forced to resign – not for his decisions that killed innocent people, but for inappropriate sexual conduct.

There are similar examples where patients fell victim to decisions made by health system administrators and government bureaucrats during the pandemic. Patients were denied therapeutic treatments proven effective in combating the virus, patients were denied care when that treatment was considered futile based on their “quality of life,” and patients were denied organ transplantation because they were not vaccinated; these highlight just a few of what can be seen as doctors violating the principle of “first, do no harm”.

We also learned of the stories of families who were denied the right to visit loved ones during the pandemic, which left them with no idea whether they were receiving proper care, and most tragically were not even permitted to be with dying family members, leaving suffering loved one’s to die alone.

Historically, our nation has justified the killing of those who were considered “mentally and physically inferior”. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas documents this grim history in his concurring opinion in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc.

Fast forward to the current pandemic, which effectively uncovered an already existing anti-life sentiment that has permeated much of our health care system – a kind of modern-day eugenics. Most disturbing, however, is that nothing is being done to stop it from happening.

This March 31st will mark 17 years since my sister, Terri Schiavo, was killed by Florida Judge, George Greer’s court order. Michael Schiavo, her adulterous and estranged husband, petitioned the court for permission to remove Terri’s feeding tube that was providing her basic care – food and water. For the first time in our nation’s history an innocent woman was sentenced to die by court order.

My family watched for two-weeks as Terri suffered a torturous death by dehydration. Witnessing Terri’s death was surreal, a nightmare, and I could not believe it was happening. Countless others were thinking the same – how can this be permitted?

Terri’s death sentence, which not long ago would have been unimaginable, is legal in all 50 states, and occurs every day in hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices. Nothing is being done to stop it from happening.

It was the 1980’s when bioethicist Daniel Callahan brazenly stated, “The denial of nutrition may become the only effective way to make certain that a large number of biologically tenacious patients actually die.” Callahan regarded feeding tubes as an obstacle for killing the medically dependent who were living “too long.”

A few years later, feeding tubes were reclassified as “medical treatment” rather than a basic requirement for life, thus paving way for all 50 states to allow those who have trouble swallowing to be starved and dehydrated to death by the government’s decree, even as family members desperately seek to provide food and water to their loved ones.

That is effectively how policies and laws change, and in many cases, these types of changes only serve to mistreat, abuse, and end the lives of those who are weakened by their medical condition. This is frequently done to either save money, or because of a prevailing prejudice towards the disabled and weak.

It has not only been feeding tubes that were the target of the eugenic movement. There has been a myriad of revisions for years resulting in a U.S. health care system that is doing a much better job reflecting the German Aktion T4 Euthanasia Program than defending those in society who require our protection.

Whether it is through modifications to laws, hospital policies, or public discourse, the objective has been to limit families right to make treatment choices for their loved ones, and shift power to those with a financial interest to ration care, which frequently precipitates the death of the patient.

The formation of medical futility policies, do-not-resuscitate orders (DNR’s), terminal sedation, persistent vegetative state (PVS), personhood theory, ethics committees, POLST/MOLST forms, doctor assisted suicide, and Covid-19 protocols, are just a few examples of how this happens. Either implicitly or explicitly, these changes are facilitating the means to hasten death. In other words, the insurance industry, hospital administrators, government elites, medical ethicists, lawmakers, and essentially anyone who evaluates cost/benefit ratios are determining who lives and who dies.

This anti-life stranglehold will expand and whatever safeguards that currently exist will be targeted. And with little to no attention from the rest of us they will succeed, just like they have for decades.

Terri’s case brought with it worldwide publicity after state legislatures, a Governor, U.S. Congress, a President, Christian and Catholic leaders, many in the conservative media and countless others, supported Terri’s life. For the first time, the public was exposed to inhuman laws that directly and intentionally kill the innocent.

However, most of those who vowed to stop the insanity of what happened to Terri disappeared in less time than it took to kill her. Meanwhile, the opposing side that has no regard for the intrinsic value of all people including the elderly, our physically and cognitively incapacitated, has not gone away – they have grown in power and arrogance.

We ought to be confronting those who have morally bankrupted our health care and demand protection from those who have the God given duty to defend our medically fragile. But it’s been almost 20 years since Terri’s death and thousands upon thousands have suffered similar deaths, while families are helpless, forced to watch their loved one barbarically die. Nothing has changed.

Politicians, our clergy, pro-life and church leaders, the legal profession, and the medical community, all know it’s happening. Who is standing in defense of these medically vulnerable victims?

Indeed, we must protect ourselves and our loved ones. Fortunately, there still exist pro-life and pro-family doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, who understand their calling and obligation to care for the sick, despite persecution. The same can be said for trustworthy hospitals.

Therefore, if you don’t have a pro-life doctor, find one, for yourself, your family, and especially if you have children, otherwise you are potentially placing yourself and your family at risk.

In addition to finding a doctor you trust, you need to appoint a health care agent. This is different from a medical directive. A health care agent is someone you choose – legally – who will make your health care decisions if you cannot make them yourself. They need to be a principled, strong, and heroic advocate.

Finally, educate yourself to the reality of today’s health care system, one where your medical rights are no longer guaranteed, and be ready to confront the system when necessary and push back.

You need to be fully prepared to literally fight for your life, your children’s lives, or family member’s lives. Make no mistake, what we are witnessing in today’s health care system is another example of the efforts to remove God from our nation and the culture’s growing disdain towards Christ.

Although the pandemic is dissipating, and those who were responsible for the crimes of Covid will most likely never be held accountable, we must look after the vulnerable because our medical system has been infiltrated by those same people who are practicing a “do harm” medicine.