While matriculating through the Interdenominational Theological Center, the case of Terry Schiavo and whether her feeding tube should be removed ignited a passionate class discussion. In short, the woman's life had been maintained by keeping her on a feeding tube. Ms. Schiavo had been declared as brain dead; her husband who was involved with another woman decided to have her feeding tube removed; there was legal maneuvering on the part of the husband and Ms. Schiavo's parents who wanted to keep the feeding tube intact and preserve their daughter's life. Ms. Schiavo from all video appearances seemed to be responsive to visitors and people talking to her even though she was declared brain dead. When the legal ranglings and the dust settled; Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube was removed, and she was allowed to die........... I bring this blog up not to incite a heated debate; but to prompt thought. My mom was placed in hospice while I was away in seminary, I was compelled to call her the day she died, I spoke to the nurse and asked was she eating and drinking; and if she was being fed intravenously. The nurse answered no to my questions. The nurse allowed me to talk as she held the phone to my mom's ear and I had a chance to tell her I loved her. Only God knows if she could hear my voice......... She died later that night. As Believers, some will be faced with the discussion with a doctor about whether to stop aggressive treatment of a loved one; and allow them to be placed in hospice; or attended to by hospice as death is allowed to take it's course unfettered by medical science and ingenuity. In substance what this means more often than not, when you sign the papers, the loved one is kept medicated to give them comfort as they transition into eternity. Using Ms. Schiavo as the example....... she was allowed to die from lack of food and water; and as her body was being medicated to keep her comfortable as she died; you could see her parched lips and the results of a person dying of thirst and lack of food. My question is if you haven't been faced with the decision to end aggressive treatment of a person whose condition is deemed not necessarily terminal; but "brain dead" who may still be kept alive using medical science. Exempting your own sense of comfortability, and your personal values...... What will be your Godly responsibility to that loved one whose life is being weighed in the balance?

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