March 06, 2005

Controversial Ending

for Million Dollar Baby . I knew going in to the movie that there was a controversial ending and that Dobson was saying the movie supported euthanasia.

The movie had many messages. and it does have a controversial ending as in some ways, it takes a person into the gray areas of euthanasia. But that is all I can say.

I do say that Josh and I seem to be disagreeing on a certain thing now. Whether or not he's trying to just be disagreeable I don't know, but we do disagree on the issue at hand. Makes things interesting and now provides us with some interesting discussion.

I'm drafting out some thoughts in an extended entry for those who don't mind extra insight onto the movie. I won't discuss the movie itself but rather the controversial issue.


The first order of discussion would center on a definition. As I define it, euthanasia is taking an active step to end the life of someone who asks you to do since they themselves are unable.

Ahh, but now we have to define "active step to end the life"

--actively doing something that would harm the person (such as a lethal injection)

--actively removing articifial means of life support, such as a respirator (and Josh even mentioned pacemaker)

We agree that adding a substance or actively stopping a part of the body that is working on its own is wrong.

however, we are disagreeing on the fine line of "pulling the plug"

is it suicide/homicide to remove artificial means to keep a person alive?

One argument says that we are removing the only intervention to death and allowing for death to come naturally. The other argument says that it is still wrong because one is removing the means with the intent to die.

How can you really discuss this kind of issue? There is a lot of definition of terms needed and what answers can we find from the Bible? I'm asking you because I'm not completely sure and I like getting direction from others and hearing other thoughts. Is it a matter of perception?

In the end, it is in God's hands to judge.

Other fodder for the fire:
--withholding antibiotics, blood, and such from a person and thus not stopping death. Does a person's choice matter on this level?
--But then, since God is the giver and taker of life, he can either intervene on human action or inaction. For example, he could still allow someone to live was not given necessary antibiotics. As another example, he could also take someone's life who is given the necessary antibiotics and he does do this. Human action doesn't always save lives. (I realize that the code of ethics for doctors would assert that they must do whatever is necessary without legal written documenation signed by a rational patient in front of witnesses. Let's not consider this right now.)

Does human inaction always end lives? We can think of different stories we've heard of those who believe blood transfusions are religiously wrong and thus someone dies, or other parents who refuse to take their sick children to a doctor. What about the cases where a person can't afford the necessary means of saving his/her own life or the life of someone they love?

Many argue that the danger of allowing for euthanasia leads to justification of abortion. So there are some other issues at stake.

Abortion is taking an active step to end the life by articifical means--the baby hasn't even had a chance to live and you are removing it from it's current natural means of life. Thus, it is wrong.

Some argue--what about when the life of the mother is at stake? For example, ectopic pregnancies. I really don't know how to touch this one. All I do know is I pray I am never faced with that situation. In an ectopic pregnancy both the lives of mother and baby are at stake. If the baby embryo is removed, the mother will be able to live. If not, the odds aren't very good. However, there are those who have survived an ectopic pregnancy that wasn't caught before the tube burst. It took a lot of blood and medical care to do so. *does quick internet research to double-check understanding of how they take care of an ectopic pregnancy* Really all they can do is remove the pregnancy. While I am not an expert in the field, my understanding of "milking" or squeezing the embryo out of the tube will basically induce a miscarriage since I don't think the embryo can survive away from it's orginal location of fertilization??

or rather: "Ectopic pregnancies cannot continue to term (birth), so removal of the developing cells is necessary to save the life of the mother."

Thus. lots of messiness and complication. But to the issue of disagreement--"pulling the plug." Is it wrong to remove artifical means of life support?

Posted by Anna at March 6, 2005 03:58 PM | TrackBack