Sunday, November 30, 2008

Religion & Euthanasia - So how can we solve this dilemma?

Ok...we have spent a lot of time in this section of the blog talking about some of the dilemmas that can arise from mixing religion and euthanasia. We have gotten a lot of comments regarding the subject and we want to take this opportunity to thank those who have commented thus far. For the most part, we have focused on how religion can conflict with the medical field regarding the types of treatments that are performed on patients. However, one of the comments that we have received on this topic really caught us off guard and it touched on how religion can actually build upon medical intervention.

To make a long story short, the comment was basically saying that religion is often used by individuals as a pillar of strength while receiving medical treatment. The person was saying that religion can help someone to overcome their fear or doubts about receiving medical treatment and that religion can be used to help the patient to have faith in the doctors and their abilities. This provided a very different perspective on the topic and it sort of seemed like this person was thinking outside of the box. So on one hand, it can seem like religion is in total conflict with the medical field, but on the other hand religion can act as an ally to the medical field. It’s just very interesting to see how people can take the same topic (religion & euthanasia) and come to the table with very different perspectives. This is why we have encouraged everyone to bring their comments to the table which is this blog. We enjoy seeing all of the different perspectives on the topic.

Anyways, the initial purpose of this blog entry was not talk about all of the comments that we have received (which we would if we could), but we wanted to take a moment to perhaps discuss a solution to this dilemma regarding religion and medical treatment. How can we solve the problem (if you view it that way) of people refusing potentially life-saving medical procedures because of their religious beliefs? We spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas on how we could solve this dilemma and after hours of deliberation this is what we came up with...........nothing! We aren’t really sure that you can do anything that isn’t currently being done to deal with the situation. The way it currently works is that if a patient does not want to receive a medical procedure, then the doctors must respect their wishes and leave the patient without treatment...even if it results in death. Trying to force a patient to receive any medical treatment would involve changing the basic right that a person has to decide what happens to their body. If someone was bold enough to try and legally abolish this right (for the sake of solving the religion/medical treatment dilemma) that every person has, it would have to involve them making a change to a document that all Canadians cling to dearly...The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Anytime you talk about changing The Charter it can be a very sensitive subject for some and most people would never agree to make any sort of change to the document.

So how can we solve this dilemma? Is there any sort of solution to the issue? Would it be unethical to force someone to undergo a procedure on their body, even if it could save their life? Maybe we missed something and we are calling out to everyone reading to lend us their ideas on how we can approach this situation?

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