I'm reviving this thread because of an article I just noticed by the same Orthodox Jewish doctor/medical ethicist who wrote the two articles I gave links to in my previous post.
Following is an excerpt from an article Dr. Eisenberg wrote this past March entitled Virtually Brain Dead (http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/-Virtually_Brain_Dead-.asp
) in which he, inter alia, discusses a recent, and shocking
, case from Boston. It is not short but it is very good (I think) and it expresses orthodox Jewish concerns very well, which I think my Orthodox Christian friends can share. I just saw it yesterday & decided to post it here for the benefit of my Orthodox Christian friends.
But it is a major leap to go from terminal illness to valueless life. To debate and discuss how aggressively to treat a patient with an incurable disease is healthy. To discuss ending the lives of people because we see no value in their continued existence is reprehensible.
Genocide does not start with overt murder; it starts with devaluing the lives of some unwanted or unpopular members of society and follows a downward spiral to depravity. Often, as in the case of Nazi Germany, the first group to be disposed of is the disabled, particularly the mentally handicapped. The arguments for euthanasia are always euphemistic and always couched in language suggesting that we are killing the individual for their own good. We never propose murder, we propose "mercy-killing" and allowing the patient to "rest." We wish to end the suffering of people who might not be experiencing any pain whatsoever.
Dr. Eisenberg also wrote this http://www.aish.com/societyWork/society/The_Death_of_Terri_Schiavo_An_Epilogue.asp
is a very interesting organization: Disabled (many severely) and ill (many profoundly, even terminally) people who strongly opose the "right-to-die" movement and are neither shy nor taciturn about it.