Thursday, March 08, 2012

Deciding on the right to life

Dr Catherine Constable, an Oxford-educated American bioethicist, writing in the journal Bioethics, says food and water should be withdrawn from all patients in so-called permanent vegetative state, unless there is clear evidence they want to be kept alive.

She argues that it is not in the patient's interest to be kept alive, because an individual in PVS has no consciousness and therefore no interests. Whether he or she is alive, she says, is irrelevant.

Isn't the chance of the patient recovering reason for keeping the patient alive? No, she says. Even if PVS patients recover, they will be in "some state of middle consciouness; a life, quite possibly, worse than non-existence."

This points up again the difference between the Christian worldview and the secular worldview. The Christian view is that any human being, young, old, well, sick, able or disabled, is made in the image of God, and so his or her life is of inestimable value.

Disregard the Christian view, and where do you draw the line?