Monday, January 4, 2010

Response to NYT Palliative Sedation Article.

The responses are coming in on Anemona Hartocollis palliative sedation article for the New York Times on December 27, including one response from the ubiquitous - and uncharacteristically normal sounding - Wesley J. Smith.

But even here, Smith knows the fight against aid in dying will only work so long as the dying have palliative sedation to alleviate their suffering. He's working according to Catholic teaching which allows for the "double effect," or full sedation of patients if the effort is to end suffering, not life. In Montana, part of the case dealt with the fact that there is little difference between palliative sedation and aid in dying but the doctor's statement of purpose. It's an ideological distinction, not necessarily a practical one.

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