March 2017 Meeting

Dignity of Life, from Conception until Natural Death

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach us to pray:
“Our Father…”

The Reading
(To be read by the Leader)

“God created humanity in His image and likeness, in His divine image He created him; male and female He created them….God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good, (Gen. 1, 27, 31)”

Brothers, last month we spoke about how much are is enough and how much is too much. This month we will focus on who makes these decisions for and with us. Some people choose in indicate, in advance, what treatment they do or do not want should the situation arise where they become unable to be their own advocates at a particular moment in time. “This can be done through an instructional directive (often called a living will) or a proxy directive (often called a durable power of attorney of mandate).”

“This can be done through an instructional directive (often called a living will) or a proxy directive (often called a durable power of attorney of mandate).” A ‘living will’ indicates in advance what level and even what type of treatment a person may desire should they become incapacitated by illness or injury. Some experts feel that ‘living wills’ can be a risky business because it is very difficult to anticipate all possible situations that one might encounter. They are also challenging because they are open to the misinterpretation of the health professionals who are treating us. Though their intention is good, they do not know the particular moral values of the individual they are treating.

“A proxy directive is a more reliable way to ensure that our end of life decisions are respected.” A proxy directive s a notarized or witnessed legal document where an individual family member or friend who knows us and our value system is entrusted with making appropriate decisions on our behalf and in our best interests should we become ill, incapacitated, injured and unable to advocate for ourselves. Brothers, if in doubt, put a competent loved one in charge of our health and treatment options, but do it in writing with witnesses so that they have legal standing to make decisions on our behalf. These individuals we have entrusted with our treatment decisions are referred to as “health care proxies.”

It is best to avoid making a blanket statement rejecting certain types of care in all circumstances unless death is imminent or treatment futile and to leave enough latitude for our agent or doctor to offer appropriate care for our condition.” We need to be clear in the language we are using and to ensure that our “health care proxy” know what we mean and what we want. We also need to make sure key people in our lives know we have a written directive.

The Reflection
(To be read by the Leader)

On a different note; some might say that euthanasia and assisted suicide are personal decisions that others have no right to intervene in. The reality is that either of these methods of killing always implicates a third party such as a physician, pharmacist, other medical professionals or even family members and friends. There is nothing victimless about euthanasia or assisted suicide.

“A liberalized euthanasia and assisted suicide law would obviously jeopardize the role of the medical profession, which is he  safeguarding of life and would seriously undermine the trust that must exist between patients and doctors.” Presently we place our very
livelihood and well-being in the hands of our family doctors and the medical profession. The legalization of killing either by euthanasia or assisted suicide would dramatically affect the relationship we have with the health profession because there would always be the question in our mind about where they stood in regard to end of life issues and care. “The legal prohibition of killing is foundational to a society; it protects everyone equally and is essential to the basic trust necessary for people to live together in community.” Next month; where does the Church stand when it comes to suffering? (COLF Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide; Urgent Questions.)

“God created humanity in His image and likeness, in His divine image He created him;  Male and female He created them….God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good, (Gen. 1, 27, 31)”

Meditation Period

(The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)

Fraternal Sharing

(The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)

Closing Prayer
(Recited by all)

Let us pray:
“Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”