The Corner

Culture

Ten Things That Caught My Eye Today: Palliative Care, Religion Is Essential & More

1. Covid Has Traumatized America. A Doctor Explains What We Need to Heal — an interview with Dr. Diane E. Meier, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, at Mount Sinai Hospital:

But couldn’t we always say that if people had access to better care then they wouldn’t consider this other option? What if the reality is that access to better care isn’t there? Are we saying to suffering people, “There are ways to still find meaning in life; we just can’t necessarily guarantee you’ll be able to take advantage of them”? There is a real tension there. Our system is so broken. But do we solve that problem by offering them physician-assisted death? I wouldn’t want to be part of that society. There was a recent case in Canada: a guy with neurodegenerative disorder who was cognitively intact.

In order to go home from the hospital, he needed 24-hour care, and the government would not pay for 24-hour care. He recorded hospital staff offering him medical aid in dying as an alternative. You think that doesn’t create pressure on people who already feel like burdens? They need to be met with a resounding commitment to continued relationship. Not: “You’re right. I agree you’d be better off dead. Here’s a prescription.” That pushes someone who is struggling right over the cliff.

Might there be a lack of understanding on the part of some advocates of physician-assisted death that while palliative care maybe can’t relieve the entirety of one’s pain, it can still help patients find quality of life? It’s important to disabuse you of the notion that pain is the reason people request medical aid in dying. Pain is not the reason. It is existential and spiritual. The only treatment for that is relationship, attention, sitting with. Not trying to fix. That willingness to be with and engage the person in giving voice to that suffering is such a powerful intervention. It requires training. It’s a procedure. It isn’t about, “We can fix everything.” But we can enable giving voice to profound suffering, and that makes a huge difference.

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4. From Alliance Defending Freedom:

CINCINNATI – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled Friday in favor of Dr. Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University, reversing a district court’s dismissal of his lawsuit against university officials. The university punished Meriwether because he declined a male student’s demand to be referred to as a woman, with feminine titles and pronouns. The court ruled that, based on the allegations in the complaint, the university violated Meriwether’s First Amendment rights.

5. Emilie Kao: More States Must Follow Arkansas’ Lead and Protect Women’s and Girls’ Opportunities

6. ‘The Holy Spirit always wins in the end’: An interview with Archbishop Chaput

7. Luis Tellez: The Good Life

8. Arthur Brooks:  Evidence shows that hyper-specialization is not the best strategy for happiness.

9. Humility Is Where Conservatives And Libertarians Can Still Find Fusion

10. Vietnamese Carmelites mark return to seized monastery

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