Human Exceptionalism

Pamela Winnick’s Father is Doing Better

Pamela Winnick sent me the following e-mail with permission to post here. You may recall, that she worried that “death doctors” were seeking to force the family to “pull the plug” on her seriously ill father.

“Wes, a mere week after the death-loving doctors tried to get us to pull the plug on my father, miracles have begun. He’s out of ICU. He’s off the ventilator. He’s talking. He’s cracking jokes. He’s reading the NY Times and the New Yorker. No longer confined to bed, he’s sitting in a chair, soon to receive physical therapy so he can walk. Most importantly, over the last week, he has cherished the love of his family, his wife, daughters, grandchildren. And he laughs. This is still the father I have always had. And the man they wanted to murder just seven days ago.

It’s a classic illustration of the ‘culture of death,’ as you so aptly call it. I will complain to the hospital, after he’s out of their care. And when it’s time for him to die, he will die naturally.”

I am happy for Pamela and her family. If her father’s doctors had been able to force the family to cease treatment, he would probably be buried by now. Her father’s case illustrates the increasing danger promoted by mainstream bioethics that in cases of serious illness and injury or advanced age, the benefit of the doubt should be given to death rather than life.