ornament 14 October 2007 ornament

Living will to power?

I’ve always been uneasy with the concept of the “living will,” known in technical terms as an advance health care directive. Part of my uneasiness stems from the fact that I do not know at this moment, in this situation, what I would want to be done in a potential situation where my life circumstances may be dramatically different. I would not want an unknown medical professional, who practices an ethic unbeknownst to me, to interpret what I was thinking when I wrote the living will.

Today’s Washington Post has a facsinating op/ed by Charlotte F. Allen which raises some similar points:

According to [a 2004 Hastings Center Report], it seems that people talk a good game about living wills, especially when they’re healthy, but when their health begins to fail, they often have very different ideas about what they would be willing to undergo to stave off death for a little while. Furthermore, according to a 1990s study by the National Institutes of Health, even when patients have living wills, if those wills contain directives with which doctors and hospitals disagree (such as, I myself suspect, prolonging the patient’s life instead of terminating it), many doctors simply ignore the patient’s desires. Living wills, it would seem, are effective only if they happen to comport with doctors’ and bioethicists’ own theories about what is best for the patient anyway. For this reason, the authors of the Hastings study propose that instead of filling out a living will, people execute a durable power of attorney, a simple document that entrusts decisions about end-of-life care to a relative or friend who shares the signer’s moral beliefs about death and dying. That sounds about right to me.

Far too many Americans have bought into the notion that a nebulous characteristic called “quality of life” should be the determining factor in whether we should live or die. When doctors become the arbiters of our destiny, the outcome is likewise murky. A doctor who is a proponent of the “right to die” movement, for example, might interpret your case differently than one who found euthanasia morally repugnant.

The so-called “right to die,” is of course, one of those meaningless terms which are deployed only for political expediency. After all, if death is a “right,” then it is certainly a right of which none of us will be deprived. Death is much too easily obtained to be considered a commodity denied to a certain group. But “rights” language is politically charged, and therefore gets the issue of euthanasia on the table. The problem is that this issue is already on far too many tables in America’s medical community.

The other question that a living will does not answer is this: do our own wills carry the authority to decide whether we should live or die in any given circumstance? Legally this may be the case, but theologically speaking, there is only one who gives and takes life.

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ornament 13 October 2007 ornament

Can’t get enough of the Bulldogs

Vols 33, Bulldogs 21

Another week, another victory over the Bulldogs — this time of Starkville, Mississippi (in)fame. Arian Foster (139 yards rushing) and Lucas Taylor (186 yards receiving) both had big days. Erik Ainge, disciplined as ever, brought his passing back up to 259 yards. His season low (169 yards) was in the Vols’ biggest win in last week’s game against Georgia (which, incidentally, was also his higest pass completion percentage game). Ainge has consistently been the most solid performer on the team. It’s good to see some other players coming along.

It was yet another untelevised (pay-per-view doesn’t count, you know) Tennessee game. If national television coverage is like a canary in a coal mine, then the Vols should be worried. CBS just opted for Kentucky-Florida for the Third Saturday in October instead of Tennessee Alabama. I had a nightmare last night that YouTube was the only network that would carry the Big Orange.

Times are indeed strange.

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ornament 12 October 2007 ornament

[Link] When Red Is Blue

When Red Is Blue: Stan Guthrie on Tony Campolo’s “red letter Christians,” with Campolo’s anemic reply.

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ornament 11 October 2007 ornament

[Link] Picky Eaters? They Get It From You

Were you, as was I, a picky eater as a child? Chances are your children will be too.

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ornament 8 October 2007 ornament

The Chess King of Dupont Circle

Last week’s Washington Post Magazine had a great story about Tom Murphy, a more or less homeless guy who spends his time in D.C.’s Dupont Circle hustling chess games and giving lessons.

If you’re at all interested in the world’s greatest thinking game, it’s a must read. Below is a video clip teaser for the article:

Continue reading…

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ornament 7 October 2007 ornament

Obama the monarchist

The Clinton campaign must be licking their chops today, because Senator Barack Obama just proved that he’s at least as crazy as Howard Dean. In a speech to a Greenville, South Carolina church today (I’m assuming he was the “guest preacher?”), Sen. Obama set forth his true ambitions:

He finished his brief remarks by saying, “We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”

Like his predecessor Howard Dean before him, Sen. Obama must have been reading from the DNC’s pamphlet “How to Speak Like an Evangelical.” Trouble is, whoever wrote the Democrats’ book on evangelicaspeak probably did their research by watching Hollywood movies or bad TBN reruns (it’s hard to say!). It’s waaay off.

Obama has apparently come under the same delusion that befell some of Jesus’ disciples. The thought that “the Kingdom” was something that could be ushered along through political means left them dumfounded at the cross.

The borders of the Kingdom of Christ span far greater — into the heart, no less.

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ornament 6 October 2007 ornament

Backs to the wall, Vols run the ball

Vols 35, Bulldogs 14

Defense. The running game. Tennessee football has returned to Rocky Top, and it feels good. Of course it always feels good to beat Georgia. To my great surprise, the Vol coaching staff must have actually turned the last two weeks into an entire summer program.

Does this mean Phillip Fulmer is off the hook? Not a chance. He’s got many more games to win to change my mind on that matter. But let’s not dwell on the negative. Back to the wall, Fulmer pulled one out, and for that I commend him.

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ornament 2 October 2007 ornament

[Link] Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Should Know About Introverts » Self Improvement Blog – BrianKim.net

Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Should Know About Introverts

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ornament 1 October 2007 ornament

[Link] The 25 Most Influential People on the Web

BusinessWeek ranks the 25 most influential people on the web

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[Link] John Fund on “Rude” Giuliani

WSJ’s John Fund on “Rude” Giuliani, the candidate who answers his cell phone when he’s talking to you.

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