Pastor's Corner Feb 18 2018

There are two enemies of the truth, regarding euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. The first enemy is anyone outside of ourselves, who are involved in our care and who doesn't agree with God's plan. The chief of these is the evil one. Our second enemy, far worse than the first, is ourselves. When Eu & PAS are legalized in Virginia, we will be 1) encouraged, 2) pressured, 3) tempted, 4) tricked, or 5) coerced into compliance. "After all," they will say, "it's legal." In a weak moment we will say it too. Are we sharp enough or strong enough or holy enough to resist the temptations?

Our duty is to prepare. First of all, we must pray for final perseverance. This means that when our time arrives to cross over the veil, we will be well dis-posed to cross with sanctifying grace and the love of God reigning in our hearts. For this purpose, we include the intention of having the sacraments readily available at the hands of a Catholic priest. (We should also have a card in our wallet which says, "I am a catholic. In case of an accident, please call a priest: 804-396-5665."

Secondly, we must appoint a "Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care." Simply put, this is your Health Care Agent: someone to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated. This person used to be your "next of kin," but now we're forced to be more legalistic. Sign a document which names your agent (and an alternate) and have it witnessed. If there's doubt, have your physician attest to your capacity at the time of signing. Inform your primary care physician who your agent is, and that you do not support Eu or PAS. Ask them to respect your wishes.

Do not sign any other portion of an "Advance Directive." The hospitals will pressure you to do this when you arrive. Resist. Bring the copy of the document naming your agent; this is all you need. The sole purpose of an advance directive is to limit care, not provide it. Do not sign any portion of any directive.

Thirdly, discuss with your health care agent what the teachings of the church are, and what your wishes are. Obviously, they will have to be attentive when the time comes.

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