Mercy at life's end?: What is a (DNR)?

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   “  ~ DEATH  ~   ~ DYING ~   ~ ” “MERCY AT LIFE’s END???”

        {What is Euthanasia? What is a (( DNR)) or DO NOT RESUSCITATE?}

                                        By Rev. Nathan Von Griffin the Street-Preacher

The occurrence of death is facing baby-boomers now at alarming rates.

 Large numbers of us are familiar with the loss of a recent loved one.

 Any one; even those who are not baby-boomers who are faced

 with the loss of a recent loved one may have encountered some very difficult

 questions to answer or difficult decisions to make in the process.

 And if you are a Christian or member of a Christian faith of any kind;

  all of a sudden some moral questions that affect you directly and your

  loved one abruptly comes into play near and around the moment-of-death.

 The advent of the necessary decisions can arrive abruptly and not be asNathan Services Inc

  simple as putting that loved one to rest in peace.

  Especially if you may have some difficulty in letting that loved one go in the first place.

 Or if, you are very attached to that person is a special way.




 I had the distinct honor and privilege to sit in on one of Rev. Dr. Mark Nuckols;

  church {Sunday School meeting} of sorts;

  where the Church as a whole sort of gets together and discusses the details

  of Death and what it means to their Christian Faith or Church body as a whole.

 The location is Austin Texas at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

  3501 Red River St and is not to far from the University of Texas at Austin campus.

 I am impressed that the Church is having a meetings of this kind.

  So I listen patiently and from time to time,  get the opportunity to make a

  few comments of my own in the discussion as it nears a very interesting stage of development.

 The discussion goes to scriptures pertaining to death ;

 things like Jesus Christ’s death on the cross then to many of the deaths

  of the Apostles and saints, and then further turns the corner to the subject of Euthanasia.


 the word Euthanasia is derived from Greek and French according to Websters Dictionary Eu easy + thanasia death

*** The act or means of putting to death persons suffering from incurable conditions or deseases.




 The discussion includes formal written literature that pertains

 to the subject in broad detail from many aspects and interpretations;

  {again I am very impressed that this is happening in a Church}

 Euthanasia has Theological arguments along with political arguments as well as humanist arguments.

 For evidence of early cases of euthanasia in the United States,

  see the story of the Black Stork who euthanized infants in Chicago in the early 20th century.

 Each argument has its own perspective pertaining to Death

  in general and what is now termed “the Right to Death” or :”The Right to Die”.

 And each can become just as heated a debate as Abortion

  against the Right to Life and Evolution against Creationism

  or any other subject that is opposed to or against our basic

  Judeo Christian ideology or is just plain fundamentally

  against Christ which is anti-Christ.



 Some physicians in America have forsaken the original creed

  given to Medical Professionals which remained in line with the

Judeo Christian Ideology of maintaining life at all costs and in all procedures.

 Instead today we now hear very casually of Physician-assisted suicide ;

  even in the United States of America.

 A country whose civilized founding, was established by Christians.



 Euthanasia is supposedly not legal in any state of the union.

 But even in places where these practices are illegal, they are being performed.

 I was able to enter into the discussion at this point and voice my

  first experience with what I thought was Euthanasia as a young minister.

  I was new in my faith conversion and ministerial duties.

 So when a personal friend of mine had entered a Hospital’s ICU (an Intensive Care Unit) ;

 after falling from slipping on some ice one winter evening after church,

  giving him serious trauma to his head:

 I took on the duty of visiting him as part of a church-sign-up visitation group,

  to the sick and shut-in.

 Putting on my Priest’s Stole; because, we had now heard ,

  matters had began to turn for what appeared to be the worse case scenario.

 Upon arriving at the Hospital; I suddenly realized that I was the only Priest entering ICU;

 and was alarmed at how, so many other families were urging me to come and pray for their

beloved family member also.0. {somehow the subject of race didn’t even matter

( I am African American male); the subject of denominational following or creed didn’t matter :

  all of these things were immediately irrelevant in ICU; because of the sense of urgency.}

 My personal friend; Roy, as it turns out just happened

 to be one of the people that I prayed for that did not recover.

  Roy was an active member of the Church; who had converted to Christianity from Buddhism.

He was Japanese.

 He was a leader in the men’s Prayer-Breakfast and Lunch meetings.

  He oft attended the Promise-keepers rallies

 with other Christian men in the community.

  And I was just quite fond of him as personal friend...




 But there were circumstances surrounding his departure that was suddenly

  fixed on me personally as a Minister and a friend.

  The Doctors were looking to me to help make

  a decision for what they termed as a {{ DNR }}.

 This is a DO NOT RESUSCITATE procedure.

 You see; since this was a Christian Hospital;

 consultation with a Priest or Minister is included in the protocol

  for decisions that will lead to a loved one departing this earth.

 A DO NOT RESUSCITATE differs from Euthanasia in that ;

 a) The persons cardiovascular system is not breathing on its own;

 but is maintained by a machine apparatus of some kind.

 b) The persons brain functions or organs are being completely

 stimulated by a machines’  electronic apparatus of some kind.

 c) That persons bodily functions continue by way of medical devices and apparatus’ only!

  and without these digital/electronic medical devices or machine apparatus;

  these bodily organs will not function or operate on their own.

 d) Turning these machines / devices/ or apparatus’ off;

  will more than likely leave that persons body in a state where doctors can medically determine

 or specifically classify that they are in-fact dead.


 This is how the Medical professionals described it to me.


My astonishment left me somewhat puzzled; as a young minister, first of all;

 I always understood that all was Euthanasia if you turned anything off. Or pulled any plug.

  And secondly what about the soul that’s lying there?  

 What is his/her decision about all this?

 And aren’t doctors suppose to (never-stop) ; functionally,

 keeping a human body alive indefinitely?

 I thought.  What ever happened to the Hippocratic oath?





Simultaneous to these questions , other issues persisted.


You see Roy’s wife’s face is now buried into the pit of my shoulder.

 Where  there are tears, sweat and mucous pouring uncontrollably.

 All from her very emotional desperation, to make a rightful decision.

 She was in-fact desirous to have a Priest present {for a decision};

  in comparison to the medical advice given by doctors.


              One that doesn’t violate God’s will, or Roy’s; or her own Christian conscience.

  The two daughters however are vehemently, opposed to this procedure unconditionally.

 His oldest son is undecided; but desperate after making the long distance trips to see his father,

  to just finally arrive at a family conclusion in the whole matter.



I am informed also, that the Health Insurance policy’s face value amount,

  is over extended in the middle of all this.

  It is already fully depleted;  so shortly, other definite financing will be needed,

  to maintain costs and medical expenses.

 And further the family, already very badly needs the proceeds from any

  Life Insurance policy to cover other non-medical expenses

  that are on-going and even more, that are soon yet to come.

 My friend Roy is the main bread winner of the household.

 This felt like an abrupt wall was pushed into my face,

 and it just seemed as if I gathered why; all of sudden;

  why there were no other Priests in ICU.


 Everyday I went in there,  it just seemed to appear as if I were the only one.

 The subject never ever seemed to be brought up in Church either; or in any

 of the Church dogma or pedagogy.

 Euthanasia was fairly rare at that day and time and a DNR was merely a little less unknown.




 My consent to allow the procedure; seemed as if it took breath out of my lungs

 and became as if I swallowed a heavy weight that just went down to the pit of my stomach.

 I stood next to Roy and walked along side him,

 the whole way to the new room he was given.

 One with no machines; digital meters or oxygen tanks attached to him.

 Roy’s son-in-law joined me as we prayed intensely over him that the LORD

  would somehow cause him to recover.

  His son-in-law began to show signs of desperation, shaking Roy, and calling out his name loudly.

 The life-breath, or any semblance of it; seemed to continue only one more hour on its own.

 We bowed our heads finally,  and covered his face with the sheet;

  at what appeared now, to be the  very obvious.



As I walked out into the hallway with my head down

  and  Priest vestment still on,  hanging from my neck;

  the man who had urged me to pray for his wife the day before came running up the hallway.

 His continence lit up with joy; urging me to come immediately and see her again.



Rev. Nathan Von Griffin is a Street Preacher to the general public at large and primarily to the poor and needy.  To donate just join my Network here.

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