The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA: Withdrawing treatment an ethical choice

Deeply held moral convictions, as well as not so hidden political ideologies and objectives, stirred controversy about whether Terri Schiavo's feeding tube should be reinserted. Before her death March 31, doctors said she was in a "persistent vegetative coma." A Florida court allowed her husband, Michael, to withdraw the tube over her family's objections.

Some of the public debate reflects differences among U.S. religious groups. For example, End of Life Decisions, a message adopted by the ELCA Church Council in 1992, upholds life as God's gift to be respected and mandates respect for each person and their carefully considered decisions about medical treatment.

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March issue

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