Sunday, July 30, 2017


Accepting reality has a cost, but provides an opportunity

I have avoided any comment on the Charlie Gard case unyil now because I wasn't sure I had the facts straight. Having long ago been a part of a family who had to accept the painful truth that there was no cure and no effective treatment for my sister's condition, I know the impulse to grasp at straws and deny the inevitable. Little Charlie Gard wasn't condemned to death by any doctor, court or system. It is an incurable congenital disease. If you believe in a "directly interventionist" God, then you have to hold that God responsible. Charlie's disease is fatal . Period. There is no way to win this battle. For anyone. All you can hope for is that the end comes with as little suffering as possible.
Like Charlie, my sister was probably born with the fatal flaw that led to her death. It went undetected for many years, and then one day the situation came crashing down around us and we had to accept that her life was effectively over. It wasn't for lack of healthcare or awareness. -- my sister was a medical professional and under the care of excellent physicians for other unrelated conditions up until her last days. There was no reason to suspect she had a time bomb inside her. My sister's death changed our family forever, each of us in different ways, My mother never fully recovered. She was really uneasy with the decision to turn off the ventilator and let nature take it;s course. (despite the fact that my sister's feelings on the subject of a DNR were well known. She taught Cardiac Intensive Care Nursing) That was probably why, when my father developed cancer, she insisted that the doctors pull out the stops and try treatments that they told her were unlikely to help. given the kind of cancer and the advanced stage. He had to beg her to stop .

My father first became more devout, then lost hos confidence in medicine. When his own diagnosis came, he didn't trust it.

There was anger and guilt and fear and helplessness and hopelessness all around.

For me, it forced me to continue questioning the whole nature of faith (a process that had begun years earlier-- story for another day) It was the final straw that broke this camel's back and robbed me of my ability to casually talk about prayer as a solution to human problems, (because if you insist that God can change the specific course of events, then you have to acknowledge that God makes conscious and specific decisions NOT to at times, for reasons we can't know or understand.
So while I understand and empathize with both sides here, I can tell you from experience that no one involved will ever find peace until they stop trying to place blame or understand why this nightmare began. And when they do manage to find your own peace, we are all hallenged to use that energy wasted on frustration and recriminations more productively.

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