Advance Directives

Two weeks ago, I posted about the directive given by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that requires hospitals and hospices to override the end-of-life wishes of patients in certain circumstances.

In the comments, Joel Connelly crawled up my ass, telling me that I needed to contact the hospitals and hospices to find out if they’ll really follow the directive. I just sent off an email to every Catholic hospital and hospice in the state I could find a contact email for to see if any of them are planning to ignore it.


  1. 1

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Catholicism is so outdated it deserves to just fade away, like one of those cults that predicted that the world would come to an end at the beginning of the Second Millenia Looks like those cultists were wrong, and so is the Catholic Church is just about every issue.

    Here’s a hint to the Catholics: if you want your church to survive, have married priests and women priests, and drop this hard-on you’ve got about issues like abortion and stem cell research.

  2. 2

    Anachronym spews:

    Could you share that list with us? When I saw the original news articles a couple weeks ago, the same thought occurred to me, so I tried to look up which hospitals in the area were Catholic-run, but I couldn’t really find many aside from the Providence ones. Is there a site somewhere that catalogues all the Catholic health care institutions?

  3. 3

    ArtFart spews:

    The revised Directive #58 is still somewhat vague, except for specific mention of a “persistent vegetative state” that looks like it may have been added in specific reference to the Terri Schaevo incident. Whether this might be interpreted as being applicable to end-stage dementia, where the patient has fogotten how to swallow, isn’t entirely clear, and might be thought to fall under the category of “inevitable death from an underlying progressive and fatal condition”. If not, it’s a train wreck.

  4. 4


    The list I used is here.

    I’m curious if I’ll get some arguments back from administrators that will be along those lines, or attempts to say that they can still obey the order and people’s directives at the same time. Words like “dying” don’t exactly have precise meanings, so issues like this can often end up in a sea of gray.

  5. 5

    ArtFart spews:

    @2 Providence Everett is the larger of the two hospitals serving that city, and is actually the product of a merger with Everett General some years ago.

    Providence in Seattle has been in some sort of partnership with Swedish for about ten years.

    Providence Mt. St. Vincent in West Seattle has for many years been considered about as good as it gets for older folks, from daytime clinics to assisted living to dementia care. If, as I stated above, they’re going to start jamming a tube down the gullet of every end-stage Alzheimer’s patient…well, if you’re dealing with someone with that, take ‘em elsewhere.

  6. 6

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    When Swedish Hospital acquired Providence Hospital in Seattle they had to agree to continue the Providence prohibitions against all abortions not only at Providence but also at Swedish. Don’t know if Swedish agreed to abide by Catholic “end of life” strictures. It is probably illegal for Hospitals to ignore end of life directives in WA State, but it would be difficult to enforce. I believe Emergency Medics are the only ones permitted by law to resuscitate a person in direct contravention of known directives. If you are terminal and have heart trouble and don’t want to be revived again tell your family not to call 911 until they are sure you are dead.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 Don’t these partnering arrangements raise an issue of whether Catholic Church directives to Catholic health care providers will also apply to non-Catholic patients in non-Catholic hospitals?

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 What’s that got to do with anything? Are you suffering early-onset dementia? Looks like it.

  9. 10

    Puddybud Remembers Progressives Forget spews:

    Man you are one stupid Bunny…

    Puddy sees the same thing coming here to America. National Sunday Laws. You are one dumb bunny!

  10. 11

    sarah68 spews:

    It doesn’t matter if someone in a Catholic hospital is non-Catholic; the hospital won’t do what the Church tells them not to do. Since Swedish is in a partnership with Providence, I’ll bet that they have a quiet agreement that Swedish won’t do what Providence won’t do. The Catholics are serious about this stuff; they don’t let anybody off if any of their funding goes into an organization. Swedish would simply “neglect” to carry out the patient’s Health Care Directive.

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    Would someone tell me why there needs to be such an obsession with the Catholic Church?

    Last time I looked The Baptists had announced that I was condemned to Hell, the Buddhists were teaching children that they would be reincarnated as goats, the atheists were ridiculing Santa, the Jews were insisting that a woman could not get a divorce unless her husband agreed, the capitalists had discovered an invisible hand, the protestants were running state churches in England and Sweden, the Muslims declared that all polytheists should be killed, Hindu women were being burned to death, the South Africans had discovered that AIDs was not due to a virus, the Mormons were converting my ancestors, the Republican Leader had endorsed killing witches, and the Aztecs were sacrificing virgins.

    With all this … so what is so bad about deciding that an infallible leader has been selected by a bunch of celibate men chosen by a God who pinned his son to a cross?

    Where is Lee’s sense of balance?

  12. 14

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Our hospital of choice here in Reno is Catholic (St. Mary’s Regional Care Center), but they go out of their way to provide a variety of religious options for their patients, though an eclectic neo-pagan (the missus) is just a little beyond their capacity. Ironically enough, the keyboard player in my current band is an associate pastor who frequently volunteers there, and he’s no Catholic either.

    That said, I agree with PI and say that Catholicism is circling the drain. It’s utter refusal to either get with the times or the bulk of its congregation outside Europe will eventually doom it to irrelevance.

  13. 17

    ArtFart spews:

    It would appear that the incompetent nincompoops in Rome (and I’ve known local priests who referred to them that way) can’t figure out whether their intent is to serve the will of God as they understand it, lead their flock away from moral peril, or merely attempt to cling to the political power the church once held. The more they lean towards the latter, the faster will be the church’s decline as an organized entity. A great many Catholics, particularly in America, are more wedded to their own local parish community than they are to the church as an institution. For many, the sorry spectacle of the church leadership attempting to claim any sort of moral high ground amid continuing revelations of widespread enabling of priestly pederasty is becoming the last straw.

    It’s a pity, too. In recent years, some efforts of the church to fill the void left by abandonment by society of the less fortunate have been, to say the least, quite worthwhile.

  14. 18



    Sighhh …..

    You don’t like the Church sod anything it does is a grist for your Beck-like rants.

    Look boobelah, I think the gold on St. Peter’s dome would look a lot better feeding the poor.

    By the way, The RCC is hardly the only religion to own a hospital. When you put on your crusader cape, maybe you oght also to take on the Mormons, jews, and Seventh Day Adventitsts? Howsabout the Christian Scientists anbd the Baptists?

    Next time you are ill, by the way, you should interrogate the ER doc to make sure she isn’t a stealth nun.

  15. 19


    You don’t like the Church sod anything it does is a grist for your Beck-like rants.


    By the way, The RCC is hardly the only religion to own a hospital. When you put on your crusader cape, maybe you oght also to take on the Mormons, jews, and Seventh Day Adventitsts?

    Where is the evidence that any of those faiths are attempting to override the end-of-life wishes of individuals? You can’t possibly be stupid enough not to understand that I’m criticizing the Catholic Church for their attempt to undermine people’s medical freedom, not because I have some animosity towards the church itself.

    Actually, no, you could. You’ve proven it many times over.

    Next time you are ill, by the way, you should interrogate the ER doc to make sure she isn’t a stealth nun.

    I don’t care who it is, but if they intend to override my medical decisions because someone says their imaginary friend says so, I will be furious, as should anyone. Unlike you, I take individual liberty very seriously. One of the things that makes America great is that we have freedom of religion here. You may not like that very much (and from your history of posting, it’s very clear that you don’t), but that’s what this country is about. It’s about ensuring that religions are separate from the state in their power. Within our health care system, it’s a problem when a particular religion (and I don’t care which one it is), has the power to impose their religious edicts on an entire community. This is a case where it’s happening.

    For you to suggest that any of this comes from simply being anti-Catholic is completely without basis and – well – par for the course when it comes to the kinds of idiotic nonsense that comes out of you on a regular basis.

    As always, try harder to think about these topics before you engage with me. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  16. 20


    He wasn’t trying to be ironic. He was trying to accuse me of being anti-Catholic. He’s being doing it for quite some time. He has zero evidence that I’m bigoted against Catholics. He’s a pathetic, fat old man who continually gets his ass whipped by me in the comment threads and can’t handle being exposed as a simpleton.

  17. 21

    Karl Hungus spews:

    if you dont like how the catholics do things, then (1) dont go to their churches, and (2) dont go to their hospitals.

    seems pretty simple to me.

  18. 22


    Lee …

    You whip my ass? You mean by filing a fictions complaint with the UW and the Seattle Police? or when you endorse exposure of children to carcinogens? Or was it your effort to deny Mr. Hak’s identification of himself as a Muslim?

    Oh … maybe you think your fascination with my sex? You mean all those offers you have made to have intercourse? Sorry about that bubbelah .. in this case you are right I am much too old for that sort of thing. (irony here WAS intended)

    Seems as if someone here has an obsession with more than just the pope.

  19. 23

    Blue John spews:

    … no Sunday shopping is now the norm in Germany… even around Christmas time… It’s in their constitution.
    Sounds like a good idea to me actually. It seems to be a particularly American obsession to be able to shop at all times.
    It would force us to plan ahead and force many of us to fill our Sunday with something other than going to the mall and buying stuff.
    Besides, they may still have the internet if they have to purchase something!

  20. 24

    SJ on Troll Patrol spews:


    The Sunday Laws in Europe are nopt simply a vestige of Christianity. For one thing attendance at Church is very rare in Europe.

    Rather the Sunday laws have become a union issue. By having a common day off, families and friends can get together.

    The Sunday laws, however, do become a problem for observant Jews and Muslims who, while they have no reason not to also take Sunday off, have their own days of rest mandated by religion.

    So, if the law were truly consistent and free from Deities, then everyone could be required to take a day off at some time but that would not address the goal of having a day off that is shared.

    I suppose Jews could be required to take off two days?

  21. 25

    SJ on Troll Patrol spews:


    Personally, I suspect that all devotees of religions that delegate divine authority to humans .. Mormons, Catholics, esp … share something I,an outsider can not respect.

    BTW, at the risk of provoking more Lee ranting, I would point out that most regions do not have such authority figures, even when the relgions claim to9 have revealed texts.

    For example, in both Islam and Judaism, there are no representatives who speak for the Deity. Rather, each claims to have a revealed text. For better or worse learned scholar/lawyer/judges are supposed to interpret these texts but not add to them. Neither Rabbis nor Imans are authorized to
    speak for God!

    Why should anyone accept another human’s authority as being delegated by God? In both Judaism and Islam, the claim to bge able to speak for God is itself a form of blasphemy.

    In a sense then the fundamental issue underlying Lee’s obsession may be reasonable. Would it infringe on freedom of religion to make an exception for religions that claim to have a red line to the great One?