I Was Just Thinking About - INVASIVE CARE.
A godly servant of the Lord (S.L.) posts daily, pithy comments and prayers on Facebook. On March 10th, 2018, he posted the following: "Even the good things we desire to do for others require their consent. There's such a thing as invasive care, which should be avoided." I responded: "Interesting and thought-provoking. "Invasive care" got my attention and is causing me to think about it! Thanks for triggering these thoughts!"
There are many studies that can be consulted regarding invasive care. My own personal level of interest is in the area of medical procedures and practices. One of the studies from Australia indicated the following: "More than a third of elderly patients hospitalized at the end of their life received invasive and potentially harmful medical treatments…After two decades of talking about non-beneficial end-of-life treatments we're still doing it…The review of thirty-eight studies from ten countries found widespread use of invasive treatments and tests including surgeries, chemotherapies, diagnostic imaging, transfusions, admissions to intensive care and in some cases CPR on patients with 'do-not-resuscitate' orders. We're talking about interventions that are not going to make any difference to the patient's survival but could cause pain and suffering. They aren't prolonging life, they're prolonging death… Families put undue pressure on doctors, refusing to accept the fact that their loved one was naturally dying…In many cases family members push for every possible treatment simply because they don't know what their loved one would have wanted."
For the Biblical Christian, is there any guideline that can be referenced when it comes to care for the sick? Is it possible to cross a line and drift into invasive care? Biblically, one of the basic guidelines for care of the sick is mentioned by Jesus Christ in Matthew 25:35-40. In the scene where there is the separation of sheep from goats, part of the Lord's criteria is: "I was sick and you looked after me." What does this entail and how invasive should it be? There is another aspect of care mentioned in James 5:13-16, "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up." Two factors that should be considered are (1) The request being made by the person who is sick, and (2) The Elders acting in accordance with God's will being done in behalf of the one being anointed. Not everyone praying in "faith" will be raised up to physical life continuing in this world. However, as was noted at the recent Billy Graham Funeral, his perspective was that he hadn't died but merely changed his address and is more alive now in the presence of the Lord than he was as he managed declining health while physically alive.
We need to live out our lives within the framework and perspective of Philippians 1:20-21 (NLT), "I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better." Additionally, the Biblical Christian has to be willing to release their loved one by giving them their permission and blessing to depart and be with the Lord. Is it easy to do? No! Will the loved one be missed? Yes! Will all involved know the reality of God's peace and comfort? Yes! Second Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT), "God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
Prayerfully - consider these things with me.