"Advance Health Care Directive"

God is the Author and Giver of life, and it is not our place to usurp that authority from God. Therefore,

Any person or document that brings to the discussion the term "quality of life" or any words legally equivalent to or substantially the same as that phrase, except as in this paragraph to reject the use of such terms, is thereby disqualified from participating in my health care determination. Any person who, like Michael Schiavo, expects substantial pecuniary gain from the outcome they advocate, or has any other evident conflict of interest, is thereby disqualified. Any person who, again like Michael Schiavo, is in flagrant violation of God's Law with respect to their relationship to me, is also thereby disqualified from participating in my health care determination.

It is evil to coercively take from another person for the benefit of my own personal pleasure or long life. Therefore I categorically reject any medication or therapeutic procedure that is researched, developed, produced, or administered by taking another person's life not freely given with informed consent, including persons at the embryonic or fetal stage of their own development. That also excludes non-coerced involvement with any organization or company (like an insurance company, but not a tax collector) that comingles my (particularly financial) involvement with the deprivation of life.

When God acts to bring my life to an end, it is my intention and desire to go peacibly into eternity. When God makes available to me the means to continue my life here, I intend to do so. However the artificial maintenance of body processes by heroic and/or mechanical means when there is no reasonable medical opinion that future recovery of my faculties is possible, and when the body would die normally without those means, is in my opinion an interference with God's authority to bring it to an end. Mechanically delivered air, food, and hydration, although inherently undesirable as they may be, do not constitute "heroic means" if they are applied when I am able to breathe and/or swallow normally (as the respective case may be), even if I subsequently because of that application lose such ability. Long-term 24/7 nursing care when I lack the ready assets to pay for it, counts as "heroic," but reasonable daily assistance in eating and other body functions is not.

Many modern medical procedures are exceedingly costly beyond the ability of ordinary people to pay for, even after discounting for the excessive cost of insurance forced on us by greedy trial lawyers such as a recent VicePresidential candidate, and now also by the foolish government mandate known as "ObamaCare". God did not make me a millionaire, and if I die from the inability to pay for such procedures, then I die, no worse off than the people throughout all history who had no modern medical procedures available at all. However, denying food and fluid to a person for the sole purpose of ending their life, and especially when there are people willing to bear the cost and burden of providing it, is murder and unacceptable.

This document sets out general principles to follow in my health care, and not specific procedures. I am not a physician knowledgeable in medical methods and procedures, and furthermore, the technology is changing all the time. What could be considered "heroic" or excessively costly today might be reasonable and common in a few months or years. Conversely, reasonable and practical treatments today could, if the lawyers continue to drive up costs, become prohibitively expensive.

The law in the State of Missouri seemed to have reasonable defaults at the time this document was drafted; other states -- notably Oregon and now (by judicial fiat) Florida -- are much more hostile to their citizens, and it is for such cases that a document like this unfortunately becomes necessary.

Tom Pittman
2005 April 6
Revised 10 Jun.17, 16 Dec.26