What would Hippocrates say? A Boston doctor says that 15 years ago 80 percent of end-of-life medical conflicts pitted families who wanted to stop aggressive treatments against doctors who were trying to keep patients alive. Now positions have reversed: 80 percent of the time it’s the families that want to continue life-prolonging measures and the doctors that are ready to end them.
Judge George Greer, a Florida county judge in the spotlight three times for ordering Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube removed, was advised by his Southern Baptist pastor to leave the congregation—despite the judge’s reputation as a conservative Republican and conservative Christian.
The bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in early March, acknowledged that they were too divided to offer “a definitive word of advice” on a recommendation that regional synods restrain from disciplining churches that ordain gay clergy.
Carefully worded, sometimes stinging critiques by progressive religious leaders aiming at White House proposals and bills in Congress are proliferating. The advice is offered in news releases, press conferences and special events in the heart of Washington. But are they likely to budge, or even nudge, any elected officials?