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Mailbag

Issue: "Locking up the big guns," Aug. 12, 2000

Not supreme

We say "freedom of choice" and choose to kill innocent babies. Our idea of liberty has become gruesome indeed. Let us remember that we are not independent of the Creator of life, and let the nine justices remember that they are not supreme. - Lynn Wielenga, Hull, Iowa

What's reasonable?

"Is resistance futile?" was very pertinent to me (July 8/15). At age 69 I have just gone through a living will with my sons. As I get older, I want good reasonable care but it seems less reasonable to spend mega dollars on heroics to prolong my life a few more years. If I had severe irreversible dementia, death would seem to be the sweet grace of God. And if my organs are failing due to old age, I don't want to be kept alive artificially with tubes and apparatuses. So, yes, I do believe in the "futile-care theory," the singling out of some patients to deny certain treatments. The question is, what is reasonable care? - Lois Hendricks, New Prague, Minn.

Rational rationing

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As a full-time intensive care unit physician, I address the complicated issues surrounding medical futility on a daily basis. For example, we often don't have a rational way of rationing medical care. Women unable to afford prenatal medical care may be refused treatment, but we will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to preserve the life of a premature baby when only pennies could have kept it safe inside the womb. And where is the pressure for personal accountability for one's own health? When adults engage in risky behavior (like sex, alcohol, tobacco, or "extreme" sports), how much does the medical system owe them to repair their bodies when they are injured? I oppose euthanasia, and do everything in my power to optimize my patients' chances for survival, spending thousands of dollars a day in the process. But when I go home to my nice house, in my nice neighborhood, and read about the Sudan crisis in WORLD, I am often ashamed at how wasteful the U.S. medical system can be. In our attempts to put off the inevitable, how much are we willing to spend, who makes the decisions, and will they be applied equally to all? Our only hope is for Christians to be actively involved in these tough discussions. - Mark Oltermann, Ogden, Utah

Legal at least

Learning about the trials and problems in other countries for families who choose to homeschool makes me appreciate our own freedom ("State schools über alles?" July 8/15). While our own country is not perfect, at least our decision to homeschool is not against the law. - Terri Ellis, Howe, Ind.

Hit the e-mark

Joel Belz's commentary on e-publishing hit the mark about the future of publishing. Much of what he writes is already here, although perhaps limited to the "techie" community. Today I downloaded most of WORLD into my Palm handheld computer. This took two minutes to configure weeks ago and is automatically refreshed every Friday morning while I synchronize my calendar and address book with the office server. It's less effort than going to the mailbox. I read WORLD and other publications while waiting for the bus and during lunch. I am writing this response on my handheld computer and it will be transmitted next time I synchronize my calendar. Granted, the technology is still limited, but the beginnings are already here. - Jim Hilliard, Manchester, Conn.

A profound loss

Thank you for the article on Dr. James Montgomery Boice ("Complex simplicity," July 1). I was a theologically illiterate young Christian when I picked up his book, The Christ of Christmas, in my local public library as a college student. That book changed the focus of my life and made me realize I was starving for the meat of God's Word. Especially in this age of evangelical silliness, Dr. Boice's death is a profound loss for the church and the world. - Janet Mefferd, Dallas, Texas

Debt of gratitude

My wife and I were members of Tenth Church, where Dr. Boice ministered, from 1985 to 1988 while studying at Westminster Seminary preparing for ministry. He painstakingly prepared two excellent sermons each week, most now published, that are among the most lucid commentaries on the Scriptures. Dr. Boice's example continues to inspire me in the primary task of preaching the Word expositionally. I am among the many pastors who owe him a great debt. - Bob Myers, Burtonsville, Md.

WORLD way off

0I think WORLD missed the boat on what Weigh Down is all about-bringing people into a closer relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and removing false idols such as food and overeating ("Weigh Down, weigh off?" July 1). Weight loss is just a side benefit to the real joy of growing closer to the Father. - Theresa Boiney, Crestwood, Ky.

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