Michigan Nurses     For Life


The Threat of Assisted Suicide As End of Life Care

Submitted by Mary Lou Temple, RN, MS, Nursing

Wesley J. SmithOn September 26th, 65 nurses and lay people met at the Franco Center of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital to hear Wesley Smith speak on the topic of “FIRST DO NO HARM” The Threat of Assisted Suicide. This is the third time Wesley has spoken to the prolife nursing group. He is an author and attorney and is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council.

He reviewed the history of the assisted suicide movement and pointed out that it is a conflict of differing world views – the dignity and sanctity of life vs. autonomy, quality of life and the idea of eliminating suffering. He also discussed the “conscience clause”, where medical professionals used to be able to ‘opt out” of a procedure to which they had moral or religious objections. Other countries such as Australia and Canada now require doctors to refer a woman for an abortion, even if they are morally opposed to it. He defined this as “medical martyrdom”. He commented that doctors no longer take the Hippocratic Oath in the United States.

Assisted suicide was just legalized in California, making it the 4th state to legalize assisted suicide. Prolife activists are working in coalition with disability activists to educate the public about the dangers of assisted suicide.

Edward L. Rivet IIEd Rivet, Legislative Director of Right to Life of Michigan, discussed the POST (physician’s orders for scope of treatment) document, which began development in Michigan three years ago in collaboration with the MNA, hospices, medical groups and other disciplines. It is a response to the over-medicalization of death of the elderly in ICUs, deficiencies in living wills and the low number of patients who have advanced directives. It is a one page document that is filled out by the doctor in collaboration with the patient and/or family and addresses CPR status, desired medical interventions, nutrition and documentation of discussion. The patient should have a copy and the POST document would move with the patient to ER, hospital, nursing home etc. It should be reviewed periodically based on changes in the patient’s condition. It is currently used in 3 counties in Michigan and as well as other states.


Below is a list of our past conferences. We strive to offer timely topics and speakers who are experts in their field.

Past MNFL Conferences

September, 2015
Wesley J. Smith, Edward L. Rivet II - FIRST DO NO HARM (The Threat of Assisted Suicide As End of Life Care)

September, 2014
Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D., Mary Burkett, RN, MS, CNS, ANE-BC, Cyndy Kirschbaum, RN, BSN, CPTC - Procuring Organs (Over my Dead Body)

September, 2013
Cristen Krebs, DNP-ANP, Dr. Jeanne Lewandowski, MD, DMary Burkett, RN, MS, CNS, ANE-BC - The Changing World of Hospice Care

September, 2012
Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson, PhD, Dr. Ann Bellar, RN, GNP, PhD, Barry Goudy, Stem Cell Recipient - It's Right Under Your Nose: Progress in Adult Stem Cell Research

September, 2011
Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, Laura Farrugia, RN, Madelyn Carpenter - The Consequences of Choice

September, 2010
Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, Mary Mitsch, Cynthia Dudek - Current Trends in End of Life Health Care

October 2009
Byron Calhoun, MD - Perinatal Hospice, Ann Bellar, NP – Acute Pain Management  

October 2008
Dr. Vincent Rue – Impact of the Abortion Experience, Lubasik & Michelle Yax  

April 2008
Peg Nelson, NP – Pain Management – Palliative Care at the end of life,
Sharon Urso, BS – Solving the Mystery of Hospice  

September 2007
Fr. Tad Pacholczyk – Cloning & Human Embryos: Is there an ethical dilemma? Daniel Greene,MD - The New HPV Vaccine  

April 2006
Wesley Smith, Esq – Futile Care Theory….The Duty to Die, Charles Kleinbrook, Esq – Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care  

April 2005
Regina Chapman - STD's & Spring Break, Julie Hage – CPC Health Educator  

April 2004
Angela Lanfranchi, MD, - Abortion/Breast Cancer, Lorna Cvetkovich, MD - Morning After Pill  

April 2003
Wesley Smith, Esq – Culture of Death / Dr. Latkovic - Medical Ethics  

March 2002
John Diggs, MD – Abstinence – Just Do It, Leslee Unruh, Teresa Tomeo  

March 2001
Life's Beginnings….to be or not to be - Brenda Pratt Schafer – Partial Birth Abortion, Richard Doerflinger - Stem Cell Research – Prolife Response, Diane Trombley, RN – Legislation, James Penkala, Pharmacist


Michigan Nurses for Life


...To raise the consciousness of the
nursing profession to protect all
human life from conception until
natural death

...To form an educated core of nurses who can speak for their profession by acting as a community resource for life issues

...To promote public education and
awareness about life issues on both
ends of the spectrum, from abortion
to euthanasia

...To uphold and defend human life
in all stages and conditions of development







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