As a parent of 3 kids with complex medical needs, it never ceases to amaze me the continued stigma of disclosing yourself as a nontheist. All of our hospitals have a question about our preference for a religious representative in the event things "go sour"... when I respond Atheist to their question, I always get the sharp intake of breath & sometimes nervous laughter. I have gotten to the point where I just reply "no preference". Does that mean I am destined to have to refuse ministers of ALL religions if I get to a point where one of my children is critical again?? Nice way to add stress to a family. What do your medical centers do?

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Hi Gretchen,

We get the same attitude here in the UK and it has always astonished me that the staff are not properly trained to accept whatever personal choices you make, especially the rational choices. Surely they're trained to give the bad news and ask about donating organs.

Here's one that may be controversial - what if the default practise was to harvest healthy donor parts and whatever else for medical training, research etc and burn the rest then ask if you want the ashes to perform whatever ritual you desire. This doesn't have to be as callous as it may sound and I'm pretty sure if we had all grown up in such a society it would make perfect sense...

ooh the shows starting


I might try "FSM" someday. Perhaps the hospital chef could get involved. (Hah, I didn't mean that as badly as it sounds.)


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