Skip to comments.New Catholic mandate on comatose patients
Posted on 01/03/2010 10:01:51 AM PST by wagglebee
The nation's Catholic hospitals, including three in the Bay Area, face a new religious mandate in the new year: to provide life-sustaining food, water and medicine to comatose patients who have no hope of recovery.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the directive Nov. 17 to the more than 1,000 church-affiliated hospitals and nursing homes in the United States and to all Catholic doctors and nurses. Invoking a 2004 speech by Pope John Paul II, the bishops said Catholics must provide nutritional assistance to patients with "presumably irreversible conditions ... who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care."
A previous directive let Catholic hospitals and doctors decide whether the burdens on the patient outweighed the benefits of prolonging life. The bishops said the new policy was guided by "Catholic teaching against euthanasia" and by John Paul's observation that providing food and water "always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act."
The directive plunges the bishops into another health care controversy, on the heels of their lobbying for tight restrictions on abortion coverage in health legislation pending in Congress.
Catholic hospital officials say the November decree isn't rigid and leaves room for accommodating patients' wishes. But the bishops' language appears to conflict with a hospital's legal duty to follow a patient's instructions to withdraw life support, as expressed in an advance written directive or by a close relative or friend who knows the patient's intentions.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Actually, Compassion & Choices ONLY believes in killing the elderly, sick and disabled.
For your pinglists.
Enough bafflegab in the snip to fuel your refutation and illumination,if you please
Of course, neither can the hospital or nursing home keep the patient there against their will. Therefore if someone insists on death by starvation/dehydration, they'll have to get transferred from Sacred Heart Hospital to "Skinny Sam's Starvation Emporium d/b/a/Compassion and Choices" for the final wretched days.
As far as I know.
Some better-informed FReepers is invited to jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.
I’ve really had it with these Bishops. What is so hard about understanding what the Church teaches?
Huh? That’s what the bishops are doing. It’s the “Catholic” hospitals that are not.
Huh? The bishops are stating that Catholic hospitals MUST provide hydration and nutrition.
I’m not sure you could order yourself starved to death, legally, anymore than you could order yourself to be sold into slavery (specifically a legal impossibility).
But have no fear, the death advocates are working on it.
(sighes). Stupid ass comment. The key words here are Catholic hospitals. Catholic hospitals are supposed to follow Catholic teaching. This isn't even a change in Catholic doctrine from before. If I'm 85 years old, won't get better, and need machines to live, the decision can be made to take off life support. Nutritional assistance is not considered the same thing as life support machines.
Actually, there is nothing new about this. Extraordinary means, such as a heart-lung machine, may be discontinued if there is really no hope of recovery. But ordinary means such as food, water, antibiotics, or intravenous feeding should not be discontinued as long as the patient is alive.
If the Catholic hospitals in SanFran were doing something different, then they were wrong. And possibly one of their lousy bishops in the past was wrong as well. It was clear enough in the past, except to people who were willing to misread the documents for their own agendas.
Even ordinary means such as food and water are “refused” by the body as part of the dying process. It is sad that the hospitals have to be told to continue feeding.
Coming from the U. S. Bishops, no less!
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