Artificial Nutrition and Hydration: The New Catholic Debate by Bishop Anthony Fisher (auth.), Christopher Tollefsen (eds.)

By Bishop Anthony Fisher (auth.), Christopher Tollefsen (eds.)

Pope John Paul II stunned a lot of the scientific global in 2004 together with his strongly worded assertion insisting that sufferers in a chronic vegetative country can be supplied with food and hydration. whereas many Catholic bioethicists defended the Pope’s declare that the lifetime of all humans, even these in a chronic vegetative kingdom or a coma, was once worthy maintaining, others argued that the Pope’s place marked a shift from the normal Catholic instructing at the withdrawal of clinical remedy on the finish of lifestyles. the controversy between Catholic bioethicists over the Pope’s assertion in basic terms grew extra extreme in the course of the controversy surrounding Terry Schiavo’s demise in 2005, as bioethicists on either side of the controversy argued in regards to the legitimacy of elimination her feeding tubes. This choice of essays through essentially the most in demand Catholic bioethicists addresses the Pope’s statements, the ethical matters surrounding man made feeding and hydration, the refusal of remedy, and the ethics of take care of these on the finish of life.

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18 John Paul II, 1995, no. 11 notes that “the value of life can today undergo a kind of ‘eclipse’ . . as is evident in the tendency to disguise certain crimes against life in its early or final stages by using innocuous medical terms which distract attention from the fact”. 19 Cf. John Paul II, 1995, no. 66: “To concur with the intention of another person to commit suicide and to help in carrying it out through so-called ‘assisted suicide’ means to cooperate in, and at times to be the actual perpetrator of, an injustice which can never be excused, even if it is requested.

John Paul II, 1995, no. 43. 32 Cf Lk Chs. 10–14. 33 Cf. ; 9:22; Mt 18:23 ff; 20:34; 24:45 ff; Lk 10:33 ff; 15:11 ff; 16:1 ff; Jn 21. 34 Cf. Jn 13:35. 35 In this essay I have focused principally on the Gospel as a source of a theology of food and feeding. A more complete treatment would survey other important Christian sources, such as the Old Testament, the Epistles, the works of the Fathers and the Scholastics, sacramental practice (especially the Rites of Care for the Sick, Dying and Recently Deceased), sacred art and music etc.

4). In 2001 the Australian Bishops unanimously approved Catholic Health Australia’s Code of Ethical Standards. Like the American code it proposed a strong presumption in favour of feeding, even artificially: Continuing to care for a patient is a fundamental way of respecting and remaining in solidarity with that person. When treatments are withheld or withdrawn because they are therapeutically futile or overly-burdensome, other forms of care such as appropriate feeding, hydration and treatment of infection, comfort care and hygiene should be continued.

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