By Bishop Anthony Fisher (auth.), Christopher Tollefsen (eds.)
Pope John Paul II stunned a lot of the scientific international in 2004 along with his strongly worded assertion insisting that sufferers in a continual vegetative country could be supplied with nutrients and hydration. whereas many Catholic bioethicists defended the Pope’s declare that the lifetime of all humans, even these in a continual vegetative kingdom or a coma, used to be worthy holding, others argued that the Pope’s place marked a shift from the normal Catholic educating at the withdrawal of scientific therapy on the finish of existence. the talk between Catholic bioethicists over the Pope’s assertion purely grew extra extreme in the course of the controversy surrounding Terry Schiavo’s demise in 2005, as bioethicists on each 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 therapy, and the ethics of deal with these on the finish of life.
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Extra info for Artificial Nutrition and Hydration: The New Catholic Debate
6 The first view would seem to ground the case for “voluntary euthanasia” only, but not, strictly speaking, euthanasia of the incompetent who have never expressed a wish for it. The second view, 34 A. Fisher on the other hand, would seem to allow (indeed require) some “involuntary euthanasia”, even of patients who do not want to die, but whom we judge would be better off dead or whom we’d be better off with dead. 7 See John Paul II, 1993, Ch. 2. This aspect of John Paul II’s magisterium has already repeatedly been cited by Benedict XVI.
This ‘false pity’ is contrasted with ‘the way of love and true mercy’ which recognizes that in the face of ‘the supreme confrontation with suffering and death’, when all are tempted ‘to give up in utter desperation’, what is really called for is ‘companionship, sympathy and support in the time of trial . . help to keep on hoping when all human hopes fail’ (John Paul II, 1995, no. 66). 3 Dying or as-Good-as-Dead? It has long been recognized that when someone is imminently dying treatments aimed at prolonging life are no longer appropriate and some forms of care should be scaled down even as others might be increased.
In his 2004 allocution On the Care of those in a ‘Vegetative State’ he clarified the matter even further. He insisted that people who are unresponsive to stimuli, demonstrate no awareness of self or environment and seem unable to interact with others, should not be demeaned by tags or behaviour that imply they are less than human. In the face of trends of thought demeaning the dignity of the person suffering ‘PVS’ he reaffirmed strongly: that the intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being do not change, no matter what the concrete circumstances of his or her life.
Artificial Nutrition and Hydration: The New Catholic Debate by Bishop Anthony Fisher (auth.), Christopher Tollefsen (eds.)