Catholic hospitals weigh Pope’s teaching on treatment for patients in a vegetative state
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Catholic hospitals in the United States are deliberating whether to uphold Pope John Paul II’s latest teaching on treatment offered to patients who are in a persistent vegetative state.

Last month, the Pope said feeding and hydrating patients in a persistent vegetative state is "morally obligatory" and that withdrawing feeding tubes constitutes "euthanasia by omission." Feeding tubes should be considered natural and ordinary treatment, not an artificial medical intervention, he said.

Fr. Michael Place, president of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, issued a written statement that the Pope's teaching affirms the CHA’s commitment to respecting the dignity of each person, regardless of their physical or medical condition, reported the Associated Press.

However, he added that bishops and health-care providers must carefully consider the Pope’s teaching. Currently, U.S. bishops and ethicists have been studying the issue and its implications for Catholic hospitals. However, clarification on the issue is not expected for months.

Until then, Catholic hospitals will continue to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, outlined by the U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops.

These guidelines indicate that feeding tubes for patients in persistent vegetative states are "medical treatment" that can be continued or stopped, based on the benefits and burdens for patient and family.

These guidelines also allow hospitals to honor living wills, indicating that patients do not want life-prolonging treatments.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20