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By Ronald P. Hamel, James J. Walter

Prior to now few a long time, high-profile situations like that of Terry Schiavo have fueled the general public debate over forgoing or taking flight man made food and hydration from sufferers in a continual vegetative kingdom (PVS). those situations, even if regarding adults or kids, have pressured many to start considering in a measured and cautious means in regards to the ethical legitimacy of permitting sufferers to die. Can households forgo or withdraw man made hydration and food from their household while no wish of restoration turns out attainable? Many Catholics understand that Catholic ethical theology has formulated a well-developed and well-reasoned place in this and different end-of-life concerns, person who distinguishes among ''ordinary'' and ''extraordinary'' therapy. yet contemporary occasions have prompted uncertainty and confusion or even acrimony one of the devoted. In his 2004 allocution, Pope John Paul II proposed that synthetic foodstuff and hydration is a kind of simple care, hence suggesting that the availability of such care to sufferers neurologically incapable of feeding themselves might be thought of an ethical legal responsibility. The pope's handle, which appeared to have provided a brand new improvement to a long time of Catholic well-being care ethics, sparked a contentious debate one of the devoted over how top to regard completely subconscious sufferers in the tenets of Catholic morality. during this entire and balanced quantity, Ronald Hamel and James Walter current twenty-one essays and articles, contributed by means of physicians, clergy, theologians, and ethicists, to mirror the spectrum of views at the matters that outline the Catholic debate. geared up into six elements, every one with its personal creation, the essays provide medical info on PVS and feeding tubes; discussions at the Catholic ethical culture and the way it would be altering; ecclesiastical and pastoral statements on forgoing or retreating meals and hydration; theological and moral analyses at the factor; remark on Pope John Paul II's 2004 allocution; and the theological observation, court docket judgements, and public coverage because of the Clarence Herbert and Claire Conroy felony instances. A necessary source for college students and students, this teachable quantity invitations theological discussion and moral dialogue on probably the most contested matters within the church at the present time.

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Extra info for Artificial Nutrition and Hydration and the Permanently Unconscious Patient: The Catholic Debate

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F. Childress, Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 4th ed. S. Government Printing Office, March 1983), 82–90. 16. Cronin, Conserving Human Life, pp. 53–55. 17. John De Lugo, Disputationes Scholasticae et Morales (ed. nova, Parisiis, Vivès, 1868–1869), vol. VI, De Iustitia et lure, Disp. X, sec. 30 (translated as in Cronin, Conserving Human Life, 54). 18. See ref. 7, Cronin, Conserving Human Life, p. 54. 19. G. M. Atkinson, “Theological History of Catholic Teaching on Prolonging Life,” in Moral Responsibility in Prolonging Life Decisions, ed.

A. Brody, “Gastrostomy Placement and Mortality Among Hospitalized Medicare Beneficiaries,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 279 (1998): 1973–76. 2. L. Rabeneck, N. P. Wray, J. N. Petersen, “Long-Term Outcome of Patients Receiving Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy tubes,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, 11 (1996): 287–93. 3. ” 4. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 2001, Directive 58, p. 31. 5. L’Osservatore Romano, October 7, 1998.

J. Walter and T. A. Shannon (New York: Paulist Press, 1990) 78–88. See also T. A. Shannon and J. J. Walter, “The PVS Patient and the Forgoing/ Withdrawing of Medical Nutrition and Hydration,” in Quality of Life, pp. 203–23. 28. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Declaration on Euthanasia,” in Quality of Life, pp. 259–64. 29. McCormick and Paris, “The Catholic Tradition on the Use of Nutrition and Fluids,” p. 358. Two other Catholic reports on the moral responsibility in prolonging life decisions not noted above have been advanced by pontifical agencies.

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