Caring for PVS Patients: Two ethicists consider the church's teaching

In the August 4-11 issue Cardinal Justin F. Rigali and Bishop William E. Lori respond to two recent articles in America regarding the care for patients in a persistent vegetative state. In our January 21 issue, John J. Hardt considered the Congregation Doctrine of the Faiths recent statement on this subject in light of a conversation he had with his father about end of life care. Read Hardts article here.

In an earlier issue Thomas A. Shannon compared the CDF statement on care for PVS patients to an earlier CDF document on euthenasia. Read Shannons article here.

8 years 6 months ago
Are we a Resurrection people? Why prevent people in the P.V.S. state from leaving this life and entering eternity? ( If one spends a single day in bed, diapered, with sensory deprivation, perhaps a bit of the existence of the P.V. S.'s limbo would be glimpsed.) Also, since thousands of children die of starvation each and every day, the statement"Some parts of the world may be so destitute or undeveloped that they lack the medical resources and skills for the kind of assisted feeding that can occasion difficult moral decisions" seems to overlook the mandate that we are our brother's keeper. Distributive justice calls for judicial use of resources. Lastly, when one is allowed to die naturally the dehydration is not experienced as it would be in a healthy person. Perhaps the hospice program could be asked to offer workshops to theologians?
8 years 6 months ago
Are we a Resurrection people? Why prevent people in the P.V.S. state from leaving this life and entering eternity? ( If one spends a single day in bed, diapered, with sensory deprivation, perhaps a bit of the existence of the P.V. S.'s limbo would be glimpsed.) Also, since thousands of children die of starvation each and every day, the statement"Some parts of the world may be so destitute or undeveloped that they lack the medical resources and skills for the kind of assisted feeding that can occasion difficult moral decisions" seems to overlook the mandate that we are our brother's keeper. Distributive justice calls for judicial use of resources. Lastly, when one is allowed to die naturally the dehydration is not experienced as it would be in a healthy person. Perhaps the hospice program could be asked to offer workshops to theologians?

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

This is not a country at ease with itself, if it ever were. The United Kingdom continues to display more and more intolerance and anger.
David StewartFebruary 24, 2017

On St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate our Irish heritage and our good fortune to be Americans.

George J. MitchellFebruary 24, 2017
“The Catholic Church stands in love with the Jewish community in the current face of anti-Semitism.”
Michael O'LoughlinFebruary 24, 2017
Addressing 90 experts from many countries, Francis said that “all people have a right to safe drinking water.”
Gerard O'ConnellFebruary 24, 2017