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.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
9 years 2 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?
9 years 2 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?

Advertisement

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

Pope Francis issues public correction to Cardinal Robert Sarah on who has final say over liturgical translations.
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 22, 2017
It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017
Protestors rally to support Temporary Protected Status near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Around 200,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans have been residing in the United States for more than 15 years under Temporary Protected Status. But that status is set to expire in early 2018.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 20, 2017
At the heart of Anne Frank’s life and witness is a hopeful faith in humanity.
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.October 20, 2017