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.
10 years 1 month 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?
10 years 1 month 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

The latest from america

 A young woman holds the Latvian flag as Pope Francis celebrates Mass Sept. 24 at the Shrine of the Mother of God in Aglona, Latvia. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
It was an important message for the 2.2 million people of Latvia, where today 37 percent of the population are Russian.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 24, 2018
At a time when the church and the world are looking for models of good priests and decent men, no one needs to look further than Father Bob.
Matt Malone, S.J.September 23, 2018
On his second day in Lithuania, Pope Francis traveled 65 miles to Kaunas, the country’s second largest city, to celebrate Mass in Santakos Park for more than 100,000 people.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 23, 2018
Pope Francis arrived in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, to celebrate the centenary of the country’s independence.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 22, 2018