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 11 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 11 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

“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017
The distinction between the disciplines of theological work and how these function in our common life is necessary.
What is it about habits and cassocks that capture the imagination of even secular audiences?
Ashley McKinlessJuly 21, 2017
Why Ron Hansen will never read the Gospels the same.
Ron HansenJuly 20, 2017