Sunday, March 21, 2004

Pope Declares Feeding Tube Removal Immoral

One wonders if this will have any effect on those who hide behind moral language...

From Yahoo! News - Pope Declares Feeding Tube Removal Immoral:

"The pope said even the medical terminology used to describe people in so-called 'persistent vegetative states' was degrading to them. He said no matter how sick a person was, 'he is and will always be a man, never becoming a 'vegetable' or 'animal.''

In a vegetative state, patients are awake but not aware of themselves or their environment. The condition is different from a coma, in which the patient is neither awake nor aware. Both, however, are states in which the patient is devoid of consciousness.
If the vegetative state continues for a month, the patient is said to be in a persistent vegetative state; after a year without improvement, the patient is said to be in a permanent vegetative state.

Providing food and water to such patients should be considered natural, ordinary and proportional care --not artificial medical intervention, the pope told members of the conference, which was organized by the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Vatican advisory body.

'As such, it is morally obligatory,' to continue such care, he said. "