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Ethics End of Life Death & Dying

Ethics End of Life Death & Dying

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Published by Dr. Liza Manalo
It is licit to relieve pain by narcotics, even when the result is decreased consciousness and a shortening of life, "if no other means exist, and if, in the given circumstances, this does not prevent the carrying out of other religious and moral duties."
In such a case, death is not willed or sought, even though for reasonable motives one runs the risk of it: there is simply a desire to ease pain effectively by using the analgesics which medicine provides.
It is licit to relieve pain by narcotics, even when the result is decreased consciousness and a shortening of life, "if no other means exist, and if, in the given circumstances, this does not prevent the carrying out of other religious and moral duties."
In such a case, death is not willed or sought, even though for reasonable motives one runs the risk of it: there is simply a desire to ease pain effectively by using the analgesics which medicine provides.

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Published by: Dr. Liza Manalo on Mar 16, 2012
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03/16/2012

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Even Catholic hospitals and nursing homes now
offer some kind of "living will" and most people
falsely assume that such directives are
automatically compatible with Church teaching.

While it has always been true that futile or
excessively burdensome treatment or care can
morally be refused, the Catholic Church has long
condemned causing or hastening death, whether
by omission or commission.

POPE JOHN PAUL II :

Clarify the substantive moral differencebetween

DISEASE

DEATH

Discontinuing medical

procedures that may be

burdensome, dangerous,

or disproportionateto the

expected outcome

> "the refusal of 'over-zealous'

treatment"

Taking away the

proportionatemeans of

preserving life, such as

ordinary feeding, hydration,

and normal medical care

However, no "living will" is risk-free and even refusing
to sign a "living will" is no guarantee that the "right to
die" will not be exercised for the patient despite his/her
wishes.

The best defense now is to have a loving relative or
friend who is informed about ethical options and who
can legally speak for the patient if he/she cannot
because of illness or injury.

It is also crucial that the patient chooses a doctor
without a "right to die" bias, preferably one with a good
understanding of Catholic ethical principles and
Natural Moral Law.

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