1. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
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    20 Sep '07 22:10
    Ivanhoe must be snoozing...

    http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/20761.php?index=20761&po_date=14.09.2007&lang=en#TRADUZIONE%20IN%20LINGUA%20INGLESE

    A summary of the implications can be found:
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0705229.htm

    A commentary on the clarification:
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0705284.htm

    In sum: A patient in a "permanent vegetative state" is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.

    Comments?

    Nemesio
  2. Territories Unknown
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    20 Sep '07 23:33
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Ivanhoe must be snoozing...

    http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/20761.php?index=20761&po_date=14.09.2007&lang=en#TRADUZIONE%20IN%20LINGUA%20INGLESE

    A summary of the implications can be found:
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0705229.htm

    A commentary on the clarification:
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0705284.htm ...[text shortened]... le, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.[/i]

    Comments?

    Nemesio[/b]
    I'd say it's a tough one because there are no hard-fast lines--- time-or otherwise. People have been known to emerge from conditions so diagnosed well beyond the 'accepted' parameters.

    I'm not one to rule from application, either. Either there is hope for the several thousand people currently diagnosed as PVS, or we're wasting an awful lot of effort on people too dead to even inform us of their own conditions. One of them might even be Ivanhoe...
  3. Subscriberno1marauder
    Humble and Kind
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    20 Sep '07 23:471 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Ivanhoe must be snoozing...

    http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/20761.php?index=20761&po_date=14.09.2007&lang=en#TRADUZIONE%20IN%20LINGUA%20INGLESE

    A summary of the implications can be found:
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0705229.htm

    A commentary on the clarification:
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0705284. le, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.[/i]

    Comments?

    Nemesio
    I wonder if the "clarification" is consistent with the highlighted language in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services:

    Directives 57 and 58 state: "There should be a presumption in favor of providing nutrition and hydration to all patients, including patients who require medically assisted nutrition and hydration, as long as this is of sufficient benefit to outweigh the burdens involved to the patient. The free and informed judgment made by a competent adult patient concerning the use or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures should always be respected and normally complied with, unless it is contrary to Catholic moral teaching."

    Doesn't the "clarification" mean that any judgment by a competent adult to withdraw nutrition and hydration is almost always contrary to Catholic moral teaching?
  4. Joined
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    21 Sep '07 00:301 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I wonder if the "clarification" is consistent with the highlighted language in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services:

    Directives 57 and 58 state: "There should be a presumption in favor of providing nutrition and hydration to all patients, including patients who require medically assisted nutrition and hydration, as lo to withdraw nutrition and hydration is almost always contrary to Catholic moral teaching?
    From the second link Nemesio posted, I gather that the clarification concerns only vegetative state, a condition where the patient is not "competent" and not capable of rendering "free and informed judgment" like the one described in the directive you highlighted. So I think it is consistent to that extent.

    However, given that the clarification states that continued care to PVS patients is morally obligatory (excepting only instances where such care is not possible or becomes useless or counteractive), the clarification lends no weight to any informed judgments made by competent adults who knew the person and his wishes intimately prior to the persistent vegetative state. It also doesn't lend weight to the informed judgments of the medical professionals involved. It also apparently makes no provisions for any relevant formal wishes (living will) left by the patient, if any exist.

    ----------------
    So, in response to Nemesio's opening request for comments: first, I disagree that all PVS patients are persons for reasons already discussed extensively in this forum; beyond that, I take issue with the fact that the clarification doesn't provide for living will considerations and seems to render irrelevant any wishes left by the patient as well as any informed judgments made by those who knew the patient and the patient's wishes intimately.
  5. Subscriberno1marauder
    Humble and Kind
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    21 Sep '07 14:24
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    From the second link Nemesio posted, I gather that the clarification concerns only vegetative state, a condition where the patient is not "competent" and not capable of rendering "free and informed judgment" like the one described in the directive you highlighted. So I think it is consistent to that extent.

    However, given that the clarification states ...[text shortened]... formed judgments made by those who knew the patient and the patient's wishes intimately.
    To clarify, I meant instructions left by the person before they entered the PVS. Directives 57 and 58 seem to say they should be honored, while the "clarification" seems to clearly mean they should be honored only if they instruct that nutrition and hyderation should continue during a PVS (an instruction that very few are likely to leave according to polls in the wake of the Schiavo mess).
  6. Subscriberduecer
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    21 Sep '07 15:32
    In Christianity we tend to put an enormous value on life. The problem is, defining life. Cows are living, and we eat them. Plants are living ,and we eat them. I know that there is a difference between cows and people, but there is also a difference detween Terri Schaivo, and people. Only a shell that should have long ago passed on its own remained. The determination of weather hydrattion and nutririon should be given is better left to medical ethicist, than theologist.

    And just a side thought, if life is so precious, then why did Christ say he who loves his life shall lose it?
  7. Joined
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    21 Sep '07 16:17
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    To clarify, I meant instructions left by the person before they entered the PVS. Directives 57 and 58 seem to say they should be honored, while the "clarification" seems to clearly mean they should be honored only if they instruct that nutrition and hyderation should continue during a PVS (an instruction that very few are likely to leave according to polls in the wake of the Schiavo mess).
    I see -- I was interpreting the directive differently. I wasn't sure if it was discussing living will as well, or just judgments that a competent patient may make while already under care (the latter not being relevant to PVS).

    If the former is the spirit of the directive, then there definitely seems to be some problem here as you point out: on one hand, they say we should in general comply with the wishes of the patient; on the other hand, the clarification on PVS makes no mention of living will considerations. The clarification seems to imply that continuing nutrition and hydration is obligatory except only in instances where doing so is not possible (due to impoverished location) or useless (because the patient cannot assimilate them) or counteractive (when it becomes burdensome and discomforting to the patient). It says nothing related to living will or the patient's wishes.
  8. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
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    21 Sep '07 17:131 edit
    I don't think anyone has an objection to the idea of respecting the dignity
    of the human person. In this case, the directives fail to define precisely
    and consistently what a 'person' is, which is what I'm sure will be the
    source of discussion amongst those who disagree with each other
    about the validity of the statement.

    But, the problem I have with the directive is this: The RCC has taken
    great pains to address this very specific issue, yet I don't see the same
    pains being taken to address the moral obligations of the faithful to
    attend to the various other dignities that are being disrespected.

    That is, to keep a person in PSV alive with artificial hydration and nutrition
    costs a lot of money, maybe a few hundred dollars a day. For a dollar
    a day, you can give water to twenty-five people in a distant land, people
    who by no fault of their own, have no water, who are nearly as incapable
    of obtaining sufficient water as a person in PSV.

    It's not so much that the Church strives to give moral guidance on
    obscure issues using its own understanding of 'person' (whether it is
    coherent or not) as a justification. It's that it doesn't offer the same
    Papal or Conciliar directives upon the faithful for those situations which
    are far more prevalent, damaging and immoral.

    That is, even if you accept that the denying of hydration and nutrition to
    a person who is in a PSV is immoral, there can be no doubt that
    the denying of those same things to thousands of people on a daily
    basis is far more immoral.

    The Church is placing expectations on its flock for responding to a
    relatively rare but expensive situation, but it makes no such public
    proclamations on more epidemic matters.

    Nemesio
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    21 Sep '07 19:02
    Originally posted by duecer
    I know that there is a difference between cows and people, but there is also a difference detween Terri Schaivo, and people.
    I didn't know that Terri Schaivo ceased to be a person when she entered a vegetative state. If she wasn't a person, what was she?
  10. Subscribermdhall
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    21 Sep '07 19:19
    People in vegetative states...

    That's ironic.
    Lets look at some statistics:

    I. FAMILY LIFE
    Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
    Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
    Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
    Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
    Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
    Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
    Value of that time assuming an average wage of S5/hour: S1.25 trillion
    Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
    Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
    Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
    Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49

    II CHILDREN
    Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000
    Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful
    conversation with their children: 3.5
    Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
    Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
    Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
    Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV
    and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
    Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
    Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500

    http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html
    ----------------------------------------------

    I don't think anyone in the US should be quick to dismiss others in vegetative states; it seems to be how we choose to spend our free time.

    I wonder how many households have microwaves closer to their TV than a PVS patient is to their nurse?
  11. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
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    22 Sep '07 19:07
    Originally posted by gaychessplayer
    I didn't know that Terri Schaivo ceased to be a person when she entered a vegetative state. If she wasn't a person, what was she?
    Terri Schaivo ceased to be a person when she ceased to have those
    characteristics which define personhood -- interests, desires, goals,
    and so forth.

    It's not merely that she didn't have them at any particular moment --
    you cease to possess them when you sleep, for example -- but she
    lost the capacity to even potentially possess them. That is, she no longer
    possessed the regions of the brain in which one stores the 'person.'
    Because of non-use, those parts actually atrophied and disintegrated
    away years before the controversy about her feeding tube arose. The
    only part of the brain that remained was her brainstem, the parts that
    regulate the autonomic functions of the body like breathing, heartbeat,
    digestion or hormone levels. Those 'things' which made Terri Schaivo
    'Terri Schaivo' were dead, thus, her 'person' ceased to exist.

    Nemesio
  12. Joined
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    22 Sep '07 20:12
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Terri Schaivo ceased to be a person when she ceased to have those
    characteristics which define personhood -- interests, desires, goals,
    and so forth.

    It's not merely that she didn't have them at any particular moment --
    you cease to possess them when you sleep, for example -- but she
    lost the capacity to even potentially possess them. That is, she ...[text shortened]... rri Schaivo
    'Terri Schaivo' were dead, thus, her 'person' ceased to exist.

    Nemesio
    Good answer! I agree with you.
  13. Joined
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    23 Sep '07 23:09
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Terri Schaivo ceased to be a person when she ceased to have those
    characteristics which define personhood -- interests, desires, goals,
    and so forth.

    It's not merely that she didn't have them at any particular moment --
    you cease to possess them when you sleep, for example -- but she
    lost the capacity to even potentially possess them. That is, she ...[text shortened]... rri Schaivo
    'Terri Schaivo' were dead, thus, her 'person' ceased to exist.

    Nemesio
    The brain is an organ in a body. It is made of flesh. The body is the vehicle in which the soul resides. The soul will continue to occupy the body until it is dead.
    Causing the death of this woman's body terminated the bond between her soul and spirit and the body.

    What kind of mentality is it that thinks they can decide who lives and who dies? Bewildering!
  14. Joined
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    24 Sep '07 00:12
    Originally posted by josephw
    The brain is an organ in a body. It is made of flesh. The body is the vehicle in which the soul resides. The soul will continue to occupy the body until it is dead.
    Causing the death of this woman's body terminated the bond between her soul and spirit and the body.

    What kind of mentality is it that thinks they can decide who lives and who dies? Bewildering!
    What are you on about? What is this "soul" you talk about?
  15. Donationkirksey957
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    24 Sep '07 00:17
    Originally posted by josephw
    The brain is an organ in a body. It is made of flesh. The body is the vehicle in which the soul resides. The soul will continue to occupy the body until it is dead.
    Causing the death of this woman's body terminated the bond between her soul and spirit and the body.

    What kind of mentality is it that thinks they can decide who lives and who dies? Bewildering!
    I think the "kind of mentality" that you are speaking about is the rather common understanding that when you marry someone, your life may be in their hands unless you have advance directives about your care should you end up in her state.
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