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  #1  
Old Sep 26, '12, 10:02 am
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graceandglory graceandglory is offline
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Default Is my friend being Euthanized today?

My friend had a stroke 3 months ago. She will not regain her earlier life. She is breathing on her own, but needs a feeding tube. She pulled her feeding tube out. She is not dying. She is stable and was in a rehabilitation center. Her husband decided to not have the feeding tube replace, and moved her into a hospice. The hospice/nursing home happens to be Catholic; however my friend is an evangelical, not a Catholic. They prayed for 2 months for her to be completely healed. That didn't happen. Now they have put her to sleep in a coma, so that she would not be aware (I think of starving to death), and she is going to die (I think of starvation.)

I feel really uneasy about this. I know she will not regain her former active, athletic life as a Dr. but is it okay to not replace her feeding tube?

Is this a gray area? She needs a feeding tube to live, but they have made the decision to not put it back in. OH, and she is diagnosed as minimally conscious.
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  #2  
Old Sep 26, '12, 10:13 am
Cristiano Cristiano is online now
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

This is no gray area. It is a moral imperative to provide water and nutrition. The case of a G tube could be considered extraordinary measure.
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  #3  
Old Sep 26, '12, 10:36 am
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Marc Anthony Marc Anthony is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristiano View Post
This is no gray area. It is a moral imperative to provide water and nutrition. The case of a G tube could be considered extraordinary measure.
There actually is SOME gray area. From the National Catholic Bioethics Center:

Quote:
When death is imminent one may refuse forms of treatment that would only result in a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life. There is a presumption in favor of continuing to provide food and water to the patient, but there is a stage in the dying process when even these may no longer be obligatory because they provide no benefit.
http://www.ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=347
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  #4  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:05 am
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graceandglory graceandglory is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Anthony View Post
There actually is SOME gray area. From the National Catholic Bioethics Center:



http://www.ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=347
Death wasn't imminent. That's why they chose to not replace the feeding tube.
She was stable.
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  #5  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:06 am
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graceandglory graceandglory is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Anthony View Post
There actually is SOME gray area. From the National Catholic Bioethics Center:



http://www.ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=347
Please help me understand. I am trying to wrap my mind around this. Her death was not imminent. Her quality of life would have been "burdensome." She would have needed to have care, for she would be bedridden.
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  #6  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

You might take a look at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration. The attached Commentary is particularly helpful. This question is specifically about those in a "vegetative state", but the principles laid out have wider implications.

Marc mentioned the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Feel free to contact them. They will be able to talk you through the whole thing much more thoroughly than we are able to do here.
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

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  #7  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:07 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceandglory View Post
My friend had a stroke 3 months ago. She will not regain her earlier life. She is breathing on her own, but needs a feeding tube. She pulled her feeding tube out. She is not dying. She is stable and was in a rehabilitation center. Her husband decided to not have the feeding tube replace, and moved her into a hospice. The hospice/nursing home happens to be Catholic; however my friend is an evangelical, not a Catholic. They prayed for 2 months for her to be completely healed. That didn't happen. Now they have put her to sleep in a coma, so that she would not be aware (I think of starving to death), and she is going to die (I think of starvation.)

I feel really uneasy about this. I know she will not regain her former active, athletic life as a Dr. but is it okay to not replace her feeding tube?

Is this a gray area? She needs a feeding tube to live, but they have made the decision to not put it back in. OH, and she is diagnosed as minimally conscious.
I think this is terrible, and the worst part about it is that you can do nothing to help your friend. Pray for her! I will add her to my prayers too. I guess her husband thinks she wants to die, and that is why she pulled out the feeding tube? That may have been an accident, not done with any conscious intention. How sad.

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.
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  #8  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:08 am
mgoforth mgoforth is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Anthony View Post
There actually is SOME gray area. From the National Catholic Bioethics Center:



http://www.ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=347
The description of the patient's condition in the OP doesn't seem to fit the reference you posted.
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  #9  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:10 am
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceandglory View Post
Please help me understand. I am trying to wrap my mind around this. Her death was not imminent. Her quality of life would have been "burdensome." She would have needed to have care, for she would be bedridden.
A feeding tube is much different than other forms of "extraordinary care". We're talking about food and water, not medicine. Everyone needs food and water to live. Starving someone to death is not compatible with respecting the dignity of the human person.
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

- Fr. Gregory Jensen
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  #10  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:10 am
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graceandglory graceandglory is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Let me try to be clearer. She wasn't terminally ill. She isn't dying, she wasn't on life support. She is quadriplegic, and not presently able to talk, but was told that she could regain some function.

Caring for her would be "a burden" in that someone would have to feed her, change her, bathe her, dress her.

Thank you all for any insight. My gut tells me that her husband does not want a less than perfect wife. He said "she would not have wanted "this life.""
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  #11  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceandglory View Post
Let me try to be clearer. She wasn't terminally ill. She isn't dying, she wasn't on life support. She is quadriplegic, and not presently able to talk, but was told that she could regain some function.

Caring for her would be "a burden" in that someone would have to feed her, change her, bathe her, dress her.

Thank you all for any insight. My gut tells me that her husband does not want a less than perfect wife. He said "she would not have wanted "this life.""
Of course, no one would want that sort of life. But that doesn't justify taking it.
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The Catechesis of the Popes
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

- Fr. Gregory Jensen
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  #12  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:13 am
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Marc Anthony Marc Anthony is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoforth View Post
The description of the patient's condition in the OP doesn't seem to fit the reference you posted.
No. I was just pointing out that there is indeed a gray area where a feeding tube is concerned. Saying that there isn't any is something I hear a lot but isn't technically true.
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"But he was undoubtedly a moron to begin with. Illiterate, superstitious, murderous....Look at him, and tell me if you see the progeny of a once-mighty civilization? What do you see?"

"The image of Christ," grated the monsignor, surprised at his own sudden anger. "What did you expect me to see?"
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  #13  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:14 am
maryjk maryjk is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceandglory View Post
My friend had a stroke 3 months ago. She will not regain her earlier life. She is breathing on her own, but needs a feeding tube. She pulled her feeding tube out. She is not dying. She is stable and was in a rehabilitation center. Her husband decided to not have the feeding tube replace, and moved her into a hospice. The hospice/nursing home happens to be Catholic; however my friend is an evangelical, not a Catholic. They prayed for 2 months for her to be completely healed. That didn't happen. Now they have put her to sleep in a coma, so that she would not be aware (I think of starving to death), and she is going to die (I think of starvation.)

I feel really uneasy about this. I know she will not regain her former active, athletic life as a Dr. but is it okay to not replace her feeding tube?

Is this a gray area? She needs a feeding tube to live, but they have made the decision to not put it back in. OH, and she is diagnosed as minimally conscious.
Did she pull the feeding tube out because she didn't want it? You can't force someone to have a feeding tube. If she doesn't want it, she doesn't want it.

You may also not know all of what is happening with her care. To say she is stable doesn't mean that she doesn't need to be in hospice or even that death isn't imminent. In fact, stable isn't normally used to define a condition.
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  #14  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:49 am
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceandglory View Post
She pulled her feeding tube out.
Under what circumstances did she pull it out? Was it accidental (possibly due to loss of motor control) or intentional?
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  #15  
Old Sep 26, '12, 12:23 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Is my friend being Euthanized today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Anthony View Post
No. I was just pointing out that there is indeed a gray area where a feeding tube is concerned. Saying that there isn't any is something I hear a lot but isn't technically true.
It's not really a grey area.

If someone is going to starve to death without a feeding tube but will live with it, you put in a feeding tube. I've nursed a motorcycle victim who had a stoma and a feeding tube and had been in a vegetative state for a few years. The family would never think to take away his feeding tube although he was pretty much unresponsive. His vital signs were fine and unless he contracted a massive infection he was expected to live for many years. Removing his feeding tube would have been no different from putting a bullet through his head.

On the other hand, if someone is terminal and is at the stage where they can no longer take food, you don't burden them with a feeding tube to maybe prolong death by a couple of days. No longer taking in food is part of the dying process.
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