A friend of the family who frequently speaks to my mother recently had a premature baby, which up until his birth seemed healthy. The baby has a serious condition called CHARGE syndrome, which causes all kinds of unfortunate developmental problems, both physical and mental. The baby has not been doing well at all, parts of his brain have periodically “died”, and the prognosis is not good. He’s currently hooked up to a respirator and can’t fully breath on his own. Doctors expect that the baby may very well die, and if he does make it, he will most likely be severely mentally impaired, physically handicapped, and he might already be blind. They have given this girl and her husband the option of unhooking the respirator from the baby, after which he would most likely die over several hours. Otherwise, they will perform several serious operations to correct some of his problems, and he could die during the procedures. They are in a terrible situation where every choice seems unbearable.
A priest just told this girl that if she wanted to unhook the respirator now, she would be perfectly morally justified in doing so. As far as I’m aware, this is entirely false given the current situation and the priest is ill-informed. I don’t think the girl wants to do this. Even so, there is that and another problem in that the girl is so distraught and beside herself that she says she can’t even think. She is unable to get her mind at ease enough to be able to think things through, consider options, and consider right from wrong.
Is there a good source on this matter that I could have my mother refer her to who can be trusted in matters of Catholic doctrine on these kinds of issues and who can help comfort people and walk them through these things when they otherwise are completely mentally overwhelmed?
On a side note, I have just about had it with ill-advised priests. There have been so many occasions in which a priest has advised me or someone I know in violation of Church Doctrine. The Church is infested with perhaps more ill-advised priests than priests who can be trusted. Not only do I now distrust priests until they prove they are reliable, but this also makes it excruciatingly difficult to bring others into the Church or help pseudo, “lukewarm” Catholics see the light.