[quote="markomalley, post:14, topic:189493"]
Let me give you some references that are more authoritative than an anonymous voice on the Internet. I suggest you read the entire documents in these references for the full context. I will give you some short extracts which represent my understanding of what they say...but you are the one accountable before God if you are making the decision; therefore, you should have the facts:
First of all, you have Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae:INDENT Euthanasia must be distinguished from the decision to forego so-called "aggressive medical treatment", in other words, medical procedures which no longer correspond to the real situation of the patient, either because they are by now disproportionate to any expected results or because they impose an excessive burden on the patient and his family. In such situations, when death is clearly imminent and inevitable, one can in conscience "refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted".77 Certainly there is a moral obligation to care for oneself and to allow oneself to be cared for, but this duty must take account of concrete circumstances. It needs to be determined whether the means of treatment available are objectively proportionate to the prospects for improvement. To forego extraordinary or disproportionate means is not the equivalent of suicide or euthanasia; it rather expresses acceptance of the human condition in the face of death. 78
[/INDENT]Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia:INDENT If there are no other sufficient remedies, it is permitted, with the patient's consent, to have recourse to the means provided by the most advanced medical techniques, even if these means are still at the experimental stage and are not without a certain risk. By accepting them, the patient can even show generosity in the service of humanity. - It is also permitted, with the patient's consent, to interrupt these means, where the results fall short of expectations... Therefore one cannot impose on anyone the obligation to have recourse to a technique which is already in use but which carries a risk or is burdensome. Such a refusal is not the equivalent of suicide; on the contrary, it should be considered as an acceptance of the human condition, or a wish to avoid the application of a medical procedure disproportionate to the results that can be expected, or a desire not to impose excessive expense on the family or the community. - When inevitable death is imminent in spite of the means used, it is permitted in conscience to take the decision to refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted.
[/INDENT]In my understanding, it's far too complex a situation to have a black and white answer. A lot of it has to do with the motivation of the people involved. What might be acceptable in one circumstance might be unacceptable in another.
In my understanding, it's far too complex a situation to have a black and white answer. A lot of it has to do with the motivation of the people involved. What might be acceptable in one circumstance might be unacceptable in another
Your sentiments would hold very true in my thoughts also.
A similar topic on Ventilators was posted in late 2009
**Ventilator as extraordinary means?
My father was on a ventilator for eleven years at home with loving nurses and family always at his side. Yes he suffered in all those years. And I cannot speak for him personally he passed away a few days before Christmas in December, 2007. But I can tell you he did enjoy the happiness of his family always with him.
My youngest brother now 42 has suffered with A.L.S. ("Lou Gehrig's Disease") for the last twelve years. He too will undergo a similar fate in the not to far distant future of being on a ventilator. But his beloved family will always be with him.