No, it is not a sin. We are not required to choose extraordinary means to prolong our life and a mechanical ventilator is extraordinary means.
Unfortunately, I did not read any mention of God. That’s probably the greatest tragedy. Expect more articles like this in the future. We are to slowly accept this as legitimate and normal. It’s just like boiling a frog.
“But when the Son of Man comes will He find faith on Earth?”
I don’t know what you mean. As I understood it, there is nothing wrong with removing life support. We are not required to sustain life “no matter what,” I just watched a Priest deliver last rites to a man right before they cut off his life support systems, with the full knowledge that they were going to do so. It would be problematic if they took active steps to end the life, sure, but it doesn’t sound like they did that here.
“There’s nothing wrong with removing life support” - yeah, you misunderstood it. Re-read. She wasn’t dying. She was simply tired of living in her condition. That was not simply removing life support from someone in vegetative state, that was an assisted suicide. A wheelchair is not extraordinary means for someone who can’t walk, neither is a breathing tube for someone who can’t breathe on their own. If I’m tired of living as a blind, do I have the right to walk off a cliff while my family waves goodbye?
Though I don’t judge that poor woman as I can’t fathom what she has gone through, I do pass judgement on the article as being part of a larger anti-life propaganda. So powerful that it can even fool faithful Catholics.
I apologize, but I still don’t understand, so maybe you can make it clearer.
The article says she was:
removed from ventilation
Now my understanding was:
-Performing a specific action that directly causes a patient’s death (e.g. a lethal injection, etc.) would be assisted suicide (murder) and therefore, sinful.
-Choosing to withhold a treatment that preserves life, and thus dying as a result of natural causes would not be assisted suicide (murder) and thus not necessarily sinful.
I thought this case was the latter, not the former. And thus, not necessarily sinful.
So if you’re right about this then either, 1) my understanding of what is and isn’t assisted suicide is incorrect, or 2) I am misunderstanding what happened in this specific case. Which?
I did not say anything about “sinful” or not, though I’ll humbly admit that I might have stepped in it by suggesting you re-read the teachings on this. :o
I take exception to the “extraordinary means” clause when the removal of life-sustaining treatment results in near immediate death. This is similar to the Terri Schiavo case who was aggresively defended by Priests for Life, except that this woman was quite conscious. We’re not talking about aggresive cancer treatment when chances of success are nil. This is as close to putting a needle in someone’s arm as you can get. That poor woman was convinced that her life was not worth living in her state and the article seems to celebrate her decision as legitimate and even heroic. I guess I’ve read too many lives of saints. Or maybe everyone else hasn’t read enough. Dunno.
This is from the CCC (the bold emphasis is mine):
2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.
Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.
2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.
The case described in the article might be arguable either way, but based on these two paragraphs I think the patient’s fatal act (turning off the ventilator) was suicide and is morally unacceptable. The patient could have lived for quite some time; she just felt tired of living that way, and had a legal means to bring about her own death, intentionally, promptly, and surely. What she did is not equivalent to a patient’s refusal of a risky surgery or drug.
Reading this made me think of dementia patients that are not given antibiotics for pnuemonia . This seems to be murder. I think?